In this brief 5-min film, the author Pandit Gaurav Gautam wants to firmly lock our attention on the content of a letter, written by celebrated Indian spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda to Swami Ramkrishnananda, and to do so he simply shows us the spiritual personality in the flesh (Amit Mahodaya), on a peaceful rock near the Lucerna Lake in Switzerland, writing the letter; a voice-over does the rest, voicing the letter’s content.

The substance of the letter revolves around the compassionate and merciful idea that everybody, even prostitutes and thieves – and especially prostitutes and thieves – can attend a religious Festival. To resume it in Vivekananda’s words: “God’s love is equal for all”. A soothing score composed by Siddharth Parashar (SM Studios) contributes to the sense of enlightenment that the letter conveys.

The narrating voice is rather professional and inspired, however the film needs better English subtitles, as the text is the whole point of the film and therefore it has to be spot on. The switching font sizes make it hard to read and the language is a bit robot-like. Moreover, as the idiom “public women (prostitutes)” is repeated rather often, a decision is strongly needed and call the poor sinners either one thing (public women) or the other (prostitutes).

”Uttarayana” is an inspired labour of love and a heartfelt homage to a spiritual personality; however, switching abruptly to a more prosaic aspect, I would like to point out to the author that this film is made of 4 things: a man, a block of paper, a pen and a voice-over. Two of these four things are inaccurate. As we are informed at the very beginning that the scene is set in 1896, a clipboard with plastic corners and a rather modern fountain pen are sticking out as a sore thumb. God is undoubtedly great but the Devil is in the details!

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On paper I am an Italian living in London, in reality I was born and bread in a popcorn bucket. I've loved cinema since I was a little child and I’ve always had a passion and interest for Asian (especially Japanese) pop culture, food and traditions, but on the cinema side, my big, first love is Hong Kong Cinema. Then - by a sort of osmosis - I have expanded my love and appreciation to the cinematography of other Asian countries. I like action, heroic bloodshed, wu-xia, Shaw Bros (even if it’s not my specialty), Anime, and also more auteur-ish movies. Anything that is good, really, but I am allergic to rom-com (unless it’s a HK rom-com, possibly featuring Andy Lau in his 20s)"