What’s the story about?
Sunil (Lakshya Kochhar) falls in love with Beauty (Parul Gulati), and during their courtship, he confesses to her that he’s a divorcee. Despite all this, Beauty ends up getting married to Sunil, and when he brings her home, the couple is greeted by Sunil’s close friend Qasim (Abhishek Banerjee). However, the seemingly perfect relationship goes through a lot of turbulence as Sunil begins to feel insecure about his wife when he’s repeatedly told that she’s too good for him.
The casting is spot on, and all the three actors, Lakshya Kocchar, Abhishek Banerjee, and Parul Gulati fit into their characters extremely well. Among the three, it’s Abhishek Banerjee who steals the limelight with his performance as he treads a fine line where his character, Qasim, comes across as both suspicious and also sympathetic. Lakshya Kocchar is well cast in the role and Parul Gulati also makes a good impression.
The underlying theme of the short film, directed by Navjot Gulati, is that insecurities are a bane, especially in a relationship, and that if you aren’t honest with your partners, it can often lead to untoward consequences. Navjot, who also wrote the short film, takes you by surprise with how effortlessly he sucks the viewers into the world that he’s created for this short film. The lead character, Sunil works in a mobile shop, and him marrying a beautiful young woman becomes a topic of discussion at work. And the more interest people around him take in his personal life, the loss of privacy and his wife’s friendliness with her neighbours makes Sunil all the more jittery about their relationship. There’s even a line in the short film, where Qasim says that one day his trait, where he suspects everyone, will lead to Sunil’s downfall, which is beautifully captured by the end of the story. All in all, Second Hand is a tragic-comedy that springs a big surprise.
Music & other departments
Mithun Gangopadhyay’s cinematography and Radhika Kini’s art direction gives quite a realistic tone to the whole story, and Gaurav Chaterjee’s music accentuates the mood of the story as it goes from being quite playful to grim and dark. Navjot Gulati’s writing is another highpoint in the story and every dialogue is quite measured.
Apart from the performances of its lead cast, Second Hand scores big in terms of its writing, production design, and cinematography.
The story has a lot of potential to be a full-length feature film, and it’s a surprise that it was turned into a short film. Although it’s not a drawback or a flaw, it still feels like the story jumped to its ending in a flash.
Do I recommend it?
Yes! Second Hand is playful and characters are quite realistic. And it takes you by surprise more than you can imagine.