The BackShop Journal

A Gallery of Thoughts on Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

Invisible Wings (India, 2018)

Invisible Wings is a Malayalam short documentary film about a tea-selling globe trotter. Malayalam is one of the languages spoken at the southern tip of Indian peninsula. The documentary won the Best Short Film at Filmfare Awards this year. Deservedly.

With little money but a heart full of dreams, a tea shop owner Vijayan and his wife Mohana had travelled the world. Even though all his friends say he is crazy because with the money earned he could have bought something valuable, Vijayan is convinced that he has gained much more than a nice estate: experience, impressions and memories. "We all have our own time. A time granted by Almighty," says Vijayan. He has used his time to fulfill his dreams of seeing the world.

The nine-minute creation is impressive in both form and content. The scenes of exotic places alternate with the close-ups inside his dim coffee shop in Kochi, a city of 600,000 inhabitants in the coastal Kerala state. Vijayan makes and sells one brand of tea, it seems, but constantly ruminates about all the places he has seen and the meaning of his ultimate trip. Having recognised value in non-material things, he has gained wisdom. Vijayan sees his short walk to work and his life as a journey. He approaches the journey to his physical destinations the same way he approaches his journey toward afterlife.

This minimalistic film is also about marital love and stimulating companionship. It is truly admirable how many themes its creator, Hari M. Mohanan, has managed to touch upon without any interference. After completing it, he travelled across Southern India to screen it on his laptop. The award will certainly serve as a boost to his artistic plans.

Invisible Wings is a gallery of beautiful images filled with one person's intimate confession. It is bound to snatch the viewer away from the screen and take him on the beautiful journey of imagination.

Svetozar Postic

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