11 April 2018 | csahoo449
You and I: When images prove words are not sufficient to convey your feelings.
It's not easy to move on when you have lost the love of your life; more so when you realize you were partly responsible for it. A vortex of guilt wraps you and an endless swirl of loss, longing and despair leaves you emotionally crippled and devastated. Yet, for the sake of a closure, you must offer yourself to that vortex. You must make a journey to the past and have your heart broken a million times over until you realize that you are simply a pawn in the game of life, and all you can do is to accept its vagaries and move on.
At the heart of "You and I" is this urge to move on. Tara Alisha Berry, the unnamed protagonist in the film, makes a painful journey to her past and through her journey, writer- director Syed Ahmad Afzal (of "Youngistaan" and "Laal Rang" fame) gives us a host of memorable visuals that express her angst in an archer-like precision.
Motion is central to the theme of this film. Right from the first scene until the last, there is a direct and subtle portrayal of motion. The directness can be seen in Tara physically moving- sometimes walking, sometimes driving, accompanied by a poignant background music that plays for most of the 12 minutes of the film. The subtlety comes in when she stops. When she stops, we can see how nature goads her to move on- the wind blows, her hair moves, the river flows, the birds chirp... she needs to move on. She needs to make peace with her past.
But has peace ever come without turbulence? Along the journey, Tara goes through an avalanche of emotions. The hands of an amateur writer might have written down a soliloquy to express her inner dilemma, but a skillful writer knows that the outer world is simply a manifestation of the inner one, and therefore, makes good use of the surroundings to say what words can't. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
For instance, consider this scene: Tara is in two minds whether or not she should complete her journey. To show her dilemma, the director makes her stop her car. She comes out and leans against it. As she stays in the middle, in the background and the foreground, a train and a truck rush past in opposite directions, symbolizing her conflicted thoughts. To express her indecision, there's a cut to the headlights of her car. They are blinking.There is motion but no movement. A pretty good image, I guess.
Mr. Afzal fills his movie with such symbolic images to give the film its poetry, but that doesn't mean there is no prose to it. There are dialogs, but I doubt they would have been evocative if they weren't complemented with his choice of images, as the dialogs are in the form of voice-overs. We don't get to see or feel the emotions of the characterswhen they are speaking. The images, then, reveal the true feelings of the characters. However, the dialog delivery, I felt, was a letdown. It was flat and lacked the emotional depth of the beautiful images.
"You and I" is a movie for the aesthetically conscious. The writing is concise and focused, the execution minimal but sufficient, and the experience of watching: satisfying.