Written and Directed by Ugandhar Muni
Starring Madhav M, Mohan Bhagath, Kiran kumar K Venkateswara Rao, Geethananda Reddy, Sandeep Bandla, Krishnama Raju
Short Film Review by Chris Olson
The world of cyber hacking is an endless source of thrilling stories in the movie world. Not only are they relevant to modern audiences, preying on their underlying fears of digital security, but they also capitalise on a more fundamental aspect of storytelling - one person performing an injustice upon another. Short film Digital Sting from filmmaker Ugandhar Muni approaches the theme of cyber hacking with a sense of naughty characterisation and eclectic filmmaking techniques.
The bulk of the narrative concerns an office space where the boss is a largely unlikeable sort that treats his employees as nothing more than keyboard monkeys. In an Ocean's 11 style heist, several disgruntled workers decide to implement a hacking scheme that will bring the boss, and the company, to their knees. Sadly the boss gets wise to the ruse and instead of getting mad he gets involved, deciding to take the hacking scheme to higher levels on other, unsuspecting targets.
Throughout Digital Sting, audiences will feel well versed in the methodology being utilised. Multiple frame montages are displayed numerous times to indicate the complex heist being pulled off that involves various characters in numerous locations, not to mention a stopwatch which appears whenever a hack is being physically applied to some victim's computer or laptop. This effect of multiple screens displaying multiple scenes works well to bolster the pace of the short, and avoid unnecessary filler scenes that would be needed to fill in the narrative detail. Some excellent animated sequences are also thrown in which were brilliantly executed.
The characters largely remained unassuming but all delivered a sense of urgent peril about the plot being pulled off. Having committed to a half hour run time, Muni unravels the story with a compelling restraint that keeps the twists and turns well camouflaged, eschewing traditional audience connection with a central story, for a more ensemble effect.
Whilst the pacing is not sluggish with unnecessary characterisation or exposition, the breakneck speed with which the events unfold is at the very least jolting. Sequences involving numerous rich people and violent goons lack the dramatic heft they could have achieved simply because we were introduced to them too early. I would argue there was easily enough material in Digital Sting for a feature length movie.
Fans of swift cyber thrillers and action comedies will be in their element with Muni's Digital Sting. If you can keep up with the pace and are unfazed by the abandon of additional character building then this could be just the short film thrill you are looking for.
Watch the official Digital Sting movie trailer below...