Shubham Sharma’s latest short film, Even Fake Flowers Have Scent On Happy Days tells the story of a young man at crossroads in life. Loneliness seems to be his only companion until one fateful day when he finds a tape recorder. This commonplace object becomes his unlikely ally as he starts to open up more about himself. We become passive observers in this process and get to know where the protagonist’s emotions and thoughts stem from.
I particularly liked the idea of having a tape recorder acting as an amplifier of unheard voices. We know very little about the person he’s making the tapes for. All we know for sure that it’s a person who visited the store he works in and probably knows how to speak English. Despite being armed with such limited information, we’re starting to form an idea of who this person might be.
I was reminded of Spike Jonze’s Her that touches upon similar themes of loneliness and also features a protagonist seeking an emotional connection.
But, Shubham pushes the narrative further to make a subtle statement about the lack of employment opportunities in his home state of Punjab. He talks about the thousands of youngsters who migrate to Canada or Australia in search of a better life. But, none of this comes across as a public service announcement, instead is organically woven into the narrative.
Vaibhav, the cinematographer along with Shubham take some interesting artistic decisions with regard to staging. Instead of using close-ups to reveal the character’s face, Vaibhav sticks to long static shots which I think fits in perfectly with the overall theme of the short film.
Shubham intelligently juxtaposes the mundane aspects of daily life with his protagonist’s inner philosophical musings of grief serving as a fabric of our genetic material. Kudos to actor Akash Arora who seems to be at ease playing the role of a troubled man haunted by his past.
All in all, Even Fake Flowers Have Scent On Happy Days is a poignant film that takes an unconventional approach to explore ideas of loneliness and companionship.
A self-proclaimed movie buff who swears he's funnier on the Internet than he is in real life. He also constantly makes sitcom references to make sense of a life that is slowly succumbing to entropy.