An old man loses his memory, after which he retires from a lifetime of labour. A simple lesson on deep-rooted patriarchy is told through the tale of young siblings at the dining table. In a similar setting, new wife mounts a minor act of rebellion against her patronising husband.
Alex, a virtual assistant, is the only friend and confidant of a 60-something widow. A globe-trotting husband knows how the world works but is clueless about his wife. A coconut plucker toils all day to afford little pleasures of life.
These six snapshots, all slice of life tales of everyday mutinies, resentments, resignations, defeats and joys form the narrative of Ajay Govind’s recently released anthology short film ‘Jump Cuts’.
A filmmaker based in Dehradun, whose last project featured singer Sona Mohapatra, ‘Jump Cuts’ is Ajay’s first full-fledged foray in Malayalam, his mother tongue.
While each chapter is standalone, all stories in the 16-minute short film are tied to one another with implicit themes of age and gender served under a common motif of food.
“Broadly speaking, a jump cut in a film is used to elicit a response and emotion with a sudden change or distortion. It is meant to make the audience notice something. We have used a similar trope to highlight a few ingrained and unfair norms in society.
The inclusion of food in the story arcs was not a conscious choice but it is so universal and commonplace. Most familial conversations centre around food, so it is important to understand cultural conditioning through consumption,” says Ajay who owns a production house called Sisyphus Rocks Films.
The distortion from the norm that each narrative elucidates is also evident in the glitch animation of the story titles at the end of each chapter. Most of the cast is new actors but a few familiar faces greet the viewers. Achuthanandan of Maheshinte Prathikaram fame portrays the character of an insensitive husband while Ajay Shanker of Hindi film Parmaanu and Devika Bhaagi of Virus also star in crucial roles.
The crew comprises cinematographer Tanweer Ahmed, editor Krishnaprasad K and music director Nitin Krishna Menon. The title shots were designed by Akshay Madan. Apart from Ajay, Sharmila Nair and Kumar Bharti funded the project.You can watch ‘Jump Cuts’ on the YouTube channel ‘Humaramovie’.
‘Jump Cuts’ recently won an award in the best dramatic short category at the Art is Alive Film Festival in Wisconsin, US. It has also been screened at the Chennai International Short Film Festival, the New Delhi Film Festival and Filmingo International Short Film Festival.