Being single when all your friends are coupled up does not necessarily suck, but they sure know how to make you feel singled out when they throw a ‘couples only’ event. This is the exact situation our main character is in, in Pranav Bhasin’s New Years Eve. Refusing to go alone to the celebration, we follow him through the streets of Mumbai desperately trying to find a date to bring to the party. Today’s feature is a very honest film, perfectly blending comedy with dashes of irony and cynicism, for 9 minutes of pure entertainment.
Bhasin was inspired by his own social anxiety when he wrote New Years Eve, his birthday falls on New Years so he is all too familiar with the stress his lead character feels because of the expectations of the night. Shot with a minimal budget, the film relies on an extremely strong screenplay and an easy premise rather than crazy gimmicks.
The one-sided conversation we witness is raw, honest and all too relatable. Bhasin successfully showcases the ambiguity of relationships which is specifically typical of the new generations in India. The “wackiness” of the streets of Mumbai creates a perfect cinematic environment to encapsulate the young man’s struggle at finding the perfect girl to bring as his +1.
Pranav Bhasin’s writing is elevated by Arnav Bhasin’s strong performance as the lead character. As he is taking a stroll through the streets of Mumbai he takes us on a physical and emotional journey as his character starts desperately calling all the girls that could potentially join him.
The escalating annoyance and desperation of the young man is conveyed through the actor’s layered and subtle portrayal. With the film given a real sense of urgency through nature’s ticking clock – we can see that the party start time is getting closer since the film happens during the golden hour and sunset is rapidly approaching.
Despite the fact that the lead is a “player”, juggling ladies, the protagonist of New Years Eve is such an endearing character that we can’t help but root for him. Ultimately the film is a comedy, and it is funny to watch him (un)successfully go down a list of ladies, recapped on the screen to help us keep track of his options. Watching this player losing at his own game, in such a light hearted way, is the perfect satire and highly entertaining.
Bhasin and his team are no stranger to online content, so it is no surprise that they decided to favor an online release to share their short film with the audience, and we are happy to have it join the S/W family. Bhasin is already at the development stage of a new short film that will hopefully still be in line with his realistic drama and satirical humor vision.