Gunah (2020) Short Film Review

★★★★


Directed by: #SourbhDoke

Written by: #SourbhDoke

Starring: #SanjayBalote, #AshishBishet, #SourbhDoke


Short Film Review by: Emily Davison

An innocent florist in India, wrongfully imprisoned for allegedly stealing another man’s money, faces the cruel manipulation of the justice system in this dark crime drama short.

Premiered March 2nd, 2020, by the 3C’s (Creative Content Creators) on their YouTube channel, this seven minute black and white film provides a gritty, authentic insight into how one innocent life can be trampled on by false accusations and a corrupt justice system.

Gunah (2020) Film Poster

Directed by Sourbh Doke, who also headed editing and writing duties, Gunah is a carefully crafted, informative piece brought to recognition through its impressive cinematography and strong performances from its leads.


The short is filmed in one room, heightening the claustrophobic feeling and suspenseful conversation between the prisoner and his lawyer. A power struggle between the two is immediately established through Doke’s implementation of high angles, with the choice of the frame to be devoid of colour effectively enhancing the realism of its grounded narrative and evoking sympathy for the innocent victim of injustice. The lawyer, however, shows very little consideration for his client as he plays on his phone and checks his watch with no concern for the broken man who sits before him, demonstrating the lack of care in the system.


Kevin Macleod’s score effectively sets a melancholic tone with a sombre violin track accompanying the title credits. The soundtrack is used sparingly to allow the stars to take control and deliver powerful, emotionally rich performances, until a soft piano piece accompanies the final gripping long shot through a doorway, as the lead faces an impossible decision: whether to confess to a crime he did not commit.


The film’s thought-provoking message can be summarised in a chilling line spoken by the lawyer before he leaves his client: “justice is just an illusion; law is the truth”. The criminal nature of the justice system is depicted through devastating honesty as a black screen with title cards reveals the sentence the innocent man faces. Although the film is an original screenplay, it authentically captures and reflects on many other similar cases in the justice system, as brought to fruition by a series of written examples provided before the end credits appear.


Gunah is a solid, unsettling short crime drama reflecting on the overwhelming injustice facing many innocent victims today. Thoughtfully directed, experimental in its presentation, powerfully acted and increasingly relevant, this truthful piece deserves more attention and recognition for its integrity.

#EmilyDavison


Gunah (2020) Trailer: