Image Source: Cinestaan.com
Age is just a number but not in the 20s. All the dreams that you had seen as a child, all your illusions regarding life, your desire to make it big in life are shattered and grim reality strikes you telling you that you are no different, you are one of the many ordinary people walking on the street. Kannada short film Pinni directed by Bhuvan Sathya deals with this predicament faced by Prajwal aka Pinni, a young mechanical engineer who has just graduated from college and is trying to deal with his newly attained adulthood. It is a tale of a young man’s struggle to find something that would give him happiness that he experienced as a child. Pinni, who lives with his grandfather is constantly reminded of becoming a responsible adult and the high things that he needs to achieve to become a successful man. Pinni, like many other average kids, is someone who has never topped any exam in his life and has therefore missed on the several things that were promised to him if he topped the class. These experiences and the parameters set by society for one to be a ‘successful man’ have had a deep impact on him and he starts seeking ‘happiness’ in the outside world. When he receives a call letter from a reputed IT company after his college placement interview, he thinks he has finally achieved something. But
when he sees his friends and other classmates getting jobs in other better companies, he questions his achievement and rejects the offer to do something ‘bigger’ and ‘different’. Along with his only jobless friend, he tries his hand at several things but fails and when his friend gets a job, Pinni too decides to finally settle for the Sales Executive job his grandfather had told him about. Forgetting all his dreams of becoming a ‘successful mam’, when the interviewer asks why a mechanical engineer like him applied for the position of Sales Executive, he simply says ‘It is his passion’. In the world where we are forced to say that selling ourselves and our souls is our passion, the only thing Pinni is proud about is his beard which he is asked to shave off for his new ‘decent’ job. His beard is special for him. When he is at the barber’s, a young teenager seeks
his advice on how to style his beard. This is where he realises what he wants to do in life. It is not becoming a CEO of a multi-crore company, not becoming some great artist. He joins the shop, becomes a barber and there he finally realises what his and the world’s real problem is. “Why don’t we get the same happiness we used to get in childhood?” he asks. With this he finds what he has been seeking – the key to happiness: “Mostly if our current thinking was a simple as our childhood thinking, life would not have been so complicated.” The most striking thing about the film is the cinematography with its perfectly colour-graded images. It successfully evokes the nostalgia that we all long for and takes us back to our childhood where things were simple and clear. It might seem that too much is done in a 20-minute short film and it could have well been an 80–90-minute feature film showing Pinni’s struggle in a more detailed way, but the sounds and the music perfectly connect the fragmented visuals giving a balanced account of the perils of growing up. The film begins with the very famous Malgudi Days tune and is dedicated to Shankar Nag, the creator of the famous series every 90s kid cherishes. Pinni is currently being
screen at the NYIFF and is a film that needs to be watched if you miss your childhood and need something to smile about in the current situation of panic and terror.
Dir: Bhuvan Sathya