Stories on the Next Page review: Abhishek Bannerjee, Renuka Shahane reflect on closure in Disney+Hotstar anthology
Stories On Next Page adapts into bite-sized, intimate films that are connected not just by the overarching theme of closure but also of long-held secrets
Closure is a big word. It’s heavy and complex and often long overdue. The three short films that comprise director Brinda Mitra’s micro-anthology, Stories on The Next Page (Disney+ Hotstar), approach the need for closure from three very different scenarios.
‘Balloo & Mowgli’, two siblings are dealing with grief, identity, lies and loss. Shifting easily between Bengali and English, Abhishek Bannerjee takes on the role of the mature older brother tasked with shepherding his younger, distraught sister, played a little theatrically by Ditipriya Roy, through this difficult period.
In the 10 minute long ‘Reunion’, two alumni of a college meet after decades and open up old wounds. Actors Namit Das and Bhupendra Jadawat engage in an uneasy conversation in a story that explores repentance, scars, healing and closure, and how the unthinking actions of one can impact another for a lifetime. Suvrangshu Sarkar’s editing and cinematographer Dezvyn Douglas Tinwalla’s close-ups capture the actors’ minute changes in expression and the building discomfort between the two.
Tinwalla has lensed the entire film, whereas Shweta Venkat Mathew and Prashanth Ramachandran have edited ‘Balloo & Mowgli’ and ‘Sunflower’ respectively.
Rajeshwari Sachdev and Renuka Shahane star in ‘Sunshower’, a story about choices, patience, revelations and second chances. Syed Raza also features as Neel.
Writers Brinda Mitra (also the director) and Senjuti Mahato write easy flowing dialogue that naturally switches language, from Bengali to English, between Hindi and English, depending on the characters’ milieu. Mitra takes these little short stories and adapts them to bite-sized, intimate films that are connected not just by the overarching theme of closure but also of long-held secrets, burdens and unfinished business. Each one ends with hope, and a hint that there’s more to every story.
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