Movie Review – Yeh Dooriyan By Ratul Shome

Released on 20th May | Manjari Fadnnis | Paresh Pahuja | Direction: Souvik Gupta | HamaraMovie channel on YouTube

So what’s special about this little film or a four part mini-series as they have released it as on Hamaramovie channel on YouTube?

Well for starters, the exceptionally conceived mature direction by Souvik Gupta. During lockdown many videos went viral of people making songs and videos together from different parts of the world giving a great feeling of togetherness. But a full fledged movie? That’s rarely happened if at all!! And yet the direction is so flawless that you rarely feel any emptiness on the screen or the lack of two stars together in real — barring the scenes where the director so intends! The smooth flow of the story and emotions would actually make you disbelief the fact that Gupta hasn’t yet met the brilliant cast of his movie face to face!! He wrote the brilliant script and directed it all while sitting in one corner in Kolkata!! Even Manjari and her co-star Paresh had never met before in first person till a year and a half of competition of nearly 99% of the shoot!!

Yeh Dooriyan was shot by the actors themselves on their phones primarily (barring maybe five minutes which were shot post lockdown where the actors came together)! Shot in just 15 days all by themselves with help of cinematographer Ershad on Zoom calls giving guidance it comes out with supreme clarity and style and never makes you feel the absence of the cast being next to each other. No frame looks empty or lonely, apart from the scenes where that’s the intention.

So what is the film about? Well— it is about exactly what we have been talking about! The lockdown!! And it’s strains on relationships! Ayesha (Manjari in a stellar performance) and Vikram (Paresh Pahuja all power packed) are looking forward to celebrating their anniversary when Lockdown strikes and they are holed up in two different cities!! The lockdown keeps getting extended as their relationship is tested on every possible count — of distance, priorities, jealousies and pride. You will totally identify with the film if during the lockdown you had date
nights on video calling!!

Is it true love is sullied by being away from your partner? Or does distance make the heart grow fonder… and what happens when everything enters a breakdown point?

But then what’s love that doesn’t go through heartbreaks, isn’t it? The lingering question is whether Aisha & Vikram’s marriage will emerge stronger from this crisis or is this the beginning of the end and do soulmates really exist?

“YEH DOORIYAN” is a simple, heartwarming and brilliantly crafted love story about a contemporary urban marriage between two individuals who, while pulled together by their love for each other, are torn apart by their conflicting priorities. The great obstacle is not an external threat but the protagonists’ internal angst. For a marriage between partners living in two different cities, does the age-old proverb “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” really hold true? Watch the film certainly to know the results of this litmus test and enjoy the lovely music and hum the beautiful songs of love and separation or for that matter, cherish the beautiful words by Amrita Pritam after a
slightly naughty & slightly funny long-distance video romance!

Paresh Pahuja is a talent to watch out for. The subtle nuances he’s added to the character & even the graph of the buildup of frustration through the lockdown is worth a praise.

Manjari (who has very decisively stayed away from the lure of frivolous roles and small screen) like wine, has of course been getting better with each of her current performances and this one is totally centered around her!! She displays an entire 360 degree range of emotions with élan and is someone whose exceptional talent remains under utilised in the industry. We are surely looking forward to her being offered meatier and more meaningful roles in days to come.

Interesting trivia: The stars played not just the characters but also Assistant Directors, Assistants to DOP, Art Directors in their respective houses, Setting Dada, spot boy/girl and Hair & Makeup stylists!! The film brings Manjari not just in one of best performances as an actor but also as the Co-Producer, with Producers of her past Short Films Khamakha & Cot!!