Prataya Saha is one of those few directors whose films don’t need too many dialogues to send across a hard-hitting message. Powerful storytelling, crisp editing, and a thought-provoking issue is what drives his latest short film — Just Another Day.
The film explores the hushed up reality of domestic abuse, and how society is mostly apathetic to such experiences, a fact that is reinforced in the film’s title. The story unfolds slowly, drawing us in — one distressing pulse at a time — compeling us to go on. Anshulika Kapoor fleshes out with ease, the role of a newly-separated 40-something Anjali, who’s trying hard to carry on with the mundanities of daily life, but is internally dealing with an agonising amount of trauma.
In a short time frame of 10 minutes, the film skilfully navigates an emotional intensity that moves from dark and depressive to hopeful and positive. The internet comes forth as an important character, reminding us of moments when absolute strangers showed us a silver lining as we struggled with isolation and uncertainty.
About gravitating back to the sensitive issue of suicidal thoughts (previously dealt with in The Good Wife), Prataya says, “Growing up in the 90s, where the environment was different, I’ve seen how women have been treated differently than men around me; this had always questioned my inquisitive heart, and growing up, it has permeated my art. That’s the reason most of my films border realism as the characters can be similar to someone in your family, your neighbour or your colleague.”
It’s no surprise that Just Another Day won the award for the Best Short Film on Women at the Indo French International Film Festival and two awards for the Best Actress as well as the Best Drama Short Film at the Thessaloniki Free Short Festival in Greece. The short film is still doing rounds in various international film circuits.