Written & Directed by: #KarishmaDube
A slow-burning drama focusing on the close friendship between two girls as it is eclipsed by an accidental poisoning at school. Bittu is a well produced short film from Karishma Dube, anchoring a strong lead performance and a dark final few scenes. Dube’s phenomenal direction convinces me of her talents; her awards only proving that I’m not the only one noticing the display of expertise.
Bittu features a young cast of well performing actors and actresses that lead us through this shocking and poignant narrative. The dialogue is of the smaller scale, leaving the storytelling more so to the visuals and, in some ways, the absence of music. There’s an underlying sense of greyness creeping up from the ground and when the payoff finally hits, it’s a pretty hefty kick to the stomach.
The camerawork reflects that documentary fly-on-the-wall style, whilst still capturing the cinematic tone. This isn’t a cheap looking film by any means, but also feels very much independent in its execution. Perhaps not incredibly rare these days, but to see a short film with this type of care and thought taken is certainly more than welcome. Bittu feels like one of those troubling stories that director Denis Villeneuve would present, in its rich but beaten down visual style. I would love to see more from Dube, especially in the directors chair.
There’s little to discuss further, since it’s a very simplistic short film. I will say that although the content of Bittu is strong, the pacing was perhaps a little too slow. This is likely intentional, as a means of getting the audience involved in the lives of these characters, however, it felt as if something more could have been added to tighten the film overall and provide a more investing runtime. All this to say, this is still an affective piece and will likely interest those searching for a darker drama.
Dube’s Bittu is a fantastically well directed film, with some brilliant young performers and a superb technical sheen (including that of editing and cinematography), but left me feeling a little underwhelmed emotionally. That said, this is a filmmaker with a promising future in directing.