A satire on the cultural bans in India.
Written By: Vikkramm Chandirramani
Directed By: Vikkramm Chandirramani
You've put your blood, sweat, tears and money into an independent short film. Your vision... no no... your idea of entertainment all seems to hinge on the approval of a complete stranger. Did the joke shine through? Was it put together well enough? These things seem so important at first yet one must ask: Why? Does it really matter if a random person you've never met approves of your project? It would if you lived in India. The individual or small percent must approve most everything; generally followed by a money-grab, in the form of licensing for what should, at times be basic things. This is where "Screwdriver" steps in with a comedic take on a crazy situation. Fictional? Of course it is! Do you think the director is crazy?
Starting out with a series of unfortunate events, director Vikkramm Chandirramani then spirals us to the height of ridiculousness, while at the same time reminding the people that individuality has gone the way of the doe-doe, and something as simple as a basic tool can cause a complete change of life. That's the joke of "Screwdriver", but hiding just under the joke itself lies a not so funny truth.
Technically, it seems the aim of this short film is to move along at a break-neck pace. The story itself is mainly told through television news broadcasts, spread out over an implied long stretch of time. The connective wraparound involves a man who simply wants to fix his motorcycle! It's really an ingenious set-up and for the most part works well. For me however, the starting segment really had no bearing on the actual story... once it was put into play. It almost felt like "Screwdriver" tried to jam in a "sub-joke" as an intro to the film, before switching gears to the "screwing" aspects of the movie. This long-ish intro really wasn't needed and should have been left out; or shortened considerably. Introducing characters that are not story relevant just slows the pace and confuses viewers. While watching the entire film, I waited to see how "Goldie" would fit into the overall story. As it turns out... not really at all. Don't get me wrong, the intro segment was actually quite funny... it just really had nothing to do with the story, and thus ended up giving "Screwdriver" a slight lag.
The only other aspect that kept picking at my brain was the coloring of the film itself. The wraparound was very low contrast, almost flat looking. That in itself was fine, a bold artistic choice that actually worked for the film. It's the news segments, making up a whole lot of the movie, that had me scratching my head. They were all high contrasted, very... very colorful shots. Basically, they all stood out like a sore thumb! The idea of a color grade is to connect the various shots/scenes in a film. In this case, the opposite was done.
Here's the thing. I actually really enjoyed the tongue in cheek comedy "Screwdriver" presents. Although sub-titled, the overall joke comes through loud and clear. I simply feel that this short film would have been better minus the second, shorter story line. Taking the two segments and making two separate films would be a great idea! What I really love about this title however, is the sarcastic narrative that pokes fun, while at the same time drawing eyes to a serious issue. All in all, I rather enjoyed my time spent watching. A refreshing offering from the indie community.
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