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Balloons Symbolize the Way to Personal Freedom in “GUBBARE “

Written by Dr. Alok Prakash and Dr. Kumar Sambhav Joshi
Directed by M Gani |Review by Triptayan Chatterjee

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ould you believe that a twenty-minute short film can create an impression of the passing of 20 years? Or that balloons can symbolize personal freedom? Director, M Ghani’s “Gubbare” does both, reflecting a lifetime of loneliness symbolically expressed with flying balloons.

With a compact script and in-depth storyline, Ghani conjures the film from a different dimension. Modern times are fast-paced, and we may get fatigued watching traditional stories.

But “Gubbare” relieves the viewers and even the critics with a fresh perspective from a slow-burning story that holds our attention.

Balloons Symbolize Letting Go

The theme of the film is the freedom from all kinds of bondage in life when one life feels less important than the entirety of civilization.

In Ghani’s story, two people from opposite age-groups meet in a park. Ultimately, their connection frees them from the prison in their hearts.

Irrespective of time, characters, events, and incidents, “Gubbare” portrays real meaning in filmmaking. It distinctly shows us that there is a vast difference between a mere film and creative cinema.

Similarly, it proves that cinema is not the storytelling, but instead, illustrates that the storyline is the facade, transporting the messages presented to the individual and society.

An old man sits on a bench with his back to the viewer.
Screenshot vis FilmFreeway

An old man thinks only of himself sitting on the bench in the park. While other people’s impression of him is one thing, with respect to his feelings, he is an orphan due to his physical illness.

This bondage continuously encourages him to search for permanent relief. When he is at his lowest, he sees a young girl selling balloons in the park.

Although she tries to make a sale, not a single person buys one of her balloons.

The little girl wants to help her downtrodden father and find relief from the bondage of poverty. We don’t discover that these two vastly different characters both want freedom from their particular entrapment, in the first few consecutive shots.

A little girl tries to sell ballons in the park
Screenshot via FilmFreeway

Later, we find that they are both in a position in which they feel trapped. So it makes sense that when they meet each other, they feel empathy.

When, at last, the old man frees the balloons, letting them float towards the sky, we see a slight smile come over the girl’s lips.

Connecting to another person is the key

The flying balloons then express the real meaning of the film. That both of them want freedom from the bondage which is social, psychological, and above all, individual.

The script is compact, with a chronological presentation coinciding to the parts of the character’s thoughts. Each character has their own storyline which intersects with the other.

What’s more —

The conclusion is extremely symbolic, with the flying of the balloons representing the theme in original film language.

Good Cinema Needs No Words

This makes all the difference because a film’s visual language is the backbone of cinema. In today’s world, this symbolic film language is seldom seen in movies.

On the other hand —

A smile young girl
Screenshot via FilmFreeway

“Gubarre” proves that film language only can turn a film into cinema. With two actors we see just what is required, no extravaganza.

The film’s cinematography doesn’t cross the limit. With a tripod, sometimes tilting up and down, sometimes panning, the camera acts only on necessity. Likewise, there’s no unnecessary editing to cover up any perceived faults.

So if we want to know what cinema is, without giving the definition, we need only utter the word

— “Gubarre”

Triptayan Chatterjee

Triptayan is a filmmaker looking for a different horizon. Earlier a journalist Triptayan has done intensive research on film language and made different documentaries so far. He is now concentrating upon feature film in a vast landscape. Professionally a teacher, Triptayan has also passion for making films threaded with international and universal thoughts.


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