Knock Knock Knock Review: The film will leave you with some deep questions about life

Updated: 23 September, 2020 20:04 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Knock Knock Knock blooms to life feeding off its macabre setting. Darjeeling boy Sudhanshu Saria is able to bring in a lived-in quality to the city's portrayal.

A still from Knock Knock Knock trailer. Image source: Youtube/@FourlineFilms
A still from Knock Knock Knock trailer. Image source: Youtube/@FourlineFilms

Knock Knock Knock
U/A; Drama
On: Mubi India

Director: Sudhanshu Saria
Cast: Santilal Mukherjee and Phuden Sherpa
Rating: 
Rating

You have to be careful to not call Sudhanshu Saria's Knock Knock Knock a short film. By virtue of its narrative, the film sprawls over a good 40 minutes, tying up into a gratifying climax. What makes it a unique watch really isn't its runtime but the filmmaker's ability to tell a poignant story in an unhurried fashion despite the time constraint at hand. Two men separated by generations are united by their idiosyncrasies and through their conversation, Saria explores a gamut of ideas starting with loneliness and ostracisation.

Knock Knock
A still from Knock Knock Knock

The film blooms to life feeding off its macabre setting. Darjeeling boy Saria is able to bring in a lived-in quality to the city's portrayal. Every tiny detail has been masterfully executed making this a technically solid film. Once in a while, the camera overlooks the hill station's skyline, automatically making you crave for that elusive cuppa Joe at Glenary's. But barring these fleeting romantic brushstrokes that are probably a manifestation of my own reminiscing, Saria endeavours to unsettle you one blow at a time.

The unlikely friendship between Dada (Shantilal Mukherjee, in fine form) and a young tattoo artist (Phuden Sherpa) has an ominous touch to it. On the surface, there's a lot in common between them - their mind space, their vulnerabilities, even their oddities. In a heartbreaking scene, the young man recounts to Dada how he had contemplated suicide, bringing to the fore a much needed peek into the psyche of a man striving to recover from a dark phase. Exploring the deep-seated understanding of what counts as normal and what's deemed different, Dada is a human expression of what years of loneliness could do to someone. It pushes one to be stoic to the point of being uncaring, it breeds skeptical thinking, and more often than not, it potentially creates a brooding Frankenstein that lies latent.

Check out the trailer of Knock Knock Knock here:

Saria's gaze is empathetic, in both his writing and execution which softens your own stance towards the characters. Despite revelations, you side with these characters even when one of them fails to rise above his stringent behavioural patterns.

Years ago, in a best-selling self-help book, I had read a story about a drunk man who was arrested for being a wife-beater. He had made an argument about his troubled childhood and how his father had a history of abusing the family members. On tracking down, one found that his brother was incidentally in a high-paying job with a settled family life. When the brother was asked how he was so different from the accused, he said, "I grew up watching my father assault my mother and be horrible to us." The same experience could do different things to different people and that's the one fundamental reality of human existence.

I am a sucker of bittersweet stories but there's something more meaningful about stories that trigger a debate. Saria's film does just that and leaves us with some deep questions about life.

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First Published: 23 September, 2020 19:17 IST

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