The Lion and The Deer is a short film written and directed by Hasa Samudrala. Reviewing movies is tough because art is subjective, and the review is just one person’s opinion: the critic. It is even more difficult when the critic does not exactly understand what the writer and/or director is shooting for. This is one of those instances where I, the critic, did not quite understand what this short was about.
So, when it comes to the plot itself, I had to do some more research to get what it was about, and therefore I cannot critique it as a whole. Instead, I will just get into what the synopsis states and go from there. It’s a darkly comedic satire that deals with interconnected stories told in a children’s-storybook-format set in India. It is looked at from several points of view and “does not answer any questions.”
“…several interviews explaining a story from a lot of different people’s perspectives…”
All I understood from watching The Lion and The Deer was that no questions were answered. I did not get the “dark comedy” tone because it was just dark. I did not know that any humor was depicted whatsoever. What I saw was several interviews explaining a story from a lot of different people’s perspectives, which I only saw a link to in a couple of the interviews.
Something positive I can say is that it is shot quite well. The image quality of the film is very impressive. I do wish that when it came to the scenes that were meant to look like they were shot from a phone for social media purposes, they looked more similar to what the picture quality of a phone would be. I think it would have added more realism to the movie. Still, the cinematography remains the high point.
I am not familiar with any Indian children’s stories or how they’re told. This must be why most of this “comedy” completely went over my head. The Lion and The Deer might be an interesting concept, but it needs to be executed in a more clear way if the director hopes to get it in front of a broader audience.
"…the cinematography remains the high point."