Jan 14, 2022

Short Story that made a big impact

A short story left me speechless and full of thoughts today. I'm talking about "Loners", a story which is part of Amazon Prime's Putham Puthu Kaalai Vidiyaadha anthology series, written and directed by Halitha Shameem.

Why this story made such an impact on me?
For starters, it is a beautiful dialogue between two strangers, who felt comfortable opening up to each other.

As the title card "Loners" rolls, the next frame shows the picture of a huge apartment complex. What a perfect portrayal of irony!

Nalla, played by Lijomol Jose is so expressive in her thoughts and words. Yet, she is part of a Zoom session titled "Loners in lockdown".

She meets Dheeran, with the nickname SkyGazer in a virtual wedding ceremony and again, in the Loners meetup.

The gentle nod Nalla and SkyGazer exchange in their second virtual meetup is such a cute start to their friendship.

Though Skygazer lives in a gorgeous sea facing home and a comfortable WFH IT job, he is still in a lockdown - locked down by the guilt of not been able to connect with his friend in his last moments.

Nalla and Skygazer's meetup in the grocery store is such a lovely scene. Nalla's thoughtful gesture of bringing certain things to Skygazer -  shows the level of deep listening and empathy she had developed for him over a few virtual conversations.

Their conversations cover a wide range of topics and they are so comfortable, being vulnerable and authentic - be it Nalla's anger towards productivity chasing people amidst the pandemic or Skygazer's personal turmoil after his friend's sudden demise.

A special mention for superb dialogues -
"The introvert in me is partying"
"We exchange energies"
"We are not attention seekers. We are connection seekers"
"We look into our own souls. We go on a soul tour"
"Cheers to the woman who is making my blues beautiful"
"You have lots of love that nobody needs"

I'm so glad that their relationship didn't turn out to be a romantic one at the end of the story.

I'd have been happier, had this been a full length feature movie of 2.5 hours. Would have loved to see how their relationship and connection evolves. Nevertheless, the 30-min in itself felt so meaningful.

Hats off to Halitha Shameem yet again for creating beautiful, meaningful cinema. Loved all her stories in Sillukaruppatti.

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