Indie Film of the Month : Aslam Ka Dost | Review

2014 gave us the ultimate and literal coming-of-age movie ‘Boyhood’, where Richard Linklater’s ethos of leisurely story-telling resonated with audiences across age groups and people in theatres relaxed in their recliner seats, sipped their cold drink calmly and let Linklater indulge in his narration of a localised vision of streetwise random, as he told a boy’s life story. Shivam Shankar’s short movie “Aslam ka Dost” is similarly indulgent, flowing ever so slowly between intermittent chats and culminating in an emotional apotheosis which leaves an impression. As an audience, such stories build on you, as every element in the story, right from the aesthetics to the characters are given time to develop.

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The story is of a simple cab driver and his various interactions with his passengers. The director, Shivam Shankar, sets the mood of the story right with the mellifluous rendition of ‘ Ankhiyon ke jharokhon se’ on the radio, as if a forlorn lover awaits his unrequited love. Only in this case, instead of a lover, a passenger with a wide grin hires the cab and thus starts a conversation which will make that night memorable for both of them, for better or for worse. Within 18 minutes , the story easily gets the emotions right and captures the random interaction of two strangers as their journey crosses path, albeit briefly, but significantly impacts them individually.

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Aslam ka Dost is about the mood, the setting and the unadulterated emotion of humans. It builds up to create the setting of a dark Delhi night while at the same time, allowing the audience into the lives of two people who happened to cross path that night. Kudos to the maker, Shivam Shankar who tells the story in a fluid manner even as the characters are explored through their conversations.

You can watch the short-film here:

About the Film-maker

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Hey, I am Shivam Shankar (21), A Writer, Director. I belong from a Small Town Gaya which is in Bihar. I just completed my film school in 2019 June. Right now I have shifted to Mumbai, to pursue my dream. For me, cinema is a way to express what I feel about everything because I speak less in daily life. Being a person from a very small town where you don’t get your voice to put out things you want to say, cinema gave me a medium. I wish to make more films and explore deep human emotions, complexity and even the grey areas. I have learned a lot from my failures, I want to contribute to the cinema. My biggest inspiration comes from Anurag Kashyap, who I have never met in my life but He is my Dronacharya. Haha, maybe I become his Iklavya someday.

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