A review of short film Road Trip

In Digestive showtime’s latest offering, a young boy named Ali bemoans that he can’t make any friends which leads his father Ayaan (Feroze Khan) to share his own experience in forging friendships. The scene cuts to the time he road tripped with Hamza (Ahmad Majeed Agloria), his younger brother, to go to his sick father (Mehmood Aslam). Ayaan, who has returned to Pakistan after fifteen years in London sports a flattop , drives a Benz (wait — did he catch on shipped over here?), and cuts quite the figure in his Roberto Cavalli scarf and fawn coloured polo neck. Of course, he also features a churlish attitude to travel with it.

Hamza’s saccharine disposition is that the perfect foil to Ayaan’s testiness but the previous seems rather one dimensional – as if only there to show a valuable life lesson to the ‘hero’ of the story. Hamza’s use of ‘Ayaan Bhai’ starts to grate on one’s nerves especially after he uses it 7 times in two minutes. Irritated, Ayaan himself echoes the audience’s question: “What’s with this Ayaan bhai, Ayaan bhai?” Hamza replies innocently that it’s what father taught him. “You are my brother,” he says during a cloyingly sentimental scene. Need I say more or have you ever already guessed how this pans out?

No opportunity is wasted to stress Hamza’s ability to form friends. He performs impromptu roadside magic tricks for a few school kids after the duo get a flat and makes fast friends with the women at a motel after impressing them by bottle flipping. Right. We get it. He knows the way to Make Friends unlike his boorish older brother. I only wish it had been a tad subtler. needless to say , the journey isn’t without fits and starts; after a flat , they’re also forced to remain at the motel overnight thanks to a landslide that has blocked the road.

Ayaan also gets involved in an altercation with a lady at the motel who alleges that he scratched her car while standing beside it. Later, the 2 apologise and she or he introduces herself as Nisha (Waliya Najib). She figures him to be a “numbers guy,” relentlessly pursuing money instead of relaxing and valuing the people in his life. Here we’ve the short film’s version of – dare I say it? – the manic pixie dream girl, the type of heroine who only exists to impart some wisdom to the hero of the story and further his development.

After this, Ayaan suddenly starts confiding in his younger brother (whereas before he had strictly told him to “mind his own business”) and that we see the 2 develop some emotional connection.

The reunion between father and son is touching. The short is well-acted with good cinematography that relies on the old orange and teal palette to make tension and add vibrancy. As for the ending? Well, for a movie that stresses on embracing the unexpected it certainly is predictable but it does stay faithful its opening message, “Some journeys lead us home. Some words help us bond.”

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