Rasika Dugal is known for a very meaty body of art. She made her debut with the 2008 Tahaan, though she had done some character roles before that. Though she did a couple of films, she made heads turn with her performance in the 2011 Kshay and then in the 2015 Qissa opposite Irrfan Khan. She also starred in one of the short films in Shor Se Shuruaat.
Apart from this, Rasika has done many more short films, her latest being The School Bag. This film traces the ordinary life of a mother and her son. It’s the son’s birthday the next day and he wants a particular bag. The mother insists on not buying it but the child wants what he wants. Does the mother get him the bag then or if not, why and what happens after that? Well, to get the answer to that question, you’ll have to watch the film.
The plot of the story is based on true events from 2014, Peshawar. But what is truer are the performances. Child Actor Sartaaj RK is spell bound. I literally haven’t seen a child actor act so well. Whether it is his manner of complaining, loving his mother, changing clothes or even as basic as talking, it’s all so fresh. But for me, Rasika Dugal steals the show! She’s amazing, for the lack of a better word. She brings a certain amount of innocence to this character and it’s just beautiful. Like, I don’t really have words to describe it. I think that’s the thing about Rasika, she makes the audience forget all they know and immerse themselves in her art.
Director Dheeraj Jindal does a great job with the script and how he has handled the subject. He captures the essence of the oxymoronic relationship between innocence and violence with a certain dignity.
All in all, The School Bag is a short film that you should not miss, and maybe watch it a couple of times?
Image credits: YouTube