Short films are wonderful. It’s an opportunity to tell a story within the limitations of a finite time frame. Within a defined boundary, it’s more of a challenge thrown across to the filmmaker to come up with a concept that pulls the rug under the viewer! Over the last few years, this genre of short film making is really making a wave out there. Every filmmaker, be it an established director or someone dabbling in film making for the first time, is coming up with their version of a short film. And it’s pretty exciting to see them shape up some of the unique ideas. Director Indranil Banerjee’s short  film ‘One Night Stand’ is one of those films which is about a unique idea. The film has 25 official selections across film festivals worldwide and has won many awards. How does the film fare then? Well, read on!

‘One Night Stand’ is literally about a one night stand between John and Amy and how things take a dark turn from thereafter. The movie begins on an interesting point where we see an obsessive John almost stalking Amy and her friends. As the story progresses, the lines between reality and dream get blurred and it becomes increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction. John and Amy, they both turn into an obsessive character in each of the story, that played juxtaposed with each other. The movie ends on a cliffhanger, letting the viewer choose their own interpretation of the film.

The film becomes interesting because as a viewer, one tries to remain invested in the plot, which constantly seesaws between reality and fiction. To be honest, it’s really difficult to pull off a psychological thriller, without a tight script and capable actors who can do justice to the script. Shot in a dark ambience, the film feels a little claustrophobic at times, especially the jarring colour and background score, specially designed to creep out the viewer. But looking at the story that the film attempts to tell, the claustrophobia is necessary, as, in a way, it tries to convey the confused state of mind of the protagonists John and Amy. It needs to be said that though the script shows enough potential, it’s the actors who aren’t able to deliver the goods. Amateurish acting and struggling with the spoken language, the actors mar the whole psychological experience of the film, which could’ve been its USP. If you can ignore the bumbling actors, the film is very riveting to watch. The cliffhanger ending ensures that you rewatch the film, just to get how it ended up like that.

Eventually, the film fails to grab attention, which’s sad because the premise on which it’s made, is really promising. Unfortunately, the end product doesn’t hold a candle to the script. 

‘One Night Stand’ (2018) – Written, edited, cinematography, sound, direction – Indranil Banerjee. Starring – Debopriya Chakraborty as Amy and Sounak Ray as John. Now streaming on MX Player


The Cinemawala Rating:2/5

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