Vishal Bhardwaj's 30-minute short film Fursat, shot on iPhone 14 Pro, is a film that sounds terrible on paper but works satisfactorily on the screen. The first major highlight is the dance sequences, which are beautifully shot and superbly choreographed. The dancers sometimes represent a clock, sometimes become a movable platform and carry the characters on their backs, and sometimes lie down like a corpse. The bodies are expressive and flexible. The latter also holds true for Wamiqa Gabbi and Ishaan, as they effortlessly adapt to the various tones of Fursat.
In fact, the film primarily works due to the performances of Gabbi and Ishaan. Within a short span, it swings between drama, comedy, and thriller. It's one thing to be ambitious and another to successfully pull off your ambition. Fursat, for the most part, ends up hitting the right notes because the lead actors are in fine form. They expertly handle everything that is thrown at them, demanded from them, and emerge as the true heroes who prevent Fursat from turning into a train wreck.
Gabbi, especially, is the real genius here. Notice how she adds lovely flavors to her lines through her inflections. Look out for the scene where she sarcastically thanks Nishant (Ishaan) when he says, "Happy birthday" to her or the way she slightly lifts her shoulders and asserts how she no longer hates the idea of moving to the US. Yes, when Nishant misses his own wedding, we get lyrics like, "Tera sapna samay hai. Mai nahi mai nahi/Yeh sapne zameen ke, hai nahi hai nahi" But the beauty of these lines would have been lost if the actors were incapable of expressing their elegance on the screen.
Fursat, at its core, is about living in the present. It conveys that one should refrain from obsessing about the future and enjoy the things in front of them. Despite its name, the movie does not unfold with leisure. It moves almost breathlessly from one scene to another. The title is what Nishant has to embrace in this short. He has to stop running and start relaxing. Sit down on a chair and rest in the arms of a lover. This tale of a time traveler, who learns to live in the moment, is far from original. And Fursat, though amusing, is far from the best representation of this account (that honor goes to Richard Curtis' About Time).
One scene, in particular, is so jarring it evokes chuckles. It comes when the gangsters snatch the jewels while the ladies bend backward. But Bhardwaj's quirky sense of humor (just wait till a Defibrillator makes an appearance) is much better here than in his 2013 film Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. Fursat, too, overall is very watchable, though I suspect its content will soon be forgotten, and it will merely be remembered as that movie of Vishal Bhardwaj that was shot on an iPhone. But hey, maybe the director has seen the future and is laughing at me because I am wrong!
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