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Image: Vivek Madan as Zuni’s brother, Divya Dutta as ‘Zuni’ and Padmini Sardesai as Zuni’s mom.

‘Zuni’ received the best film award and Divya Dutta received the Best Actress Award at the Lakecity International Film Festival (LCIFF).

‘Zuni’ is directed by Sanjay Matthew and Jyoti Bajaj.

Produced by Ravinder Jeet Dariya (Big Bat films).

The movie is winning accolades. It has been widely appreciated by the audiences and the critiques.

‘Zuni’ means the world to her mom, like any other mom whose entire life is spent in raising, nurturing and selflessly loving her child. The short movie ‘Zuni’ starts with a scene that depicts precious moments spent together by every happy family. The bonding and love are the roots of each family in the absence of which the family scatters. What holds a family together is love that a mother showers on her children by never demanding anything in return but a few words of care.

Image: Divya Dutta and Sanjay Matthew

This is the story of each family that Jyoti Bajaj the writer of the short film ‘Zuni’ wants to touch us with. The film leaves you choked and moves you to tears. A film that stays with you even after it ends.

Jyoti has scripted each scene with the clarity and objective of triggering this emotion in each person who watches this film. This clarity is again coupled with simplicity of dialogues that don’t seem overboard or loud. To take the movie through the desired journey, objective and end flawlessly is the job of the director and Sanjay Matthew as a director has well supported Jyoti in the desire to touch the audience. Both Sanjay and Jyoti are in sync as they gradually take the movie to the desired end and objective.

Image: Jyoti Bajaj and Sanjay Matthew

The movie looks spontaneous so, obviously a lot of credit goes to the director for providing that freedom to the actors to use their judgement. This can be pretty risky but Sanjay has been bold in that context.

A lot of credit for making this simple and unassuming short film goes to the producer Ravinder Jeet Dariya. In times when movie making is all about spicy and ‘masala’ stories / dialogues / scripts, making this kind of a film needs courage.

Images: Ravinder Jeet Dariya
‘Zuni’ chases and haunts you. Leaves you spellbound. Divya Dutta as ‘Zuni’ and Padmini Sardesai as Zuni’s mom are superb and engage the audience with their spontaneity that comes with a huge amount of experience and dedication towards acting. Divya and Padmini Sardesai have nailed it with their incomparable performances. Both of them have bonded immensely on screen, something that is so rare to find.

A special mention of Zuni’s brother played by Vivek Madan. He has played an adorable son whose maturity touches you.

Divya Dutta has excelled in every scene. You want to smile and cry with her. She just doesn’t give you a choice. Her emotions moves you to tears and her happiness makes you burst into laughter. Her regrets become yours too.

But, I was also speechless to see Padmini Sardesai perform so naturally without being too pompous. Her innocence humbles you and makes you wonder how can she be so much like your mom?

Zuni’s husband, played by Rakesh Kukreti has a small role to play yet comes across as an adorable husband who would do anything to see his wife happy.

Image: Rakesh Kukreti

What I found amazing about the movie is the simplicity with which the movie is shot. Timmanna Hegde as the cinematographer of the movie has captured the essence and soul of the movie with impeccable work.

Image: Timmanna Hegde

As for the editing, the movie’s flow is well maintained. It is clean without shabbily edited scenes to maintain its soul. The pauses and the silence are captured well. In this respect the background score supports the aura and the feel of the movie. It speaks for the silent scenes and completes the intention of the movie of moving you.

If this is the impact the entire team can make within few minutes, I cannot imagine what they can do if they get together to shoot a feature film. I would say it’s a movie that should be widely watched especially in days where we get so busy with our schedules without appreciating our most loved person in our life – mom, amma, mother, ammi or anything that you call her.

written by

Rashmi Malapur

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