Navarasa Review: Peace - Karthik Subbaraj delivers a reasonably effective Netflix short
There’s something inexplicably entertaining about seeing Gautham Menon and Bobby Simha in a bunker, wearing soldier uniforms and gearing up to launch a counter-offensive. Think of it as our version of Expendables in a sense, but Karthik Subbaraj’s film, of course, isn’t about superficial entertainment. It’s about a few Eelam soldiers in a war situation (Karthik, of course, has shown interest in Eelam history, evident even in his recent star vehicle, Jagame Thanthiram). And there are some nice director touches, as you would expect from him—especially when he captures the indifference of nature to the plight of these Tamils.
Rasa: Shanthi (Peace)
Director: Karthik Subbaraj
Streaming on: Netflix
Cast: Bobby Simha, Gautham Menon
Shots of the sky, a spider web, the sun, a whiff of greenery near the bunker… One long shot tracking Nilavan (Bobby Simha) as he runs in and out of danger is an example of directorial flourish. There are some cute ideas, like the names of these characters, for instance. Apart from Nilavan, there’s a Castro... and do I even need to say why? He saves the cutest idea for the film’s twist. The difference here is that it doesn’t come at the very end; it comes much, much earlier, and serves to lay bare the cold irony about the hearts of certain men. This film named—and ostensibly about—Peace, is about the lack of it. It’s a reasonably effective short, but one whose deliberate design stops it from eliciting any strong, emotional response.