Calcutta Taxi – Short film Review

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Calcutta Taxi tells the story of a young Art College student Aditya Chaterji, who finds his backpack and  belongings stolen on the day of a political strike called by an infamous political party in Calcutta. Meanwhile Bakul Bihari faces the opportunity of a lifetime to win big for his glorious, though covetous efforts to help a poor boy in distress. Cab driver Rasul Ahmed discovers a bomb in his backseat, at a congested traffic signal in an extremely unpredictable and sensitive slum area of Calcutta. The film unravels the lives of these three characters and shows how each of their lives impact one another.

311539039_640The heartfelt and politically stirring ‘Calcutta Taxi’ was written, directed and produced by Indian born Canadian filmmaker Vikram Dasgupta. The Short Film is set in the grimy backdrop of the city of Calcutta undergoing a political crisis, unravelling the story of three lives that affect each other. Each one having lost and found things in a chance encounter of life. This moving and thought-provoking short film has to-date won 8 awards, including ‘Best Drama’ from the prestigious Aspen Short Film Festival. This hugely popular festival is included in the qualifying list of film festivals by the Academy Awards. The film premiered last August at the Rhode Island international Film Festival where it won the ‘Directorial Discovery Award’. It was also a part of the International Competition line-up at the prestigious Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, France also known as the Mecca of short film festivals.

‘Calcutta Taxi’ tells the story of a young Art College student Aditya Chaterji, who finds his backpack and belongings stolen on the day of a political strike called by an infamous political party in Calcutta. Meanwhile Bakul Bihari faces the opportunity of a lifetime to win big for his glorious, though covetous efforts to help a poor boy in distress. Cab driver Rasul Ahmed discovers a bomb in his backseat, at a congested traffic signal in an extremely unpredictable and sensitive slum area of Calcutta. The film unravels the lives of these three characters and shows how each of their lives impact one another.

This popular short film has already won numerous awards and has received countless nominations. These well-respected wins include ‘Best Short Film’ from Florence River to River Film Festival, Italy; Best Drama at Filmbüro Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany; ‘Best of the Fest’ from Anchorage International Film Festival, Alaska;  ‘Best Narrative Short’ from Roving Eye International Film Festival, USA; ‘Premio Della Stampa/Press Award’ from SediciCorto Film Festival, Italy and ‘Honorable Mention’ from the Satyajit Ray Foundation, London amongst others.

Vikram Dasgupta, studied at one of the oldest and most prestigious universities of it’s kind, The Government College of Arts, in Calcutta. He graduated with a five year honours degree in Fine Arts and was awarded the Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in the field of art and design. He continued his post graduate studies at The Advanced Film and Television program at Sheridan College, Canada. Having worked for Indian musical genius AR Rahman (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) on multiple occasions, Vikram has since been working in Film and TV at various creative capacities.

001_Calcutta_Taxi_04_lA pulp fiction Esq style story comes together full circle as the film hits its midway point, an interesting blend of cinematography and dialogue create a realistic atmosphere and the smart direction of the sub plots keep you hooked to find out more. Towards the end the story veers off on a tangent, your sitting there wondering why you need to see this but in true Pulp Fiction fashion all comes full circle once more as the film comes to a close.

A short, smart and interesting film that keeps you hooked for its duration.

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