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average rating is 4 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Feb 12, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Raghav Puri
Written by:
Raghav Puri
Brian George, Rishan Dhamija, Joyce Greenleaf

A bittersweet but uplifting short from director Raghav Puri, Dadu tells a character-driven unlikely love story with authenticity and sweetness without schmaltz or melodrama.


Daman (Rishan Dhamija) lives with his Dadu (Brian George) who suffers from memory loss. Facing constant resistance from his grandson, Dadu sneaks out one day to walk in the park, and has a chance encounter with dog-walker Rita (Joyce Greenleaf). The pair bond, and an unlikely romantic pairing begins to spark. Dadu finds a new enthusiasm for life, but Daman worries whether the pairing is all it seems to be.


Packing emotional punches aplenty and a ton of character across its impressive cast, Dadu is a fine short focusing on family, love, loss and finding meaning from heartbreak. Raghav Puri brilliantly portrays a loving but strained relationship between Daman and Dadu, in which neither experience true fulfilment or joy. Dadu’s rebellious nature leading him to a new lease of life demonstrates the film’s message: that life is for living and outgoingness is a path to happiness – a lesson both grandfather and grandson need to be taught. Dadu’s chance encounter with Rita reverberates through multiple lives – changing all of them for the better – and all starts with Dadu’s key decision to find connection rather than stay couped up at home. Daman’s fear for his grandfather is understandable – but it’s not until he embraces Dadu’s new romance himself that their relationship starts to find further meaning. It’s fine storytelling – that web multiple characters and throughlines together in short order.


Brian George gives a wonderful performance in the leading role, walking a tightrope of vulnerability and grumpiness to portray Dadu’s pride whilst validating Daman’s fears about his safety as his memory begins to fail. His softening upon meeting Rita is central to convincing viewers of the film’s story, as it is his change in character which sets in motion multiple character changes across the rest of the film’s cast. Rishan Dhamija is similarly strong as grandson Daman, whose fears for his father never come across as malicious.


The film is vibrant and bright giving a sense of a late setting summer sun so strongly that audiences will practically feel the warmth on their face. The director has a wonderful grasp of the story through the visuals, following Dadu erratically as he stubbornly paces through his house as he is about to venture out against his grandson’s wishes – before framing the camera statically upon meeting Rita as he finds a place in the world he wishes to settle and remain. It’s this type of command of the storytelling that demonstrates Puri’s belief and personal stake in the film’s success – and it’s a success that is genuine, heart-wrenching and earned.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film, Indie Feature Film, World Cinema
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