Abhiroop Basu is ready with his new short film. The Kolkata boy whose previous shorts, including Laali (starring Pankaj Tripathi) and Meal (with Adil Hussain), have received praise and plaudits, now trains his directorial lens on a story “about a woman in a man’s world”.
Rhino Charge, starring powerhouse performers like Geetanjali Kulkarni, Vinod Nagpal and Shantilal Mukherjee, is a 15-minute short that was shot in Kolkata last week. The short centres on Razia (played by Kulkarni), a maid-turned-caregiver who finds herself in a precarious situation when she makes her first attempt at bathing a wheelchair-bound war veteran (Vinod Nagpal) of the Indian army, in the midst of a personal tragedy. The story is set in Calcutta against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war.
“Rhino Charge is like jhaalmuri — a mixture of many unlikely things, but when put together, it has a distinct taste and flavour. Essentially it’s a story of a Muslim woman in a man’s world, with an underlying socio-political narrative, told in the garb of a riveting, deadpan dark comedy,” says Abhiroop.
Geetanjali Kulkarni, who has credits like Gullak, Aarya 2 and Taj Mahal 1989 to her credit among others, signed on for the opportunity “to explore a relationship between a patient and a caregiver and at the same time make a socio-political statement about the times we are living i,”.
“Rhino Charge’s story appealed me. I think short films, like short stories, have a very powerful impact. Abhiroop is very talented and his energy and vigour is astonishing. His team loves cinema and that’s what stole my heart,” she adds.