Subhash K Jha Reviews Yash Raj’s New Short Film Featuring Nimrat Kaur

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The Road TripYash Raj’s Short Film The Road Trip Has A Stunning Twist Mid-Way

If the short-film format is here to stay, then the minds cooking up content for these  instant experiences must think of human experiences that transcend the short-film format and leap into longevity by dint of their creative acumen.

This is what Yash Raj Films’ The Road Trip,  Y-Films’s first short film in a series entitled Love Shots, attempts and succeeds in doing. It features the very beautiful Nimrat Kaur (looking much lovelier here than she did in her two full-length feature films so far) and Tahir RajBhasin as a couple Nikhil and Arshi, bickering benignly to the beats of drums and bass on a Pune highway where their car has broken down.

The bass and drum refrain is important, as it comes back to haunt the plot towards the end reminding us that music can be the food of love and the fodder of the devil.

Arshi and Nikhil’s conversation is scattered with references to people and situations we don’t really know first hand but can easily guess at for what they are: there is a reference to a girl who had a crush on Nikhil once and boy, Arshi knew it all along, Arshi’s cousin who is a not so welcome regular visitor at the couple’s, and yes, a watch that has stopped working.

No part of the couple’s argumentative chat suggests anything amiss. But there is something awfully wrong. And we soon get to know what it is.

Once the truth about Nikhil and Arshi’s roadside breakdown is revealed we  rewind to their conversation to check for signs of love and togetherness that the silly arguments hides.

The Road Trip is a deceptively disingenuous piece of drama. In brief, it tells it all. It seems to be a rom-com mooded take on a modern marriage where the couple speaks in hashtags. It then blends seamlessly into a take on love mortality and commitment. What disturbed me more than the sense of foreboding built into the couple’s sniping swipes was how lovely Nirmat looked. A woman who has driven through a Pune highway for hours and is now stranded at the roadside can’t look that good unless…unless…she has done something to herself that takes the makeup to another level.

This is provocative little piece with a corkscrew twist well played out by the lead. While Nimrat is definitely in a  scenestealing mood here, Tahir Raj Bhasin holds his own giving Nimrat the right cues to shine, just like he did with Rani Mukherjee in his striking debut film.  I wonder why we haven’t see him since Mardaani.

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