Manasi Bedekar’s New Short Film Is A Reflective Exploration Of Trauma & The Human Psyche

KimayaManasi Bedekar

Childhood trauma often acts like an indelible imprint, shaping the way we navigate life's complexities. It's akin to a unique code that hardwires our subconscious, leading us to run on autopilot, sometimes to the point of our own demise if left unexplored or understood. This theme forms the core of Kimaya, a compelling short film by Manasi Bedekar, a recent graduate of the London Film School.

The narrative of Kimaya revolves around its titular character, a 19-year-old college student named Kimaya Kulkarni, living in the bustling city of Mumbai. At the cusp of adulthood and poised to chase her dreams, Kimaya finds herself grappling with a life-threatening phobia that creeps into her daily existence, forcing her to confront her deepest fears to survive.

Bedekar's film delves into the intricacies of untreated childhood trauma and its unexpected manifestations in early adolescence. Through Kimaya's journey, the film sheds light on the stigma and denial often associated with mental health issues, portraying the reluctance to seek help until these issues manifest physically. Kimaya serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of acknowledging mental health struggles, normalizing therapy, and fostering open communication with loved ones.

Inspired by real-life experiences and a decade-long contemplation, Bedekar's decision to make the short film stemmed from a desire to explore how childhood rejections and traumas can leave lasting scars on one's psyche. Drawing parallels with her own experiences of bullying and its impact on self-esteem and relationships, Bedekar felt compelled to address these universal yet deeply personal struggles through her film.

In terms of direction and visual storytelling, Bedekar's vision for Kimaya is both immersive and introspective. Taking cues from films like Punch Drunk Love and Good Will Hunting, she aims to evoke discomfort and empathy in the audience, making them feel the intensity of Kimaya's phobia through nuanced cinematography and pacing.

The color palette of the film, transitioning from shades of red symbolizing anxiety to calming greens representing healing, serves as a visual metaphor for Kimaya's emotional journey. The deliberate use of motivated lighting and anamorphic lenses adds depth and realism to the narrative, enhancing the audience's connection to the protagonist's experiences.

The choice of filming locations in Mumbai, including iconic spots like Khotachi Wadi, Marine Drive, and Irani Cafes, adds a layer of authenticity and cultural richness to the short film; grounding its narrative in the city.

Kimaya by Manasi Bedekar is a reflective exploration of the human psyche, the complexities of mental health, and the transformative power of acknowledging and confronting our deepest fears. It's a poignant reminder that sometimes, the most courageous act is seeking help and embarking on a journey towards self-discovery and healing.

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