15th IDSFFK: Far Away From Spring (2023): A slow-burning, introspective drama
Dipankar Sarkar, a distinguished Indian film critic and an alumnus of the esteemed Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, provides a comprehensive analysis of the short film entitled " Far Away From Spring", made by the talented filmmaker Keshar Jyoti Das’.
Keshar Jyoti Das’ short film Far Away From Spring centers around an elderly widow sharing a home with her grandson and daughter-in-law. Despite the fact that they represent various stages of life due to their age, they share a similar sense of longing in their lives. Through their shared experiences, the characters learn to find solace and support in each other, bridging the gap between generations and reminding us of the power of human connection despite the vagaries of our existence.
The filmmaker adopts an imaginative, poetic approach to everything from the banal and ordinary to the downright mundane, through a startlingly intimate lens that keeps things frequently intriguing, occasionally electric, and all around meditative. With its vivid and evocative language, the film transports viewers into the three protagonists worlds, allowing them to experience their frustrations and fears on a deeply personal level. The slow-paced storytelling style pushes the boundaries of conventional narratives and leaves a lasting impression on the brief immersive moments that we spend with the characters.
The length of the shots is designed in such a way that it allows each character to create their own world. This unique feature adds depth and complexity to the storytelling, as it gives the characters ample space to fully immerse themselves in their emotions and thoughts. It also provides a sense of intimacy, allowing the audience to connect with the characters on a deeper level. They react to situations without sufficient ferocity but still hold our attention and provoke thought. Their speech is straightforward and simple. Their words have a raw and authentic power that resonates deeply. It serves as a poignant reminder that even the most determined individuals can be shaken by unexpected situations, forcing them to confront their own vulnerabilities and adapt to certain unexpected circumstances.
By placing images and sound tracks in perfect harmony and rhythm for this film, the editing by Keshar Jyoti Das, maintains the required unity of form and content. The cinematography by Shymal Gogoi and Ravi Shankar Das lends the film a creative and excellent visual quality that is consistently rendered. The meticulous attention to detail in the sound design by Pulak Krishna Boruah allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in the film's setting, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Performance wise, Pratibha Chowdhury as the elderly woman and Antara Chowdhury and Abhishek Narayan Sharma as the daughter-in-law and grandson, respectively, bring a sense of vulnerability and authenticity to their characters, which allows the audience to connect with the character on a deeper level and creates a riveting experience.
Far Away From Spring is not for everyone because it demands focus and patience. Those looking for simple storytelling or instant gratification may not find the complex narrative engaging. But those who are ready to invest their time will find the film a reflective and stimulating investigation of morality and human nature. It has been selected in the competition section of short films at the 15th International Documentary and Short Film Film Festival of Kerala, 2023.