Directed by: #AnkitSingha
Devika is a story about an Indian housewife, trapped in a loveless marriage and deprived of friendship, family and exploration of the outside world. Her life revolves around domestic chores and catering to her husbands demands. Devika is confined to the same daily routine, with only her childhood books as a form of escapism from the mundane and oppressive lifestyle she has become so accustomed to. Devika’s identity has become lost, however, this film portrays Devika’s fight to gain back her independence and freedom to be her own woman. This piece was created within the lockdown period which should be praised. Creating new and interesting films during this pandemic can be a struggle, but it is always great to know that there are people out there who have been able to adapt and overcome these obstacles.
Devika’s first appearance is her reading through her old childhood stories, immersed within its fantastical and fictional world. A place where she could leave reality if only for a short time. These books bring back memories of being a child again, a real sense of nostalgia, when things were a lot simpler, and her head was filled with dreams and endless opportunities. Now Devika is a grown woman, with heavy responsibilities. Devika is depicted as a lonely woman, even though she is married, she is tied to her apartment and the only form of entertainment is cooking, cleaning and acting as a submissive wife to her demanding husband. This short truly evoked this loss of individuality within Devika. The story was moving and told a powerful message, evolving from a heart-breaking story into a momentous triumph as Devika finally breaks away from this domestic entrapment leaving the audience on a cliff-hanger.
There were a few teething issues which can be resolved with a few tweaks and experience. The camera angles were shaky in a lot of places and there was some focusing issues which made it difficult to concentrate on some of the scenes which were playing out. The shakiness can become disorientating for the viewer at times. The actual opening scene was also very slow, of course there needs to be a build-up to a scene that is always encouraged. However, the length of this build-up was unnecessary and could have moved in a more direct motion towards the heart of the story. These are of course just small issues which can be easily rectified.
This film was certainly an interesting watch, Devika represents many women who are oppressed within society and succumb to this isolated existence. A lot of hope can be taken from this short film, and Devika is a character who should be looked upon as strong and brave in a sense, as she finds the courage to leave this life behind and start again.