As a screenplay/dialogue writer, Milap Zaveri has been associated with several films across different genres but as a director, he chose to helm comedies (Jaane Kahaan Se Aayi Hai and Mastizaade) which, if one looks at his filmography, are his forte. Raakh, the new short film written and directed by him, is far removed from the films he has directed in the past and is more in the space of an Ek Villain or a 24 India, which he had written the dialogues for.
A title card which reads “At this hour, Lie at my mercy all my enemies”, gives one an idea as to what should one expect from this 22 minute short film which has revenge as its core theme. One sees a severely wounded man (Shaad Randhawa) locked up in a seemingly disjunct place. Another man (Vir Das) is shown to be the tormentor who is seeking revenge for a wrongdoing committed by the maimed man in the past. The Korean-thriller like feel, which Milap has given the film, seems quite novel when one sees it from the context of an Indian short film. The film, set in a single space, plays out like a climax of a revenge drama. There is a minatory twist in the tale which comes halfway through the film and drives the film towards a fine culmination.
While the film is led by the two men Vir Das and Shaad Randhawa (both in fantastic form), Richa Chadha leaves a mark despite a limited character graph. Her presence (or rather the character she plays) can be felt throughout the film. The film is a technically sound product and special mention must be made of Raju Singh’s sweeping background score which manages to heighten the tension to a great extent. Milap Zaveri does a fine job as a writer and a director. His penchant for rhyming phrases comes across in slightly cringe-inducing lines like “uski jaan bhi li aur uski bhi li” but these are minor aberrations in an otherwise engrossing thriller. For the most part, Zaveri manages to maintain the grisly feel and look of the film.