People have appreciated cinema since its very inception. Be it the oldies, the black-and-whites, the hip and rad, or the sensible short one’s, films have appealed to everyone. They have soared to new heights with Internet in play. Internet has allowed the growth of a new form of films, the short films. For the millions of aspiring movie directors, who want to make their name, short films are a boon. They are jam-packed with creativity, extraordinary acting and one central idea that is made clear to the masses in less than 30 minutes. The best thing about them is that they are brief and full of substance. In this article, you will read about some of the best short films that put forth strong views. The best short films have some things in common, well what are they? Firstly, you get to see some quality acting. Secondly, they do not take much time and this is perhaps one of their best features. Sitting in front of the screen for two or three hours for a movie, is sometimes a real test of one’s patience. Short films make sure, your time is saved and you end up with the same feeling of contentment. Let us take a look at some hand-picked best short films you will might come across that will blow your mind for that wee bit.
Shefali Shah (Manju Singh) is the protagonist of Neeraj Ghaywan’s Juice, and you will see some brilliant acting in this short film. It crossed over two million views on YouTube and has become one of the best short films on YouTube since then. Shah is portraying the typical Indian housewife who is co-hosting a dinner party with her husband, Mr. Singh (played by Manish Chaudary). In keeping with the stereotypical patriarchal society of which we are a part of, this 14 minute long short film shows all the women in the kitchen, cooking for the males. The wives of the other guests are in the kitchen too, suffocating in the heat of the small kitchen room, which doesn’t have a fan in it. As Manju is stirring the wok to prevent the chicken legs from sticking at the bottom, she loses her calm and does something that slams the door on the patriarchal male-chauvinists who are sitting outside. A glass of juice and a chair among them in the most uncomfortable silence ever, is what took Manju to show her husband and other husbands how ridiculous they actually are. This is one of IMDb‘s top rated short films, getting a total of 8.9/10.
#2 That Day After Everyday
Directed by one of the top directors in Bollywood, Anurag Kashyap, That Day After Everyday is one of the very best short films ever made. With Radhika Apte as the leading lady, this short film of 21 minutes shows how the women in the Indian society are subjected to incessant eve-teasing. Kashyap has tried and succeeded in making it explicitly clear to the viewers how to overcome such situations. Overcoming fear of these eve-teasers is of utmost importance. Under the guidance of Sandhya Mridul (who plays the role of ‘Didi’), Radhika Apte, Geetanjali Thapa and Arannya Kaur fight these harassers. What is most striking about this short film is its title. That day after everyday is the day when these three girls, who have been the object of harassment and molestation, finally step up to these filthy men. This short film is a must watch for every woman out there who needs some kind of an inspiration to fight a similar situation.
Paperman is an Oscar nominated short film and has won the Academy Awards for the best animated short film of all time in 2013. It was conceptualized by John Kahrs and he has voiced the male protagonist, George. The woman, Meg, was voiced by Kari Wahlgren. Kahrs has situated this story in New York City of the 1940’s. George is an accountant who has a chance visit with Meg on the railway platform where they are both waiting for their respective trains. He gets disheartened as Meg leaves and is reckless as he sees her again from his office window. This animated short film is a romantic comedy which will never fail to put a smile on your face. It received the rating of 8.3/10 on IMDb and around 7.2 million views on YouTube. This rom-com is one of the best short films of all time.
Chutney, with over 120 million views in a year, has found its place as one of the best short films on YouTube. Starring competent actors like Tisca Chopra and Adil Hussain, and an up and rising director, Jyoti Kapur Das, this short film is unusual in a creepy sort of way. Without such brilliant actors, probably the story line couldn’t have fetched such high ratings and viewers alone. Chutney revolves around a gruesome connection between food and death. Anita, a housewife who lives in the “model town” in the outskirts of Delhi, is having a conversation with the woman who is having an affair with her husband. As they are served ‘pakodas’ with a green ‘chutney’, Rasika Dugal (the other woman) inquires about the recipe of that delicious ‘chutney’. Whereupon Anita narrates the story of their previous servant, Bhole’s death, which was actually a murder. His corpse lay in the little vegetable garden she has grown just outside her house. It is up to the viewers to decipher if the story that Anita is trying to sell to this “other” woman is just to scare her and keep her away from her husband or the truth. This stroy has some parallels with Roald Dahl’s “Lamb To The Slaughter” in which the pregnant wife kills her husband with a frozen piece of big lamb bone. She later feeds the investigating officers this same bone as they were looking for the murder weapon.
