Directed by: Tanmay Singh
Written by: #TanmaySingh
Confronting the person you once were is never more acute than through the eyes of someone you once loved. When two former lovers meet in a coffee shop years after they parted ways, the pair are surprised to find how much the other has changed, and how oblivious they had been to their own maturation.
In short film Marilyn Lights, Suhaas Ahuja plays John, a once dedicated musician who now barely finds time to play guitar amongst the "rat race" lifestyle of a 9-5 job and being married. Sayali Bhagat plays Preeti, a former flame of John's who is now a mother. Rekindling their romance, John and Preeti find at first their connection to be as strong as before and enjoy each other's company immensely. However, are these two people really the same man and woman from the flashbacks? Or has more changed in their lives and who they are than the brand of cigarettes John smokes?
Laced with a romantic atmosphere, Marilyn Lights lays a delicate stage for the tangled plot to unravel on. The complicated nature of John and Preeti's relationship is allowed plenty of breathing room, dipping in and out of the present to show key moments in their history that reveal pivotal aspects of who they were against who they are now. This heartbreaking examination of how people no longer fit into the moulds they once occupied is at the heart of writer/director Tanmay Singh's short movie.
The chemistry between Ahuja and Bhagat is beautiful, brilliantly capturing the almost childish innocence of being infatuated. This makes their downfall all the more poignant and the two actors play it wonderfully. Shruti Gupta, who plays John's wife, is also great as the hard-pressed spouse struggling to come to terms with her partner's identity crisis.
From a #filmmaking perspective, Marilyn Lights is impressive. The cigarette ads at the beginning of the piece were marvellous to watch and were woven into the plot really well. The score was a tad on the melodramatic side, sometimes soaking the scenes in emotive music. That being said, there were some nice musical moments where John gives in and gets his guitar out.
A beautiful love story told beautifully, Tanmay Singh could well be a #RichardCurtis of short filmmaking. His control of plot and character is masterful and this short film shows oodles of potential.
Watch the official short film trailer below.