AWMI (2022)

  • Platform: YouTube
  • Release Date: 26/02/2022
  • Cast: Stuti Choudhury, Kamal Lochan
  • Director: Samujjal Kashyap

Stuti Choudhury and Kamal Lochan make an already interesting “Awmi” memorable with their stellar performances

— Ambar Chatterjee

Awmi is the new short film from Samujjal Kashyap and KC Digital Film. Samujjal and KC Digital Films have been building up a beautiful repertoire of short films that are diverse in their tackling of the different genres and topographies but invariably have a recurring theme of being deeply rooted in Assamese culture and way of life. Every film from their eclectic mix of presentations has something to do with the Assamese way of life; be it rural, urban, or semi-urban areas of Assam. That is one of the aspects of these films that I absolutely adore. Every time I watch their films, I feel like I have been in the same room, been on the same roads, sipped the same cup of coffee, and experienced the same emotions that the characters in their films are shown experiencing. This helps me connect with these films at a different level. Even films that do not have a lot to say or offer feel essential and adorable because of the milieu and the heart that is invariably infused in them by Samujjal and the team.

Awmi is no different. The film narrates the complicated story of the titular character played by Stuti Choudhury who is shown dealing with issues that stem from her perspective on life and herself. She is someone who is well aware of what the reality is but is unwilling to embrace it for her own reasons. This creates some interesting dynamics and the film tries to explore the limits of it in a subtle and thought-provoking manner.

I have to give kudos to Samujjal and the team to have had the courage to put out a film that is this open-ended. Audiences these days hate films that make them. They want resolutions, straightforward storytelling, finality; and above all entertainment. In such a time to see a film like Awmi was refreshing. It is the kind of film that different people can have different interpretations of and they all might be correct in their understanding of it as it is more of a journey into a person’s psyche than a final tale about something that has happened in the real world and has a beginning, middle and an end.  

Stuti Choudhury is phenomenal as the titular character. I loved how she naturally toggles between being the normal girl-next-door and the more excitable aspects of her character. The best example of this can be seen in the very first scene of the film that I would not like to spoil here for anyone who hasn’t seen the film. There was naturality in her essay that rendered her character believable and added the much-needed credibility to the story. It is very easy for actors to go overboard playing characters of this nature but Stuti is subtle, resolute, and natural. Her act is one of the highlights of the film. Kamal Lochan has an electric screen presence. His character is bound to leave an impact on the audience and he puts his best foot forward to ensure that he doesn’t miss any opportunity to shine; and shine he does.   

Samujjal’s control over all aspects of the film is visible and he is extremely judicious about what he put out on the screen. With the kind of performance that Stuti and Kamal put in, it is easy for a director to go overboard and include non-essentials just because they are so good. Samujjal avoids that completely resulting in a film that feels crisp, to-the-point, and breezy.

I have been following Samujjal and KC digital films since Arranged and they are evidently getting better with every film. I wonder, with the gamut of characters that they have created in their short films, how it would be if all these characters were to come together in a full-length feature film. I wouldn’t like it to be an anthology but to be more in line with what Bhaskar Hazarika achieved with Kothanodi only the characters should cross each other’s path more often and their stories should be intertwined a little more than what we got in Kothanodi. Food for thought.  

I urge all my readers to give this film a try. You can watch the film at the link below.

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