A Symphony of Joy - Review of 'Nightingales in the Cocoon'
Praveen Giri's Short Film 'Nightingales in the Cocoon' won the Dimensions Mumbai Gold Award at the Jio MAMI Film Festival 2023
Winner of the Dimensions Mumbai Gold Award at the Jio MAMI Film Festival 2023, Praveen Giri's Nightingales in the Cocoon shows contrasting lives of Mumbai's convoluted urban sprawl and the childlike innocence that finds joy in the most unexpected of all corners. The film opens with a declaration: 'To discovering joy amidst chaos'. And discover it we do because we all know happiness can be found in simple things, but this short film reawakens that awareness, urging us to slow down and appreciate the little moments of life.
As a couple seeks to move to a new city, navigating the claustrophobic reality of shifting homes and cramped Navi Mumbai spaces, another melody emerges from the fringes. Two children, mere specks against a littered corner of the slum, stumble upon a discarded treasure: an old toy keyboard. Their fascination with this seemingly worthless object is a stark contrast to the adult preoccupation with possessions and space.
Trains hurtle by and crowds scurry across platforms and snippets of a conversation drift over the busy images of a city at work. The couple grapples with anxieties of downsizing. Their faces remain unseen, for it's not their individual story that takes center stage, but the universality of their concerns. It is a window to the shared anxieties of countless souls navigating new beginnings, leaving behind familiar clutter for uncertain futures.
Director Praveen Giri crafts a symphony of contrasts, reminding us of the stark divides within the teeming city. Skyscrapers loom over cramped slums, the frenetic rush of trains and people hurrying across platforms, juxtaposed with the children's playful exploration. As the children gather coins, one by one, for the batteries that will give the keyboard its voice, their determination becomes a captivating metaphor. They chase a simple dream, oblivious to the complexities that cloud the adult world.
The film celebrates the innocence that finds joy in the castaways of our materialistic world, reminding us that happiness doesn't reside in bigger houses or fancy possessions, but in the small moments of connection and shared experience. It shows children finding happiness in simple things amidst the "chaos" of Mumbai, like a nightingale finding its voice within the constraints of its own circumstances. It is a reminder that our pursuit of progress and desire to match the footsteps of our aspirations often comes at the cost of forgetting who we are.
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