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Thoughts on Short Film Wind

Posted on the 25 April 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Wind

Director: Manikandan

Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Simhaa

Rating: ****

Much before Vijay Sethupathi turned into an overnight star; he had featured in several impressive short films that may have not earned prominence. One out of the many such short films is “Wind” by Manikandan, who’s currently directing Tamil film “Kaka Muttai”. This 30-minute short, which uses just two characters, intelligently touches upon themes such as life, death, past and future in the most subtle manner.

Set in a forsaken place, a young police officer, played by Vijay Sethupathi, is assigned the job of looking after the body of a young man (Simhaa) who has committed suicide by hanging himself to the tree. As Vijay waits patiently for backup, a strange camaraderie is developed between him and the body.

Even with very limited dialogues and characters, “Wind” offers so much more than many full-length feature films. How could you possibly create room for interaction between a corpse and a human being? Director Manikandan shows us precisely how it’s possible to build a situation wherein you can actually build a bizarre relationship between the living and the dead. The character of the policeman is apt to the story because cops usually see more dead bodies than any of us as part of their job. From road accidents to homicides, dead bodies are very common in their lives. In some circumstances, they spend more time with a dead body than any of us and during that period, do they feel anything besides sympathy? This short film explores that feeling from a perspective probably no film (feature as well as short film) has attempted in the past.

The film opens with a picturesque shot of the landscape it is shot in, panning through the vast vegetation surrounding the crime scene. As this scene fades out, the camera moves in on the hanging dead body, indicating that we enter and exit this beautiful world alone. The empty landscape with hardly any human movement could possibly refer to the loneliness of the dead man.

A mobile phone features as an important character bridging the gap between Vijay and Simhaa. While the former is curious to know the latter’s reason for suicide, it is through the mobile he learns more about the dead man. But the director’s intention of using the mobile is to highlight the distance between the dead man and his girlfriend and to prove how much we rely on technology instead of talking face to face. It is revealed through a series of SMSes that hours before Simhaa committed suicide; he had an altercation with his girlfriend.

Rajesh Murugesan’s music, Alphonse Puthren’s editing and Manikandan’s cinematography are top notch. Mani’s use of long shots, capturing the most random frames for the first few minutes of the film is captivating.

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