Did you know that the finest Charas in the world is grown in the foothills of Manali? I bet you don’t. Well even I did not know this till I watched Manala Dreams. But then, the short film in discussion is not just about this and goes on to enlighten us about the more serious and the less spoken issue of substance abuse among the youth. Manala Dreams by Animesh Singh chronicles the life of a college goer Shashank who finds himself entangled in the pernicious vices of doping, coking, smoking up and what not.
USP of this short film lies in its very subject which is presented with the right mix of friendship, vellapanti at college, betrayal, et al. The actor who plays the protagonist tries to keep up with the audacity and boldness that his role calls for. If you don’t think the same then let me tell you that playing a drug addict (without actually being one, presumed) is as easy as deriving the nth number of the Pascal’s triangle .
Cinematography of the movie simply stands out as much as the background score does albeit the fact that it tends to get a bit ‘no-so-subtle’ at a place or two. The Editing and CG work (the way the title card is styled and lots more) is outstanding and on a whole, it won’t be wrong to say that the director has done a great job given the limited availability of resources, expertise and the fact that this was his first film.The production team comprised of Sujoy Kumar Paul, Animesh Singh and Priyadarshi Debashis Satapathy.
About the Film-maker
Animesh Singh is a Bhubaneswar based law graduate who attended Symbiosis Law School, Pune. This was when and where, he was enthralled by cinema as well as the issue of substance abuse by college goers and went on to make his first film.
Manala Dreams has been screened at various national fests including the Bring your Own Film Festival, Puri where it garnered critical acclaim and accolades.