Written & Directed by: #TitusUpputuru
HarperCollins India’s latest short film includes a guessing game and a mysterious parcel. When two men are taking a road trip, one begins to tell the other a story about a parcel and the woman who received it. He also mentions that the woman dies later that same day. What follows is a turn of events and a reveal that I don’t think many would expect.
Beginning with a beautiful soundtrack and a shot of a closed book on the dash of a car, the mystery kicks off. We’re introduced to the two men, Ali and Ved (performed by Hurmat Ali Khan and Vyom Yadav respectively), and shortly after, the woman (Riyaa Arora) who receives the parcel. Almost instantly, you’re thrown into a story that begs many questions. With sublime cinematography and subtle performances from the small cast, it’s incredibly easy for the viewer to settle in for the ride. At around the mid-point the film really becomes interesting, as the man begins to ask deeper questions. As a viewer you’ll start thinking a lot harder and perhaps even work it out, but the intrigue is great enough for you to continue on, because just maybe, you’re wrong. The aforementioned cinematography by DOP Lakshman Anand captures the sprawling streets of India with intimacy, staying mostly inside the car but showcasing the vibrant colours outside the windows. There are even some visual clues as to what’s really going on, if you were to pay close enough attention.
As the thrilling Parcel draws to its close, you’re left with a shock. Perhaps you weren’t thinking this was how it ends after all. Before the credits roll, we’re left with a message: “When you read a story, do you write one in your mind?” - After all that preceded, I think the answer is a resounding “yes.” What Titus Upputuru created with Parcel was a stroke of genius for HarperCollins. A superb way to promote storytelling in book-form. Not to mention the wonderfully textured score by Rupert Fernandes, which blissfully flows from one scene to the next, changing slightly with the mood set by Ved’s wild guesses. Who doesn’t love reading stories and making up the details in their mind? Most of the time, your ideas are vastly different from those of the author, but there’s fun to be found even in that.