Upstate Story

Directed by Shaun Rose  |  Review by Nabadipa Talukder

What is the purpose of your life? What is it that we are trying to attain? It takes someone detailed analysis of one’s life to come to conclusion about what our purpose is. We try to attain everything and in return and through the process often lose ourselves to less important things. The maneuver, however, tires us out to the point that we might want to end it all because we despise life. Tangled in the monotony, we forget to be grateful for the boons we have been blessed with, and when we do, they always turn out to be eye-openers. Upstate Story explores the story of a forlorn man who is faced with loss and regret and pulls off each day as if it were a decade only to look forward to the day which gives him eternal peace.

Utterly bored with the tedious life that has somehow got its way around his life, Ellis (Shaun Rose) barely makes it through the week, sulking away as he runs errands, goes to work or even when he tries to feed himself. He turns into someone who is ever so complaining about the bare minimum that he has to do. He is always cynical about every situation and derives catharsis through criticism. He drowns himself in further misery by abusing his body through alcohol abuse for which he curses himself the next day at the same time tries to rationalize with himself by finding some sort of excuse for the same. Nevertheless, he pushes himself to get work done and hopes and anticipates for the weekend to come which would bring him his surprises.

The film explores the psychological experiences of a man, with him being a profound judge of everything that has ever been there around him and he chooses to derive how it has affected him in his life as an adult. He chooses to seek answers to his problems, at the same time leaves certain instances to fate. He wishes he could have done something better, and he wishes to give his future life a better prospect. He never stops trying.

The unique use of color in the film brings out a parallel comparison of different situations which draws out a clear comparison. It also highlights the contrast between situations too bleak and situations that all gleeful. The whole film has been narrated by the protagonist who draws highlights the situations again with his narrative. He paints the picture according to his move which is again done in conjunction with the color treatment, editing and color treatment making it very interesting.

Although the film begins in a certain humdrum way following a linear course, but its music makes it very interesting and sets the mood to every scene. The script’s use of minimal characters also makes it very challenging to narrate the story but Shaun has done it brilliantly. He tries to explore the mind of someone who most of would be able to relate to. Without delving too deep into the character’s life, he achieved to put forward his message.

All in all what we would return with after watching this film is a bagful of wisdom and some hope to look forward to. It teaches us that life goes on. You would win some battles and lose some but in the end what would matter is what you took from everything that you have experienced. We should look forward to the little things that bring us joy.

 

Dr. Nabadipa Talukder is a doctor by profession with a passion for creative writing and has been into digital content writing for almost 5 years now. She practiced as a dental professional for two years in Kolkata before she quit her job in order to pursue a career in writing. Nabadipa was exposed to the freedom to write for various fronts which opened up her mind and introduced her to the world of screenplay and script writing. She wishes to travel and understand various cultures and wishes to write their stories.