Published: 01st March 2020
Why Adeeb Rais' Baatein is the definitive short film on the growing Indian generation gap
Director Adeeb Rais speaks about his short film, Baatein and why loves to shoot them. He also tells us about his upcoming project and what can people expect from them
Talking to your children about their day and what they're going through is a crucial part of being a parent because it's the only way to know how your kids are doing mentally, believes Adeeb Rais, Director of the short film Baatein — released in December 2019. This 20-minute-long film speaks about the generation gap, how parents tend to ignore the mental stress that their children are undergoing and how even children fail to have that discussion with their parents. Quite apt considering the sudden rise in student suicides, don't you think?
So, what led the 28-year-old to shoot this short film that is simple yet speaks strongly about something so serious? Adeeb replies, "Every year, we make a short film that has a strong social message backing it. In 2018, we shot a film titled Aunty Ji starring actor Shabana Azmi and acid attack survivor, Anmol Rodriguez. This film was a turning point for us as it garnered quite a positive response from the audience and it had such a great impact. The story is about how two people — belonging to different age groups and backgrounds — choose to listen to their hearts and chase their dreams. In 2019, after a lot of brainstorming, my team and I chose to focus on the subject of ragging, depression and other issues that youngsters go through but often ignore to have a conversation about with their parents."
You can watch this short film on YouTube
Baatein opens with Jeet, a young documentary filmmaker, visiting the home of a boy named Milind who committed suicide. He spends the day with Milind's mother and cousin, stating that he was Milind's good friend in college. At first, they believe him and feel comfortable enough to talk to him about Milind, but soon, Jeet confesses his real intentions behind his visit — to reveal the truth behind the suicide. From this point on, the story takes a heartwarming turn of forgiveness and a call for action. Before he shot Baatein, Adeeb read through several blogs where people had shared disheartening stories of losing their children or near and dear ones to suicide. Adeeb who has completed a Diploma in Business Film and Television from Whistling Woods International, says, "The childhood that the current generation has is very different from what our parents had. We are surrounded by peers, gadgets and social media. Sometimes, it becomes hard for parents to understand their children's emotions. The gap becomes bigger as time passes by."
As a filmmaker, I use film as a medium to convey what I want to. And if people take the message seriously, then it is a really big deal for any filmmaker
Adeeb Rais, Director and Actor
Often thought of as primary to any film, Adeeb feels that it is the script that plays a key role in the storytelling process. "These days, technology has advanced to an extent that you can shoot a film on your phone or with an elaborate set up of cameras. I think that one must pick a good story rather than solely focus on the technicalities, which usually depends on one's budget. Good stories reach out to more people. For films like this, we don't get much of a budget. So, we cannot hire a costume person or an art person. Today, everything is available on the internet and one can put a little extra effort into the rest." Another highlight of any short film is the location. In Baatein, it is the location that helps convey the bitterness and emptiness felt by the grieving family. "We shot this film in Palghar, a town in Maharashtra. The house where we shot is a 70-year-old house that suited the feel of what we were trying to tell. Once we found the place, it took us four days to complete the shoot," says the young director.
Currently, Adeeb is shooting an interesting anthology of short films. "It includes six short films put together and will be available on the OTT platform. People will get to watch famous actors like Vinay Pathak, Soni Razdan, Sayani Gupta, Sharib Hashmi and a few others in this anthology. We will be releasing it in the second half of this year and hope to reach out to many people," he concludes.
Know more about Adeeb:
Adeeb started his career as early as 17. He freelanced with a few advertisement companies to shoot videos and write scripts
He studied a filmmaking course at Director Subhash Ghai's Whistling Woods International, a film, communication and creative arts institute in Mumbai
Adeeb has acted in the web series Yeh Crazy Dil that was aired on MX Player, and directed Netflix series Main Aur Mr Riight and Kuch Spice To Make It Meetha