Directed by: #BalasuryaShanmugasundaram
Written by: #BalasuryaShanmugasundaram
Nexus is a very poignant short film about anger, fear and guilt. Balasurya Shanmugasundaram stars in, writes and directs this film proving his many talents behind and in front of the camera. He introduces us to a nameless protagonist (himself) who has attempted suicide due to guilt over his dead girlfriend (Shreenithi Ramachandran) and is taken under the wing of clinical psychiatrist Dr Srikanth Varma (Guhan Ram). The compelling story is told artistically with Shanmugasundaram’s unique style, giving a morbid story of grief bright colours, as opposed to the usual gloomy colours associated with films of this particular genre, for example the morose tone in the group therapy was wonderfully contrasted against the bright colours, and the juxtaposition of colours of Maya and the black and white world around her.
The acting by Shanmugasundaram was brilliant, and he encapsulated a grieving and conflicted man very well – one will think that the story is very personal to him. On the other hand, Ram’s character of Dr Varma was fun to watch, but the acting was somewhat off. Perhaps this is due to the writing, but the character seemed uncomfortable in his space. He is meant to be a slightly off-putting and ominous character, but this intention does not shine through all the time. This was not helped by some strange editing choices. The questioning of Dr Varma contained a very strange part when he asks, “On that day… what… happened?”, which was accompanied by some cheesy zoom ins and suspense noises. The tension built up during the whole scene was slightly ruined by this. Fortunately, the story is engaging enough to keep the viewer interested and not put off by this odd choice. The music (apart from that short wobble) is very good at creating a suspenseful atmosphere, both in the car scene and in Dr Varma’s office. The use of silence was very intriguing, and really hit hard in the protagonist’s dream about Maya.
In the end, Nexus leaves you with a lot to think about. Exploration of death and what one leaves the world of the living with are themes that many can find interest in, and Shanmugasundaram has shown that while there is anger, fear and guilt in death, there is beauty too. By taking the audience to a alternative reality, Shanmugasundaram gives us a new train of thought in which we can think about the afterlife differently.