Director: Rohin Raveendran Nair
Genre: Short Fiction
Remember mathematics? Yes, I am talking about the odious subject that most people found utterly reprehensible in school. Well, if you’re one of those people who was bullied by integers, fractions and equations throughout their childhood, get ready to go down memory lane and relive those moments vicariously through Jobin George, the central character of the critically acclaimed short film ‘Little Hands' (2013) written and directed by Rohin Raveendran Nair and produced by Ippirival productions. Raveendran is an independent filmmaker and cinematographer who has been a part of mainstream projects like AK vs AK (2020) and Sacred Games (2018). Raveendran appeared as a guest on Filmtantra’s podcast, ‘Cinetalkies’ as well.
In ‘Little Hands’, in the cold and inhospitable classroom of St. Judes Secondary School, Jobin sits as daft as a brush with a mathematics question paper in his hand and on his answer script only his name and roll number. Should have considered drawing ‘OM' as well, so what if he is catholic, I am sure the cross is the last thing Jesus would want to look at. Anyway, as time passes and he observes other students using their inked swords to fight off the printed enemies, he tries to seek help from them.
A purely practical person might feel that friendship is unnecessary as it has no survival value, the film rather portrays it as is one of those things that give value to survival. ‘Little Hands’ is one film that explores the concept of friendship in a very inspiring manner and even leaves you with some definitive answers on it. It also takes at a dig at the education system in place, about how it places more importance on passing exams than any kind of learning which even drives students to cheat on them.
The background music with its ever-changing pace keeps you rolling along with the story, it runs in tandem with the emotional rollercoaster that Jobin goes through. Even without any dialogues or expressions the director is able to ensure that each element of the story can be felt distinctly by the viewer, majorly through his clever choice of camera angles, a task not many can perform with such conviction. It feels as if the hands have expressed what the mouth could not have, that too in a much more vivid fashion. The sharp editing certainly makes the story unfold in a graceful manner and keeps the viewers excitement alive.
Having won multiple critic’s awards at film festivals all across the world right from Bangladesh to Portugal right from ‘Best Director’ to ‘The Most Original Approach’, the film has already proved its mettle. This film was also screened at Cineville'20, the annual film festival organized by the Filmtantra the film society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh college along with another critically acclaimed short film from the same director ‘The Booth'. Stay tuned and ensure that you follow us on our social media handles so that you do not miss a gem like this one in the upcoming edition of Cineville. CAFF’21 is all set to astound viewers and broaden the horizons of consuming cinema amongst film enthusiasts.
The power of Rohin Raveendran’s ‘Little Hands’ lies in the emotive way in which it approaches the deep phenomena of friendship and how it keeps your thinking brain on its toes to look out for how Jobin goes about his mischief.
By Akshit Sardana