MUMBAI — Neeraj Pandey’s 14-minute-and-nine-second-long short film “Ouch” stars Manoj Bajpayee and Pooja Chopra. The satirical film may be unnecessarily replete with the F*** word and the Hindi expletive B******, which we hope does not become a habit with Pandey in the future, but we think that the ace and truly versatile filmmaker has deliberately used such language (for the very first time after five acclaimed hit films!), first to satirically show that one can capitalize on the freedom of the web film medium, and two, to prove that such things make simple but message-oriented films that relate more to the youth!
Vinay (Bajpayee) and Priya (Chopra) meet in a five-star hotel for a romantic rendezvous again. Colleagues in the same office, they both have spouses and children, and, on the fateful day, it is ‘Makarsankrati,’ the Hindu kite-flying festival, and their “third anniversary.” Vinay and Priya have decided to spill the beans to their respective spouses and divorce them so that they can legalize their love.
And while Vinay has come after telling his wife Anjali and receiving a blow on his forehead with her frying pan (he thanks providence that it had not been on the stove!), Priya has not been able to confess to her husband, Rakesh. The piquant situation takes off from there, and the story of the suitcase is the final ironic twist.
2016 has been a great year for Pandey and his producer and partner Shital Bhatia of Friday Filmworks. Their production “Rustom” was a huge hit, and their next, written and directed by Pandey, “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story,” was even bigger. “Ouch” is the final icing on this two-layered cake!
“Ouch” premiered at the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, and the general feedback was that the audience wants more such short films from the master filmmaker (“A Wednesday!,” “Special 26,” “Baby”) who is now bent on showing his versatility and grip on all genres.
Pandey said: “‘Ouch!” is an amalgam of emotions and feelings. As the story unfolds, it is interesting to see what a man and woman who are having an affair outside of their marriages do, or not do, to be with each other. I approached the story with a contemporary Indian outlook, and the way Manoj and Pooja have brought the sentiments alive through their characters is commendable.
“As a filmmaker, it is very important to be able to showcase your work freely, and I believe Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films is a great platform that lets you be as creative as possible.”
Chopra said: “To work with Neeraj Pandey had been a wish I had been living with for a while now, as I was to work with him on 'Baby,' but, somehow that did not fall into place at the eleventh hour. There was no way I would have missed out on this one. I've always admired his body of work, and, now, after working with him, my respect and admiration for him as a filmmaker and more so as a person has grown even more.”
Watch Neeraj Pandey’s short film “Ouch”: