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average rating is 1 out of 5


Corey Bulloch


Posted on:

Mar 19, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Sanjeeva Srivastava
Written by:
Ghantasala Saicharan
Medha Gayathri Pai, Ankit Halder, Shaswati Parihari

Sanjeeva Srivastava’s short film Triumph ends with a dedication “to scientists and clinicians across the world for the contributions to combat COVID-19”, a fine sentiment indeed. The devastation of the pandemic is something we are all grappling with through various fields; through the physical and psychological, how the world has gone through an irreversible shift as we try and make sense of our “new normal”. This is possible through the extraordinary efforts of these scientists and clinicians researching and developing treatments against COVID-19. Srivastava's intention for this film is admirable however the final product is amateurish to the point of nonsensical.


The film also ends with a title card after the dedication stating that Triumph is a dramatic representation of a true scientific discovery of COVID-19 severity screenings. It flashes up after the credits very quickly then vanishes, the modus operandi of the whole film as Srivastava’s direction and Ghantasala Saicharan's “screenplay” do absolutely nothing to explain what is happening in the film. Triumph is dead silent, with no music, dialogue or ambient sound as the camera follows Dr Srivastava through the events of this discovery. He gives a television interview, speaks on the phone, has a conference call, then coordinates with the two other clinicians in a proteomics facility. The discovery is seemingly made then the film is finished, all in under two minutes without an ounce of understanding to what happened.


Dr Srivastava, listed as a professor of proteomics at the Indian Institute of Technology makes his aim behind Triumph very clear. It is a celebration of scientific achievement and perseverance but the audience is excluded from that experience. The film has no stakes, little context, and doesn’t explain the science in any way. Dr Srivastava misses an opportunity to educate his audience, even if Triumph was intended for a more intuitive crowd within his field I still feel the same response would occur. There is a critical disconnect with Srivastava’s direction which harms the film, The process makes sense to him but he fails to have it make sense for us. What exactly has been achieved? How does this aid in fighting the pandemic? How diligent were the efforts of those who managed this discovery? Where do we go from here?


There is no human element to the film, the filmmaking is cold and disengaged towards building a story or crafting a film. This is just footage of scientists in a lab that would be better suited in a longer documentary, Triumph just feels like a snippet of a much larger story that we get very little information on.

About the Film Critic
Corey Bulloch
Corey Bulloch
Short Film
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