#5 The Crush
Released in 2010, The Crush is an Irish short film, directed by debut director Michael Creagh. This 15 minutes long short film is about an eight year old Irish boy, Ardal, who has a crush on his second-grade teacher, Miss Purdy. He soon gets to know that Miss Purdy is engaged to be married. He confronts her fiance for a challenge, a duel to be specific. In a moment of desperation, her fiance believes the gun to be real and blurts out the truth that he never really wanted to marry Miss Purdy. She breaks off the engagement and is saved from an unhappy marriage by an eight year old. It is an Oscar nominated short film and is a must-watch for everyone out there. In the beginning of the film, Miss Purdy asks all her students to look up three words, Reveal, Pretend and Love. Coincidentally, it is these three words that outline the whole film.
Sujoy Ghosh’s Ahalya is a modern take on a Hindu mythology about a woman named Ahalya. She was said to be the most beautiful woman created by Lord Brahma. She was seduced by Indra, the God of Gods, and was turned to stone by the sage Gautama, and was later resurrected by the touch of Lord Rama’s feet. In this Bengali short film, Sujoy Ghosh has twisted the story just a little to get his viewers at the edge of their seats. Indra Sen, the inspector, played by Tota Roy Chowdhury, is investigating the whereabouts of a missing person, Arjun. He comes to Mr.Sadhu’s house, played by Soumitra Chatterjee, to inquire about Arjun. He meets Ahalya, played by Radhika Apte, who is Mr.Sadhu’s wife. Apte is looking graceful and exotic in this short film. The tables turn when it is Ahalya and Mr.Sadhu who seduce and turn Indra into a stone. This is one of the best short films made, and has crossed over 12 million views on YouTube.
What happens when parents, who have subdued their fantasies and darkest desires, come across their children’s sex toys? Yes, Sonam Nair’s short film comes with an unusual story line. Two of Bollywood’s best actors star in this film, Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta, who find kinky handcuffs from their son’s room. Neena Gupta explains to her husband meaning of “50 Shades of Grey” and BDSM. They engage in role play to spice things up again. You get to see amazing acting from two senior actors of the Bollywood industry in this revolutionary short film. No where is it written that these things are taboo for parents, who wish to rekindle the dying flame of love as well as lust. This short film has bagged Jackie Shroff the Filmfare Award for Best Actor (male) in a short film and crossed over 2.5 million views on YouTube.
#8 Going Dutch
ScoopWhoop’s short film Going Dutch stars Gul Panag and Sanjay Rajoura. It is only 5 minutes long and attacks at one of the most prevalent dilemmas of the Indian society, arranged marriage. Two completely different people are made to go out on a date by their parents, because they think they are perfect for each other. Gul Panag, playing Namrata is an independent woman of the modern world, unbound and free in every sense of the term. She is made to meet Piyush, played by Sanjay Rajoura, who is progressive but has a lot of patriarchal point of views. Namrata shatters his patriarchal mindset with her feminist optimism as she pays for herself, says she likes whiskey, has an account on Tinder and at the end offers to drop Piyush on her bike. Going Dutch is one of the best short films ever made and is an eye-opener to millions in our society.
#9 Interior Cafe Night
Adhiraj Bose’s short film is set in a small cafe in Kolkata, and centers around the theme of lost love and opportunities. You see one of the greatest actors of Bollywood, Naseeruddin Shah, as the owner of the cafe who sees his long lost love, Shernaz Patel, sitting in his cafe one night. On a parallel note you see another love story in the same cafe where the girl is leaving the guy because her father got transferred. At the end, you might conclude that those two were the younger version of what really happened with Naseeruddin Shah and Shernaz Patel. He musters up the courage and finally asks her to stay back and not go to Nainital to her sister’s house. It ends on a happy note as you see the seeds of new love germinating.
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These are our hand-picked best short films for you. Do watch them all and comment.