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First, the Recap:
The family dynamic. It is a concept normally reserved for what we would see as the prototypical relationships witnessed between husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings, or relatives. However, what if one such bond existed where no one would expect, or in most cases, even condone? For one man (Parimal Aloke) and woman (Nayani Dixit), the physical aspects of their relationship are a given, sought after and explored freely. But, there is also the other aspect of their union that remains a challenge–it is an extramarital affair.
Having to maintain a high level of secrecy and seclusion to carry on their dalliances, one thing has developed perhaps neither of them expected–sincere, genuine connection. Reaching a stage of simply relishing the chance to be together and talk things out, it becomes a cathartic release for each of them, suddenly able to share candidly about the troubled state of their respective home lives and the elements that have transpired that has driven them to the decisions made and find solace in a totally healing way amidst an ill-advised means.
Next, my Mind:
The first thing to keep in mind, at least for this reviewer, when viewing director/co-producer/actor Aloke’s 33-minute short film is that it isn’t in itself presented to support or encourage people having extramarital affairs, but rather to paint an honest, real, stirringly relevant image of the depth of desperately sought after interdependence two lonely souls can seek then discover in the most surprising and unforeseen places. While the physical actions they experience serve a “need”, the more active, energetic, and meaningful perspectives come from their straightforward conversations that provide more impactful insight, sense of understanding, and worth they sadly aren’t experiencing in their current marriages. The power of this is quite tangible and moving, again despite an affair not being the actual best avenue for their familial issues to be sorted out. Yet, somehow, they’ve managed to find that sense of family they both long for. Additionally, the one-setting locale via the room they meet in creates the perfect, intimate atmosphere the narrative transpires within.
Aloke tackles the role of the Man here with a well-enacted, intentionally minimized performance that does allow us to see he’s very much someone who values the sanctity of a loving, supportive, and affirming relationship, but hasn’t been able to fulfill that within the confines of his current marriage. The way he interacts with and treats his paramour is playful, heartfelt, and relaxed, even when exposing some of his most intimate thoughts about where things stand at home, even as his paranoia about being caught also dominates his mind. Dixit’s rendition of the Woman is also quite fantastic, as like the Man, she is only trying to obtain the satisfaction, acceptance, love, and sense of worth that well transcends physicality into the arena of the heart and how she desires to be cherished. Likewise, her treatment and actions towards the Man illustrates such a fun, innocent, and endearing intent, even she finds her own consolation and comfort from a harried life.
In total, “Shanivaar Ko Do Baje”, based on the play from renowned Hindi author Surendra Verma, stands as a testament to this journey we call life and what it is that we seek out as human beings to satisfy our needs. While this would also certainly be considered a somewhat cautionary tale about extramarital affairs, their inherent dangers, and potential ramifications, look beyond that facet to see the heart of connection, love, need for acceptance, longing to be needed, and even the striving for basic yet significant communication as the foundations for this indie effort.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!