Amal (Review)

A short film showing life in India as experienced by Amal (Ruprinder Nagra), a simple young man who drives people in an auto rickshaw to wherever they want to go. Just like his father before him, and his grandfather, this is Amal’s day job.

The story begins as Amal talks to his brother stating he enjoys his job more than his wife. Examples of this include sleeping in his rickshaw overnight, going home only once or twice a week, and finding more comfort in getting hundreds of rupees than in a quiet evening with the Mrs.

Amal’s peaceful time is cut short when an elderly man (Dr. Shiva) hobbles over and asks Amal to drive him to a place known as the Inner Circle of Connaught Place. After a couple traffic issues, the elderly stranger changes his destination to the Outer Circle and plans to report Amal to the police for being a bad driver. Once they reach their destination the stranger refuses to pay the full price, but Amal accepts the partial payment since he dissatisfied the customer. He thinks Amal is being foolish and storms off.

A year passes by, and we join Amal as he orders at a food stand. As a bill falls from his pocket, a little girl snatches it and claims it as hers, and Amal lets her keep it. (By about now, I started to realize he doesn’t care too much for money.) The next morning, his first customer is a businesswoman named Ms. Agarwal (Manjit Bumrah) who’s been looking for him. We know she’s a businesswoman because she carries a binder and wears an expensive suit. She reveals she’s the lawyer for a man named G.K. Jayaram — apparently that was the same elderly man who we saw earlier.  G.K.  has died,  and Ms. Agarwal has a letter telling Amal he will inherit a large number of rupees. But for a simple money-ignorant man like Amal, is the cost of luxury life too high?

This was a little bit funny and very well written for a short film. Interesting way of showing Indian lifestyle and also proving a lesson more valuable than money itself. The shots were interestingly laid out even if the city wasn’t too colourful, and the acting was professional and believable.

(Photo: Samir Gambhir)

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