Short films are essential for the #Cinema because they are fast-paced and to the point. It will not be inaccurate to say that short films are to cinema what Twitter is to the social media. In the same manner, short films serve thrills and spills tantamount to a feature #Film in less than 20 minutes. Moor star Shaz Khan’s Say It Ain’t So does accomplish that feat as well. Beginning from the first shot, featuring nearly a fatal road accident, you will feel that you’ve been transported to an aura of delirious deliciousness.

Over the next 6 minutes, you will end up watching a taut psychological thriller packed with suspense. The third acts comes off as something most spectacular as the film reaches a veritable conclusion to convey the intended message to the audiences. Khan, as a writer-director, reaches the finale within the constraints of time with aplomb.

PLOT

Before you get hold of the proceedings, Khan tells the audiences that something serious is at stake here. I am not going to tell the storyline, primarily because I don’t want to do so. But I genuinely laud the originality of the plot. Say It Ain’t So unspools in such a beguiling way that it merits unspoiled eyes and minds.

I just want to say that losing a loved one can be the scariest experience of one’s life. Our loved ones often leave us in this surreal, terrifying space called the world. Mostly, they are forced into it, while we are all busy in our daily lives. We only realise their importance after they have left, especially when it’s a sudden death.

This is the reason why Khan’s film tugs at the heartstrings. In its portrayal of grief, the film manages to make the audiences feel the creeping horror of love and loss.

THE TEAM AND TECHNICIANS

Say it Ain’t So isn’t just rich in terms of an invigorating approach to storytelling but also due to its vibrant team of technicians. Firstly, the music by Kudrat Kamiljanov is just nerve-racking. It builds a mood of anticipation. You know what’s going to come but you don’t know how it’s going to come. Pete Kresner’s sound design just adds to the escalating tension.

The camera work is just spectacular. The movements of the camera give a haunting touch to the spine-chilling setting. Then arrives the brilliant Thesa Loving who draws you in towards the end. She uses the right mix of emotional depth and delicacy to bring an infectious energy to the screen.

On the other hand, Shaz Khan expressively inhabits the mood of his character. His character hits you with its own sense of haunting melancholy through eyes and postures. Khan makes you feel the pain that his character is going through with a looming sense of peril. Brilliant!

In Say It Ain’t So, Khan effectively communicates his message with clear-eyed compassion and honesty. It is a film that explores human frailty and psychological depth of a man in the closest possible way. As the film reaches its climax, Khan poses a question to his audiences: Are the dead alone in the life hereafter or it’s only the ones left behind who suffer?

VERDICT

Say It Ain’t So is a heartfelt short feature that delivers its message with sensitivity. To a large extent, it is elevated by the gripping performances of Shaz Khan and Thesa Loving.