top of page



average rating is 3 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Nov 7, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Sagher A. Manchanda
Written by:
Sagher A. Manchanda
Snower Sania Vasuder, Kulpreet Yadav, Tarun Sharma

New sci-fi short film, Fidelity from writer/director Sagher A. Manchanda is according to its own tagline, ‘A story about a girl who gains power and weakness through radiation exposure’, and to be fair to the film-makers this is pretty much what we get. At just around twenty-two minutes long Fidelity only really serves as an introduction to Meisha’s (Vasuder) story, presented as an entrée to supposedly whet our appetite for what is likely to be a more substantial course at some point later down the line. As such, Manchanda is careful to leave various backstory threads around in his immediate plotting and dialogue to ensure that the audience understands there’s more at play here than what we see on screen. Supposedly.


So currently Meisha’s sitting alone in her shack trying to come to terms with her powers which she got from the radiation off of her dad’s unfinished secret device that is rather suggestively called ‘The Conductor’. Her powers seem to be fairly limited for now despite the fact that all The Conductor ever seems to do is blast radiation about the place. She can sometimes see things in terms of radiation, very Matrix (1999) like, so can pick out devices such as phones and monitors easily, even when they’re hidden. If she concentrates, Meisha can also intuitively see what messages or information is displayed on people’s devices meaning that she’s basically just a one-person version of GCHQ, or Google, or Facebook.


Bursting onto the scene, as this is a one room, one scene screenplay, comes Dhruv (Sharma), Meisha’s best friend. He is there to warn her against meeting her absent father’s arch-nemesis, Rakshit (Yadav) because he thinks, you know, that it’s probably not a good idea. Inevitably Rakshit does also enter the scene and reveals himself to be the dirty scoundrel we already knew him to be until a moment of becoming befalls our reluctant hero as more backstory is revealed and the promise of a future quest is hung off the edge of a cliff (or in this case hidden in the mountains of Kathmandu).


Fidelity starts off with a nice noir feel to it, showing off moody lighting and an even moodier characterisation of Meisha from Snower Sania Vasuder. The customary budget VFX throw a bit of intrigue into the situation, especially because they’re used sparingly and effectively, and the rest of the production crew seem to know their jobs pretty well. There’s some deep and searching music from Deepak Gupta, a great sense of visual continuity from DoP, Furkan Ali and a full commitment from the actors to their character archetypes, even though Meisha’s whining does get a bit much towards the end.


The acting on the whole though, is actually pretty naff and the no-action action sequences, where two people touch and one falls over, don’t serve the story well at all. There is never a suspension of disbelief attained from watching Fidelity as it feels at all times like it’s desperately yearning to be something bigger than it is. Sadly though, it only ever feels like you’re watching low budget, independent Indian film.


There’s too much of what could be and not enough of what is in Fidelity. As a twenty minute chamber piece it works fairly well but the superhero science is flimsy and the story threads don’t bear pulling on, meaning that a longer, more in-depth adventure with Meisha just wouldn’t be worthwhile. As it stands Fidelity is a decent idea, ably executed but realistically, despite the skill of its crew, it’s not likely to ever be any more than that.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film, World Cinema
bottom of page