Honey (Madhu) ★★★★ London Film Festival 2022

Honey (Madhu) ★★★★ London Film Festival 2022

For 13 perfect minutes, Honey (Madhu) has you, becoming the type of short with a situation and characters you yearn to have more time with. However, Tanmay and Tanvi Chowdhary know exactly what they are doing and instead give us a wonderful glance at the longing that can exist in a friendship.

Satakshi and Madhu, who went to school together, reunite after years of being apart on a night of festivities during the ‘Durga Pujo’ in Kolkata. As the night progresses, we find out that both of them have feelings for each other, but they are not able to express them. Their secrets are preserved in a notebook entry by Madhu from her school days, and a postcard Satakshi sends Madhu six years from this night.

When you catch up with a close friend after a long time, it can be easy to miss those small moments in an interaction, the classics, such as someone continuing the gaze a few seconds after you looked away. Little body movements or words said that days even years later, come back into your mind and make you wonder what exactly was meant by them. This is what filmmakers Tanmay and Tanvi Chowdhary bring us in their excellent short Honey (Madhu).

Their film is one brimming with honesty; you think back into your own past and realise you have probably experienced these moments that end up causing a sense of longing. Yet also brings a tinge of regret about what may have been missed in that gap. Honey (Madhu), however, isn’t as concerned about that as it is about hope.

We see the duo on the Ferris wheel (this Ferris wheel goes faster than any other I have seen before, by the way… Which should be the pace they all go!), and this joyous moment allows them to open up far more than they had before. As if this moment of not being grounded allowed them to know each other on a better, more intimate level. While their connection is never fulfilled in the manner that we would want for the two, especially seeing how Madhu looks at Satakshi in those last scenes. We are given hope that they discovered more about themselves and have went on in those six years to live a life that makes them happy.

Satakshi Nandy and Madhyama Halder knock it out of the park in their respective roles, with their chemistry beaming from the screen. They have a naturalness with one another that is difficult to conjure up, and the fact that the duo were already friends before the film allows us to buy into them as characters so incredibly well. Their looks of longing for one another almost have you wanting to yell at the screen to tell them to talk more about how they feel. 

But Honey (Madhu), instead, just lets the moment pass, as it would in real life. Allowing the bond between the two to remain as it is forever frozen in that perfect night in Kolkata- A must-watch.


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