Director: Jaydeep Sarkar; Screenwriters: Aparnaa Chaturvedi, Ankur Khanna; Genre: Drama; Year of Release: 2015
Do you remember the last time you watched a film that depicted a realistic female companionship? One in which the female characters were not merely playing sidekicks to the male protagonist, but had their own flaws and desires, motives and ambitions? If this sounds appealing to you, go check out the ‘Nayantara’s Necklace’ right away!
In this short film, Alka (played by Tillotama Shome) is a simple and naive woman. Her friendship with Nayantara (played by Konkona Sen Sharma) is an unlikely one as they seem to be poles apart. A purse at the crook of her elbow and adorned with flamboyant jewellery, Nayantara oozes effortless cool and confidence. Cigarette in hand, she talks about fancy wine and adventures abroad, as Alka looks on in wonder. She seems to lead the perfect life and we see Alka wanting to be more like her. “Aapka naam hi poetry hai,” (“Your name itself is poetry”) says Alka in one scene. In another, we see her trying to imitate Nayantara while looking lost in her absence.
Discontent with the lack of intimacy in her marriage, Alka decides to meet an old friend, Girish (played by Gulshan Devaiah). The circumstances leading up to this meeting reveal the nuances in one’s appearance and reality. The film explores aspects of the human condition; desire, aspiration, and the things we do to achieve them. How, when unsatisfied with what we have, we long for more and seek to be different. In the process of this search, the line between who we are and who we aspire to be is often blurred.
Both actors fit their roles wonderfully. Tillotama Shome is striking when her character undertakes a significant transformation. Konkona Sen Sharma shines in her ability to express duality: her character is self-assured when paired with Alka, however subtle moments in the film show her vulnerability.
The music adds meaning to the film; playful and innocent during their conversations, yet haunting when powerful melodies intensify certain events. The series of flashbacks in the film impact the ending in a way that leaves viewers unsettled. The film also uses objects to convey layered meanings. What the necklace signifies to both the women is something that makes this movie a must-watch!
‘Nayantara’s Necklace’ is available on YouTube. If you like this film, you should also check out ‘A Death in the Gunj’ (available on Prime) where the actors meet again, this time with Konkona Sen Sharma behind the camera.
Hazel is a writer from Pune, India. She loves cozy bookstores, brand-new journals and the possibilities their pages contain. You can find her writing @hazelkaur__ on Instagram.