Bench – Three characters, one setting, and silent reminiscence of the past with uncertainty of the future.
When you hear a short film is named Bench, your initial reaction would be to think that the story is going to revolve around it and well, you aren’t wrong. The 12-minute short film directed by Usman Mukhtar starring Usman himself, Rubya Chaudhry, and Iman Shahid is the epitome of good film work. It is able to completely capture the interest of the viewer who is totally engaged in the intensity of the play and the chemistry shared by the two characters as they embark on a new venture.
Bench has also been selected for the Cannes International Independent Film Festival. It has also won an award at the South Shore Film Festival in New York in July 2021. We finally saw it after it was streamed on YouTube. Here is what we think:
Ah well where shall we begin. On the surface, it seems like a simple story but with each second the complexity entangles the viewer as they get completely engrossed in the electrifying exchange of words of these two characters who are totally in love. yet so distant towards each other. The concept is not new, a married couple who has decided to part ways because of their differences but the way the story is articulated is beyond brilliant. The writer Ali Mudar has penned it all down beautifully and the dialogues by Anser Soomro are mesmerizing.
There is a past, undeniable love, bitter memories, and unforgettable moments that the two central characters have lived together. The chemistry and tension between them are visible to the onlookers. The jabbing remarks, the sharing of habits, (and somehow being accountable for the bad ones) and complete insight into each other’s personality is a signature representation of a couple that has decided to part ways yet, hold the same place in each other’s hearts that they held the first time they met.
The Sound Track
Bench has a soft and subtle soundtrack that perfectly compliments the tone of the short film. It also has Bengali lyrics by Rabindranath Togore and is a treat to hear!
The Cliff Hanger
The short film ends with Rubya Chaudhry’s character sitting in her car with a smile enveloping her face; a moment that will allow you to weave your own story and perhaps leave you smiling as well.
It surely is a must-watch and a treat to all Usman Mukhar fans and all those who appreciate art, and a shout out to all the cast and crew involved!