By Malay Desai
By: Palasa Creative Place
Electronic firm iBall’s new web film tracks the journey of amputee Shubhreetfrom her home Sangroor to the platform of a popular talent show. Shot in documentary style, it features Shubhreet’spreparation for a dance performance, with her voiceover talking about her travails, inspirations and challenges. The camera follows her to her fitness centre, dance centre, home and eventually shows her friends and family cheering for her as she appears on a TV screen. ‘Main apni life mein khushhoon, main kisi ki parwah nahin karti,’ the film ends with her quote, and the copy saying that she’s the first runner-up at the talent show, followed by the tagline ‘iBall supports terrific performance.’
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A little over three years ago, our top GECs foundanother waveto go at each others’ primetimes with, that of talent shows. It was also the time when one of the most iconic shows on Indian television, KaunBanegaCrorepati, had re-struck TRP gold by showing contestants’ backgrounds, most of which were ridden with poverty, disability or desperation. The ‘human interest’angle was the new golden goose of the industry.
Circa 2014, it’s still on. While KBC continues featuring contestants with ‘blind mother/old father/unwed sister syndrome’, nearly all talent shows harp upon finding stories of human achievement to play up and roll the cameras and tears with. With iBall’s new web film, a clear and risky departure from its glitzy route with HrithikRoshan, the human interestsyndrome has arrived in long-form web films too.
iBall’s motive is to show how its tablet was part of this girl’s extraordinary journey and stress on the key words – terrific performance. The film’s been shot and edited with deft hands, directed well by the Bollywood director ShakunBatra (whose recent assignment included SRK in Emami Fair and Handsome) and plays up the story with less melodrama and more sensitivity.
But whether we, the viewers see the link between an Android tablet and an extra-ordinary dancer, is the underlying doubt here. I don’t, just as I didn’t see any connection with a laptop brand recently showing a lady taking it out for yoga (really?) or PreetiJhangiani using ‘computers’ to depict ‘21st century girl’ to sell NimaSandal soap. Who takes cumbersome tablets to dance rehearsals? A better fit could’ve been iBall’s Andy brand of phones, though getting an unknown name after KareenaKapoorwould have been an issue.
That said, all cynicisms done with, human interest stories have the power to create a strong bond with the viewer – whether they come across through talent shows, KBC or an iBall ad. The indigenous gadget brand will hope this 1.44 minute effort will strike a personal chord; before it unravels more tales of ‘terrific performers.’
Meanwhile, I wonder if we’ll ever see a rich brat with a perfect childhood making it to KBC’s hot-seat.
To watch the film feed in ‘bit.ly/ViewTubeSept8’ to your browser.
Your regular dose on the shifts in the social media universe
Instagram’s first standalone app - Hyperlapse
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PritishNandy wants to Netflix India
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