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Short Film Review: Anu (2023) by Pulkit Aora

"You just enjoy the sights and plan you r new life"

Right when we though that quarantine films were a thing of the past, a recent surge has come to remind us that the impact of Covid is still inspiring filmmakers. comes up with his own with “”, one though, that definitely stands at the top of the category.

The movie begins with a middle-aged woman arriving in a hotel room, where she receives a voice mail from her niece, about an upcoming Pind Daan ceremony, which she will stream on Zoom for her. It turns out that she is in New Zealand and seems like she is in quarantine. The next call is from her son, who calms her down about her worries on food, and the next from her husband, who tells her about preparing a meal, while she has turned in to sleep. The view from the window is nice, but the only thing that breaks her routine are the meals that are delivered to her door in paper bags, and the voice mails she gets on her phone, none of which she picks up. One of them, by her niece, informs her that the lockdown has also started in New Delhi and the priest is declining the ceremony. When her son declines doing it on her own, she decides to have a DIY version herself, by watching a video on YouTube. The preparation, mostly involving preparing rice in a specific way, under the instructions of the video instructor, take up the rest of the short.

Pulkit Aora cleverly directs a very appealing short, which starts with a sense of disorientation about what is happening before gradually revealing the circumstances of the protagonist. Furthermore, the way Aora implements tension in his narrative, which grows as time passes until the wetting scene is impressive, with the overall pacing of the 12-minutes short emerging as one of its best traits, with editors Lisa Grienfield and Jolin Lee doing an overall great job on this aspect.

Check also this interview

The protagonist does not speak at all, but is quite eloquent in portraying her sentiments, with the director adding to them through another very smart “trick”, by having the mail voices heard throughout the movie and her reacting to them. The combination works rather well, also due 's imposing acting in the role, which also finds its apogee in the aforementioned scene. Her need for closure in some way, particularly through the implementation of the specific ritual also results in a comment about how people cope with grief, in the subtle fashion that dominates the whole movie actually.

Adam Luxton's cinematography is also on a very high level, with him making the most of the rather cramped hotel room, with the window functioning as a very appealing source of light and relief actually.

“Anu” is a very appealing “slice-of-life” movie which manages to shed light to a moment in a person's life in the most entertaining fashion.

About the author

Panos Kotzathanasis

My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia.

Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute.

In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres.

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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