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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 



Drishtti, Review: Reflections in a crystal ball

Drishtti, Review: Reflections in a crystal ball

Mugdha Veira Godse, a popular model and Hindi film actor, has turned producer (co-producer, to be accurate) with the short film, Drishtti (stylised from Drishti, meaning vision) which is streaming on Hungama Play from 30 March. It is the story of a crystal ball gazer (Mugdha Godse) who has the gift of analysing personalities and traits, and predicting the future, albeit partially.

A journalist called Naina comes to interview her. During the conversation, the clairvoyant confesses that she gets visions only occasionally, and lies rest of the time. Even when she does get visions, she is forced to lie, for the awareness of the past, present and future of her clients is a dangerous predicament. She also reveals that she grew-up as an orphan and was raised by an aunt who had the same gift. The aunt too has passed away. Soon, the meeting triggers off waves and currents that lead to an end in which the soothsayer and her interviewer will find themselves on a path that brings the past into the future.  

Priyadarshee Srivastava’s script has a few good pegs, like the scene wherein the woman throws spoons at Naina and the one in which Naina is about to speak the three-letter word but stops at s.  Director Jass Khera (debut) handles the subject well and succeeds in maintaining an air of ominous foreboding. He makes judicious use of music and movement in the restricted space. Besides, he puts in a Hitchcockian cameo as the young heroine’s boy-friend. But the story is too thin to make your 16 minutes rewarding. In the end, there is very little to say, even for the short duration.

Mugdha Veira Godse (Fashion, Jail, All the Best: The Fun Begins), who describes herself as an “artist, lover, patriot, Ashtanga yoga practitioner and actor (Indian Film Industry),” has done well, as has TV actress, dressed as a gypsy and undergoing intense internal turmoil. Umang M. Jain plays the reporter in character, and her wide-eyes reflect the bewilderment she faces as she experiences unimaginable phenomena.

Original music score by Abhishek Mishra is an asset, as is the re-recording by veteran Hitendra Ghosh. Editor Aditya Joshi integrates flashes with seamless transition. Cinematographer Achyutanand Dwivedi has done a good job overall, although there are some jerky movements with the hand-held camera and some issues of haze in shots featuring Umang.

Drishtii is slickly made but offers only limited vision. It’s a short film alright, but it still had to include substantive cinematic content.

Rating: ** ½

YouTube Link to the film:

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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