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Klesha Short Film Review

★★★★ Stars

Directed by: #DularaParanawidana

 

A woman sits slumped in a darkened alleyway holding her sleeping child. She looks exhausted as she stares off into the distance in front of her.

Klesha follows the routine of a blind, beggar woman keeping her innocent, helpless infant as bait to fulfil her addiction. The pain of the suffering victims entangled in the never-ending cycle of life. In a world where women's and children’s rights are now more respected and organisations work towards funding for the well being of those who are struggling, Klesha unfolds the grassroots level where the ultimate purpose is not met.”

Klesha tackles a very deep, sensitive subject but does so with balanced intensity. I suppose there’s more than one subject discussed as well, all of which intertwining together in this wonderfully heartbreaking short film. Family, parenthood, poverty, addiction - all are approached with great accomplishment throughout its duration.


The acting from start to finish is quite overwhelming to say the least; so powerful that the little dialogue used is hardly even noticed because of how loudly the cast speak with just their expressions towards each other and the camera. The visuals fill any gaps of silence with their own words interpreted by the audience. The talent here draws many emotions from viewers that eventually come together to create an immense reaction to the story, a type of composition of emotions that isn’t sure how to release itself. Personally, I felt tears starting to form but none wanted to spill, as if a volcano needed to erupt but was actually conscious of the villagers below. I applaud this cast and their work with a thunderous sound as my hands meet each time.

Original score by Mattia Cupelli assists the cast greatly by instantly introducing a sense of atmosphere as soon as Klesha begins. The music used is extremely fitted to the film which adds to the previously mentioned build up to a conclusive, impactful reaction. The notes have their own words attached to them, expressions speak volumes in moments of silence but it isn’t simply ‘total’ silence - the tracks give more personality and understanding to the times of no direct conversation. These elements become one with ease; it’s a beautiful experience.


Cinematography by Nadishka Ranasinghe smartly contrasts the other heavier elements of Klesha, maintaining a smooth and calm flow in camerawork and presentation. The cinematography allows room for the acting to shine in every way it should whilst maintaining a separate level of intrigue with its own style and technique. It’s a straightforward but intelligent approach to cinematography.


Now taking into account the many incredible aspects of Klesha overall, praise must be brought to director Dulara Paranawidana for encompassing each of these and marrying them through a directorial perspective. The direction of this influential film is naturally polished as Paranawidana deeply understands the meaning and sentiment of Klesha; being part of the writing process also helps with this of course but it takes a separate type of focus and attention to detail to truly guide a confident stitch between all the cinematic components used.

Klesha is an important watch, it opens your eyes to a side of the world that isn’t highlighted in media - and when it is highlighted, it isn’t usually done so in an appropriate or accurate way. Klesha grabs hold of your attention and wraps barbed wire around your heart; trust me when I say you’ll wish you had the capacity to change the world we live in with a snap of your fingers after watching this short film and processing the fire stored within it.

 

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