A young Indian woman is subjected to a life of bullying by the hands of her sister and her sister’s husband in the short film The Lonesome Lass. Check out our review.
The Lonesome Lass is a fifty-minute long tale that revolves around the life of a seriously depressed young woman called Tiya (played by Mou Saha) and the abuse she receives from her sister (Kakali Dan) and her brother-in-law (Mahendra Dan). Although it is not really explained, Tiya has no other option than to live with her sister in a small village in India, where she is forced day-and-night to do chores around the home – cleaning clothes, feeding her sister, her husband and their small child etc etc.
In return for doing these jobs, Tiya is fed and clothed, but she is also subjected to the mental torture that her family provide in the form of disgusting name calling and more. The abuse hasn’t gone unnoticed by some of the neighbours, nor her mother who lives in another village.
Directed by Bhaskar Banerjee, The Lonesome Lass is a sad yet interesting film. Banerjee is keen to show us a story where not everything is rainbows and unicorns and that there are places where hope is futile. Once I started to watch The Lonesome Lass, I believed I was about to witness a new take on the classic Cinderella tale – where a young woman, who is abused by her relatives, wishes for a better life and has her wish granted upon the chance meeting of a man who whisks her away.
Oh, how wrong was I?
Banerjee keeps his tale with it’s feet firmly in the ground and doesn’t allow for such happy endings. I won’t go into detail (so not to spoil the ending) but The Lonesome Lass has no Prince, no fairy Godmother and no upbeat finish.
Mou Saha does well as Tiya, although the character doesn’t really call for much other than to look glum and mope around. I was really impressed with Kakali Dan – she brought to life an evil character – one that you can’t help but hate.
The Lonesome Lass does have it’s fair share of production issues. It felt very disjointed throughout, as if it was shot on two different cameras at different frame rates. I’m not sure what was used to shoot the film, but it looked like a DSLR for part of the film and a Super 8 for the other half. Doing so, made a lot of footage look jumpy, warped and coloured differently.
Another issue I had with the The Lonesome Lass was the audio. The use of ADR can sometimes not be helped and even the biggest of movies have to go back to the studio in post-production to re-record lines from their actors. Yet, it seems like every line in The Lonesome Lass was recorded using ADR which then takes you away from the scene, it didn’t feel or sound right.
Other than those problems, I have to say that I enjoyed The Lonesome Lass. It’s a morbid tale but one that Banerjee lensed in an interesting way. It could have been cut down to about thirty minutes in length and not lose any of the story, but the team behind the film still did well in creating the piece.