Directed by: Syed Wajahat Ali
Written by: Syed Saad
Starring: Syed Saad, Abdullah Wasi
People often have bad days. Sometimes they can be very bad. Such is the case in Syed Wajahat Ali's Elo, a short, surreal, comedy, drama film that follows the misfortunes of a man (Saad) over the course of a day.
A likeable man is happily on his way to a job interview, carrying with him the required documents and covering himself with an umbrella, even though it is not raining. He appears to be optimistic but one event after the over will make things quite unpleasant. He realises that he has put on a different type of shoe on each foot and rushes home, only to find out that he had left the keys inside the house. He attempts to buy water, only to realise that he forgot his wallet. He decides to steal a bottle and the shopkeeper (Wasi) chases after him. He arrives late for the interview and is not allowed in. The poor man goes through a lot during the day and things turn more dramatic.
There is no spoken dialogue and characters communicate by hand gestures and body language. Apart from the sounds of crying by the main character near the end, the only thing heard during the film is the beautiful score. The music changes according to the situation, becoming tense when the protagonist is struggling and poignant when he is sad.
Saad delivers an outstanding performance as a cheerful man who means well. As mentioned this film has no spoken words, so therefore the actors use face expressions and body language in order to express their feelings. Saad does this very well, bringing to life the emotions that his character is going through, along with the supporting cast.
Saad also wrote the screenplay and he created a story filled with awkward and dramatic situations. The story starts out pleasantly, with the hero being happy and optimistic. However after he has gone through one ordeal after the other, things become desperate and bleak. It seems to carry the message that in spite of one's efforts, bad things can still happen.
Elo is a piece of work that has strength in many aspects, including Ali's wonderful direction. It offers an experience that is rather touching and thoughtful.