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Short Film Review: Sight (2023) by Hariom Mehta

Sight by Hariom Mehta
"The eyes see all"

The concept of eyesight and blindness has been one that has been briefly in cinema, usually through horror or action movies. also uses it in his 10-minute short, in order to make a complicated comment through a crime approach.

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The film begins in black and white, with a woman making a sort of bread, under the sound of some subtle music. The clanging sound of something begins a transition that eventually has us looking at a man with a white shirt, towering above the crowd, looking straight at the camera, while a rather deep voice narrates about the concept of watching. Next, a news broadcast informs of multiple murders in the city, cautioning people to be careful. We then see the same man, who seems to be blind, moving around with his cane. He goes into a building and hears a husband fighting with his wife, which seems to be the woman who was preparing the bread before. He knocks on the door and the husband opens, which is when he tells him that he is selling ghee.

The result is totally unexpected and even more so, what happens afterwards, which helps Mehta connect the concept of eyesight with perspective, essentially stating that what is a murderer for the public, it can be a savior for an individual. His approach also results in a comment about domestic abuse, which is more implied than presented though.

Mehta's comments and his approach towards them, through the concept of crime, is quite entertaining; however, the film suffers in other aspects. For example, the combination of black-and-white and intense shadows makes it quite difficult to discern what is going on on the screen. This is perhaps an effort to mirror blindness in some way, but it definitely does not work the way the director wanted to. Furthermore, the almost constant music becomes annoying after a fashion, while the fact that the messages and the story are communicated more through narration than visuals, is also a tick in the cons column.

The acting, on the other hand, is on a good level. as the blind man is truly imposing, equally from his looks, movement and speech, while highlights her terror as the wife nicely, while adding a very appealing sense of tension to the short.

“Sight” shows that Mehta has some interesting ideas, he just need to improve in the way he implements them cinematically. A bigger budget, that would also allow him to extend the duration of a film that suffers from its briefness, would definitely go a long way for him.

About the author

Panos Kotzathanasis

Panagiotis (Panos) Kotzathanasis is a film critic and reviewer, specialized in Asian Cinema. He is the owner and administrator of Asian Movie Pulse, one of the biggest portals dealing with Asian cinema. He is a frequent writer in Hancinema, Taste of Cinema, and his texts can be found in a number of other publications including SIRP in Estonia, Film.sk in Slovakia, Asian Dialogue in the UK, Cinefil in Japan and Filmbuff in India.

Since 2019, he cooperates with Thessaloniki Cinematheque in Greece, curating various tributes to Asian cinema. He has participated, with video recordings and text, on a number of Asian movie releases, for Spectrum, Dekanalog and Error 4444. He has taken part as an expert on the Erasmus+ program, “Asian Cinema Education”, on the Asian Cinema Education International Journalism and Film Criticism Course.

Apart from a member of FIPRESCI and the Greek Cinema Critics Association, he is also a member of NETPAC, the Hellenic Film Academy and the Online Film Critics Association.

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