Roads Of Ithriyah
Feb 13, 2022
Javier Badillo, Shayan Bayat
Shayan Bayat, Priya M Konoor, Mitra Lohrasb
In the opening sequence of the short film, the black background has connotations of a dark future. The white subtitles suggest a light of hope and peace for the people of Syria. The narrator remembers his childhood and the special effects showing a candle, a child adds to what the filmmaker is trying to establish at the very start of the film. The dried petals has connotation of the citizens of the country suffering due to the ongoing civil war. The blasts, blood-shed and various killings indicate the amount of disruption, unrest, sadness, and pain Syria is going through daily. The flickering of the title as it appears onscreen signifies the uncertainty a war situation brings with it.
The plot of the movie revolves around a Middle Eastern militant who wakes up in the Syrian barren lands. A lone survivor of an IED explosion, he struggles to survive in extreme conditions. Will he be able to battle the war situation as well as natural hazards imposed by the surroundings? The short film switches between the 2014 central Syria war zone and 2019 Vancouver Canada which showcases two different phases of the life of the protagonist.
Conflict and Drama are two major elements a particular cinematic piece is driven by. The director Javier Badillo and the DOP Jay Kamal uses both the elements effectively for the building and movement of the narrative so that it emotionally connects with the audience. Jay Kamal captures the location so elegantly that it highlights the fascinating landscapes of Syria and also the crisis, the tension endured by the Middle Eastern country.
The short film teaches us the importance of memories, inner voice, family, sibling bond, rituals, habits, and customs when it comes to the modes of survival in a tough situation. The small fire pit gives the central character warmth and hope that he will come out of the present circumstances and meet up with his loved ones and not die alone like the rest of the people in the desert. The film also reminds the audience of the mantra- "The survival of the fittest."
The construction of the character arc of each cast member in the storyline is well done. The presence of the actors in the scenes contributes equally so that the viewers can better understand what the tale is trying to communicate. The short film raises the issue of the state of women in Syria, the rate of unemployment, the need to get married especially for women.
The special effects, sound effects, costume, and makeup departments together coupled with the expressions on the face of the actor have managed to make the viewers believe in the war zone and the individual hardships each person involved in the plot is experiencing. It also assists in displaying the emotional turmoil the central character is feeling. The various sounds and dubbing techniques used by the creative team create the sync between what is visible on the screen and the sound. This gives the audience an exceptional audio-visual illusion.