Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Directed by: #IndranilBanerjee
Written by: #IndranilBanerjee
Indranil Banerjee’s One Night Stand opens with the intent to focus on personal, obsessive love and infatuation. Aimee (Debopriya Chakraborty) and John (Sounak Ray) spent the night together, and John cannot seem to accept that it was just one night and nothing more as he calls Aimee early the next morning to explain his feelings towards her. From there, the dark shadow of John haunts Aimee, physically and mentally, wanting her presence to himself only. Tension is felt through this first section of the film, steering the plot in the direction towards violence and blood. This prediction of events is correct but not in the way it is expected to be established.
A scene appears in front of the audience; Aimee is tackled by a hooded figure while wondering the streets at night, kidnapped and tied up, blood dripping from her nose. John slides into frame, showing himself as the kidnapper. Tension builds even further through this intense scene for it to only be teared down by Aimee awakening. It was a dream. The letdown that can be pointed out at this time in the film is the fact that Aimee now states that John is her significant other after telling him about this extreme dream she experienced. This really added nothing to the plot itself, it just created confusion as to where their relationship started and how far Aimee’s dream ‘stretched’ – was the dream she was having the entirety of the first third of the film? Did the one night stand with John even happen as she now states they are in a committed relationship? The dream aspect, however, isn’t exactly a total letdown in the plot as the audience then expects something more vigorous to occur later in the film, following with the atmosphere created so far. Although, regrettably, this isn’t the case as the film continues.
Unfortunately the confusion of the plot thickens from the awakening scene. Aimee begins to show a deeper, darker side of her personality as she decides upon stabbing, poisoning and strangling her group of friends that have been previously introduced as harmless characters. She becomes deranged, showing the bodies to John who weeps and shakes.
John is now somehow an innocent character without any faults; all of the faults that had been heavily built up during the first half of the film have now been seemingly transferred to Aimee. She committed murder because her friends mentioned John in a slightly more-than-friendly approach showing that the obsessive traits have now been pushed onto Aimee without any explanation or information for the audience to comprehend. This could have been a great high point in the film if it was approached with better fluidity and detail.
The uncertainty of the plot does not end there. After the film presented itself as a physiological thriller, it sheds its genre with another dream break. The killings were, once again, happening within a dream of Aimee’s. This was supposed to be the climax of the film but it was a complete anticlimax. It was like watching a personified version of a student’s English exam essay, the ones that people continuously joke about – the student runs out of time and, to finish their essay, they simply add ‘and then I woke up’ thinking it creates the perfect end to a suspenseful plot.
To write this review, I have watched the short film at least five times and each time I tell myself that I must look closer for hidden gems in case I‘m interpreting the film incorrectly. Maybe I‘m missing something within the plot, maybe I‘m missing a key piece of information that helps the audience to understand the puzzling plot, but for now, I‘m utterly confused on how to appreciate the film and its writing.
Overall, One Night Stand is still enjoyable despite its mysterious intent. With brilliant performances from Sounak Ray and Debopriya Chakraborty, their presentation of the characters can be highly praised through the analysis of their acting techniques. Their abilities add immense brilliance to the film; it is obvious that they are both incredibly talented. The music throughout the film is also thoroughly enjoyable, making the atmosphere extremely thrilling and intriguing. It is disappointing that the script is this short film’s downfall as nothing seems to quite fit together, but there are still hugely positive aspects about this production.