A never ending sense of dread envelopes Moshari, & never lets go. Wonderful filmmaking from Nuhash Humayun that has you immediately standing up & taking notice. A must watch from a filmmaker on a fast ascent.
Director: Nuhash Humayun
Cast: Sunerah Binte Kamal, Nairah Onora Saif
It’s the end of the world, with civilisation hiding away from everything once nighttime descends. Their true protection from outside forces during the nighttime? Mosquito nets. This forces two sisters together, alone, to fend for themselves; they must rely on each other to survive.
The world-building that goes on in Moshari is simply fantastic. We are brought into the life of a village where loudspeakers are utilised to remind people to go home and protect themselves as if all form of defence from whatever is plaguing this village or the world is obsolete. The best and only thing you can do is just survive until morning. As our two siblings wander around during the daytime, we soon release there is no parental figure here for them; Apu is the older sister and the mother for the two of them now; strikingly, no one has taken them in. They are fighting this threat alone; people have seemingly gone the route of in it for themselves in this environment.
It really is top-notch work from Humayun to visually give us so much information. Other than the tanoy spouting off information about going inside and protecting oneself, we find out everything from what we see. Our characters are in a nightmare world, where no adults are prepared to look after the young if they are not their own; how can they survive such a world? Added to this is the setting of Moshari; usually, in this type of film, we are in a big city or an apartment where the person or people must survive.
Instead, we are smack bang in a town in Bangladesh, a totally fresh place to be for such a plot and one you are most welcome to be in. You want to see how people in less populated environments survive such incidents. Unfortunately, there are only so many times we can see the story play out in the aforementioned areas without becoming bored by it. There is something fundamentally more interesting in seeing this nightmare situation occur in a smaller setting.
With Moshari, the little moments make it stand out as a truly exceptional film. The fragility of a mosquito net is a massive fear throughout the film; this is compounded when our greatest fears are realised. If there is a rip in this old netting, can whatever is on the outside get in? That question is magnificently and horrifically answered in a close-up shot one night. Or even a gorgeous shot of when the sisters are paddling away from where they were foraging for food to return home. Elaz Mehedi captures some stunning images throughout the film, allowing the visuals to do a lot of the work. Shadows are our enemy as we scour the screen to discover if or where this unexplained monster is.
By having one sibling so young in Moshari, we can see different sides to a horrible situation; Apu has had to take on the mantle of the parent and, as such, becomes desensitised to everything. She only thinks of the next day and keeping herself and Ayra alive. On the other hand, Ayra is still not fully grappling with what is going on and seems to be having nightly issues sleeping in the netting. She wants to be free, to explore and experience, yet this weird situation she is living through has curtailed all of that. Nevertheless, their dynamic is fascinating, and both deliver strong performances as the bickering duo.
Moshari works its way up you like a spider crawling slowly; as the evening and events keep going, you are more on edge and unnerved. You are all in on Apu taking command of the situation, but that doesn’t stop it from being terrifying for her and us. Ultimately, this is an inventive movie that you would love to see fleshed out into something longer. It feels like a film and a filmmaking team behind it that could achieve such a thing. Search out Moshari; you won’t be disappointed.
The annual Academy Awards® Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival will celebrate its 18th year August 11-20, 2022. HollyShorts (HSFF) brings together top creators, industry leaders, and companies and has launched many filmmakers into the next stages of their careers. HollyShorts, a regular on the MovieMaker Magazine Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee list, also engages its community and spotlights short films year-round through monthly screenings, panels, and networking events.
The most recent edition of HollyShorts had six selections nominated for Academy Awards this year with two wins for Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed’s The Long Goodbye and Ben Proudfoot’s Queen of Basketball.
HollyShorts Film Festival will take place in-person at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood, and stream via Bitpix TV, with the annual Awards Gala set to take place on August 20, 2022.
For tickets to the festival please click here.
For more of our reviews of the festival, please check out below:
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