Duration: 33 minutes
Story: Natkhat's world premiere took place on Tuesday as the Mumbai Film Festival's selection for We Are One, YouTube's Global Film Festival. The short film follows a doting mother wary of the influence of her machismo-obsessed family, she tries to correct the course of her child's upbringing through her bedtime stories.
Review: Starring Vidya Balan and Sanika Patel, Natkhat is a tale of caution for the ones inflicting pain, for the victims, as well as the ones watching on the sidelines. The short film, directed by Shaan Vyas, tells the story of violence against women, along with the idea of what goes around comes around. Vyas also shows, how it is time for everyone to realise that one can only reap what they sow, which is also how it works with kids in our society. The future of our society depends on what we teach our kids today.
Vidya Balan As The Doting Mother
The short film starts with a glimpse of how things work right now. We see kids playing around in a field, when one eavesdrops on a group of teenagers talking about abducting girls. He then follows them to see what happens. At school, when a girl threatens to hit a boy for pulling her hair, he plans to do the same with her. The idea of young boys learning to abduct a girl to scare her and teach her a lesson sounds like fiction, but it's only a version of the truth that prevails in our society.
As if nothing happened, the boy then goes home to his mother, the ghoonghat clad bahu of the house. While at the dinner table, as the men in the family talk about having to deal with women at work, the youngest in the family gives the advice to just abduct her!
While it stops the mother in her tracks, the men in the family brush off the behaviour as 'boys will be boys'.
Sanika Patel As The Brat
The mother then takes it upon herself to right the wrong. As a victim herself, she sets out to teach her kid a lesson, introducing him to the hard truth through a bedtime story. She teaches him that his acts affect others and will not go unpunished.
Vidya Balan as the mother and Sanika Patel, who plays the young boy Sonu, have presented their character with conviction and much care, as to not raise the wrong questions.
Natkhat Is Directed By Shaan Vyas
The story Shaan Vyas presents is not new but the way he does it is hard-hitting and a necessity, with everything that is going around in the world. He also makes it a point to present a solution, while most films only address the issue.
Vyas shows that with conviction and passion one can start to change things slowly by stepping up and taking a stand, because nobody will do it if you won't. Only with efforts will the desired change see the light of day.
Overall, Natkhat (The Brat) will leave you impressed with the filmmaker, and question what you have done to make things right at your end.