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Step Out Review: Neha Dhupia Steps Out As A Director In This Short Film; A Laudable Effort To Tell A Sincere Story

Neha Dhupia’s 11-minute short film Step Out is a sincere story about how the last year has affected our domestic relationships. Read the review of the film below

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Step Out Review: Neha Dhupia Steps Out As A Director In This Short Film; A Laudable Effort To Tell A Sincere Story

The  lockdown and its aftermath has created a cinema  of trauma.Some of it like Adam Mason’s  American film Songbird is purely exploitative. On the other hand, the Fahad Faazil film C U Soon in Malayalam  used the lockdown scenario  of  bleak digitalism to telling, chilling effect.

Neha Dhupia’s 11-minute film is not short of integrity. It is a sincere if somewhat selfconscious  little story about an  on onging interaction between  a psychiatrist played by Neha Dhupia(who also  co-produces the slim novella on  film) and her  visibly hyper young  patient, played with  a watch-me-if-you-can forcefulness by Dev Dutt.

As the two converse  on  video call  , a rather harrowing  narrative of lockdown pressures unfolds and somewhere  during those ten minutes  the onus of  opening up wounds that are  never going to heal even after the Virus is  vanquished,  falls on the psychiatrist as she  reveals herself to be as much a victim of domestic abuse her patient.

One nagging question that kind of coloured my interest  in the  film was, how does  the jobless aimless boy afford these  therapy sessions, unless  his shrink is doing it  for free?

Neha  Dhupia, always an  underrated actor, holds the camera well from her stationary situation in the plot. The movement is entirely emotional, never physical.The camera never gets fidgety. It allows the two  protagonists to  probe  each other’s hurt in repose.  

Though the plot is a bit heavy-handed for a short film, director Hridaye Nagpal keep the narrative  in the brisk mode with shots  of  a bloody basin and the sound of  of  whiskey being poured intervening  to  keep us  from getting bored.

Step   Out is  a laudable effort to tell a sincere story about how the last year has affected  our domestic relationships. It’s a story that needed  to be told. And  I am glad  Neha Dhupia is telling it.

Image source: IMDb
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