Side A | Side B Review: An Adorable Film On A Fresh Start!

Posted on 6 June, 2017 by Team Wishberry

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Sudhish Kamath’s Side A Side B had its Mumbai Preview on the 25th of May, and boy those 78 minutes were the most fresh and soulful cinematic minutes I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing of late! Earlier last year, Sudhish packed his suitcase and began living out of it to be on the move while working on all the films he’s been thinking of making (find out what that’s all about here). Side A Side B is the first film he put out while in motion.

The plot of the film follows a young couple, Joel (Rahul Rajkhowa) and Shivi (Shivranjani Singh), travelling from Guwahati to Mumbai in a train. During their 44-hour long journey the couple come to realise that their individual take on the relationship is heading in opposite directions.

Joel is 21 and Shivi 20, they’ve been together since forever and have spent multitudes of time fooling around, eating burgers, and being young and wild in the remote hills of Northeastern India. The slow pace and lack of good opportunities in the region leave Shivi feeling suffocated, which in-turn forces her to move to a bigger city, and see what else life has in store for her.

Structured like a music album, the couple’s journey features eight songs, performed and recorded live on a train. Director Sudhish Kamath has used the split screen method to tell the story shot with two-phone cameras (iPhone 6S Plus and a Samsung S7); while focusing on every twitch and shudder; the songs are all acoustic guitar numbers, mostly inspired by teeny-tiny portions of their conversations. The lyrics shift from sweet nothings to love-filled melodies to bitter moments crammed with insecurity.

We see the couple struggle to agree on anything from the get go, but the one thing that comes naturally to them, is their music. The songs weren’t choreographed but were performed on the go, and recorded live on a moving train in just five days, which strangely sounds great!

Sudhish has massively impressed his audiences by his technique of capturing stories, both the journey and the emotional parting. But, I won’t deny that the film was a bit painful at times. It’s not because the film is just Joel, Shivi, and a guitar, but because we witness the same argument over and over again.

The songs written by Sudeep Swaroop, with lyrics by Sudhish Kamath and Raja Sen are overtly silly, yet beautiful. Both Rajkhowa and Singh are naturals in terms of acting and singing; they also share a great on-screen rapport. Side A Side B isn’t an easy film to shoot, but Sudhish makes it look simple.

Do catch the film, for it is fresh, bright and soulful.

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