Directed by: #KaranDhar
Written by: #KaranDhar
Short Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
It is a common preconception that has been caricatured countless times across most volumes of media and especially on film. That men and women simply do not understand one another, and their attempts to do so can sometimes lead to more conflict than resolve, even in the most innocuous of situations.
In Indian short film Munch On, Pointless Love from #filmmaker Karan Dhar, a young man and woman seated across from each other are attempting nothing more than to have a simple conversation. But what follows is an increasingly aggravating and confusing back and forth filled with sarcasm, aggression, misunderstandings and arrogance.
Dhar’s approach in this film is certainly a unique take on portraying how members of the opposite sex often fail to empathize or communicate with each other. Instead of engaging in a regular discourse about one subject in particular as we might expect, the tête-à-tête between our two characters is instead presented as a series of random questions and counter-questions wrapped in pseudo-philosophical musings.
But herein lies the glaring problem with the film in that by trying to deliver its premise in an interesting and refreshing way, it instead ends up coming across as way too pretentious for its own good. While it’s clear that the intention here is to emphasise the often contrasting male and female mindsets, it’s ends up going too far off the other end of the scale and needs to be reined in, which in fairness does begin to happen somewhat as the film draws to a close but by then it’s too late. The conversation itself is also randomly interjected by some jarring unrelated moments, such as our male lead (Chatterjee) ambling through some woods or Thakkar staring out of a window, scenes that seem more like a mere afterthought in an attempt to add a change of pace to the film, which is sorely needed but unfortunately not delivered.
There are some aspects however that do elevate the film somewhat, for example in the performances, with the commitment from the two leads Thakkar and Chatterjee being one of the reasons the film works on some level. Visually as well, the film does shine. Shooting the film in black and white adds a nice touch, with the monochromatic tone working as an extra subconscious layer of the contradictions the film is aiming for, and even the aforementioned filler scenes are nice to look at if nothing else.
Munch On, Pointless Love is certainly a different perspective on the old adage “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” and while you can sense something deeper at play, it’s simply way too subtle and not as clever as it wants to be.