The art of story-telling assumes added significance the moment a tale manages to stun the listener – or, the viewer, in the case of visual narration. If a short narrative, all of just under 15 minutes, succeeds in spurring goose bumps even before the viewer realises that the credit titles have started rolling, the effort becomes worth applauding. This, in the normal context of the regular long-drawn elaboration of visual extravaganza that blaze the celluloid medium of the modern day, can be a departure from the normal.
Grace Villa, directed by Binoy Raveendran, sums up this art of storytelling in the most laudable fashion. The short takes you to a terrain where stunningly soothing, yet shudder-inducing narratives are genuinely welcome. Narration of an immensely complex tale in the most simple way possible, and that too in just about 15 minutes is a task that must have demanded clinical precision. Ravindran carries it off with elan, ably supported by the characters who live their roles.
Choosing a setting that comes to life in the pre-mobile, pre-internet era, the script adds to Grace Villa’s eerie element. The 14 minutes run off the screen in haste, and as the slides start fading, the relief laden smile that appears on the face of the central character, transcends to the viewers.
Crime stories can be risky to narrate. But yet, Grace Villa thrives on the narrative. The spooky feel it leaves on the viewer manifolds itself as Sally Grace’s parting smile flies off the screen to rest on the viewer. Even after hours of watching Grace Villa, the eeriness stays.
Parvathi T, who has already charmed the film buff with her roles in many a celluloid venture, excels in the role of Grace, while Rajesh Hebbar, who is fast evolving himself into a noteworthy actor, is well at ease with his role of Mathews.
The real estate agent’s character is safe with the ever dependable Kochu Preman, while the other actors too play their parts well.
This is, in fact, Binoy Raveendran’s film over all, and Grace Villa could well turn out to be the perfect pad from where he could get on with his journey up the celluloid ladder. This ‘short’ will stay with you for long.
Watch it here, if you haven’t as yet.