Songs From Far Away Land (2020) Short Film Review: A Mournful Recollection
Songs From Far Away Land on Film Freeway
Mourning is a personal song, often inevitable in our mortal lives. The aftermath of death is unknown. The fate of a human after death is unexplainable. The calculation of realms within which we exist is complex for we only know the singular existence we experience at the moment, and not our other existences if there are any. But if there are any, shall we not be prepared. Shall we not prepare our loved ones, our close ones? And if there are many existences, how shall we grieve for those we lose? Is a departure another arrival? Is the end built into the beginning? (Inspired from “The end is built into the beginning” by Charlie Kaufmann; Synecdoche, New York)
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Spiritual conundrums do not haunt us as much as they should because we have resorted to absolutism. We have either rejected the unexplainable or we have accepted it as the eternal truth. We have aligned our lives either of two extreme schools of thought. But we have not yet separated the process of mourning. We have not yet differentiated our requiem from that of others. The sound of our cries and the salinity of our tears can be different. We may express differently because all of us have unique relationships. But the basic sense of loss is mutual.
In Tuhinabha Majumdaar’s Songs From Far Away Land (2020), three siblings recollect the memory of their mother in three different ways as she expires. Every memory adds a new dimension to her character, a character we never saw from the front, a character we never experienced. Every memory has a flavor to it, and every flavor is deeply personal depending on the speaker. It is through their mother that we get acquainted with other individuals who affected her and who were affected by her. We receive their dilemmas and their adjusted grief. And we follow their routine simultaneously.
Songs From Far Away Land is an aesthetically beautiful mixed experience that is elevated by the eventful cinematography of Sathanand Rangaraj. The mise en scène is carefully designed to emote as much as actors do. The melancholic atmosphere is persistent but not dominating.
In its entirety, Songs From Far Away Land emerges as a brilliant short film, the importance of which differs from viewer to viewer.