Home >mint-lounge >features >Film Review | Fireflies

When an ad film-maker turns to feature-film direction, you are usually assured of a technically competent and visually appealing work. Sabal Singh Shekhawat’s family drama, Fireflies, checks both these boxes. This is the story of two chalk-and-cheese brothers, Shiv (Rahul Khanna) and Rana (Arjun Mathur), and their chequered relationship.

The former is a luxe-living, designer suit wearing investment banker; the latter is a bit of a bum. Shekhawat’s camera languidly follows them around, sometimes dwelling too long on the humdrum details and moments of their lives.

The voice of Shiv and Rana’s sister is a narrative device that fills in the blanks on this sibling hostility. This is a family shattered by loss, with unresolved issues. The ghosts that haunt the brothers reflect in their personalities and behaviour, sometimes with shocking results.

An eclectic soundtrack, Shanker Raman’s cinematography and Siddarth Sirohi’s production design complement compelling performances by Khanna, Mathur and Monica Dogra (as Michelle, who breaks Rana’s heart).

Where Shekhawat succeeds is in sensitively touching on issues of personal grief, healing, and long-festering open wounds, treated with superficial balms that never heal the core. The director is in no hurry to get to the point. The pace can be quite taxing as you wonder when he will reveal the point of his study of human relationships, fettered emotions, and final resolution.

Fireflies released in theatres on Friday.

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