Ask people one of the most irritating things in their film-viewing experience and it’d be product placement. It started out in Hollywood subtly and it then came to Bollywood. Only, Bollywood made it blatant in its masala films. With The Bicycle Girl, that trend seems to be making its way on to the streaming medium now.
Films with no script to talk about were basically popular in the 70s and the 80s. They were generally used to promote new technology or a product and concept. Ask your grandparents about a ‘video cleaning tape’. This tape literally had no other function than to clean the head of the VCR.
Because nobody wanted to see blank video for whatever time the tape would take to clean a VCR, the audience could see gorgeous footage of people at the beach, people attending a festival – that kind of thing. Obviously, these videos were never up for review. It’s 2017, and a video with exactly that content offends an entire movie making fraternity.
What’s Wow: Nothing.
What’s Blah: The BICYCLE Girl, a film that touts itself as an iPhone film does a disservice to the concept of mobile film-making. It is baffling that in 2017 someone decided to shoot a film on iPhone and show off the technology, and that too, isn’t up to the mark. For all the hue and cry, the least we could have got is a 4K video, so the mere mortals could see how ‘the iPhone’ shoots in 4k. But no.
The film is actually footage in Full HD of a pretty girl wearing biker shots and cruising through the city to meet someone. The information slug says that the film features the extremely talented & gorgeous – they added the ampersand, not us. Okay, we get, she’s gorgeous. But what talent Lekha Prajapati shows apart from slow cycling and showing calm is something that new guys on the block like us don’t understand. Maybe we need some better reviewers to see something, anything, positive from this short film.
Why would someone make a short film to tell the audience that you can shoot slow motion out of the box in an iPhone? Indian media has just begun to evolve from the ‘pretty face’ advertisement miasma. We didn’t need this film to take us back to that. What infuriates us more is the use of a female model for the film, catering to the lowest common denominator of audience interest. This film is vouyeristic as it is sexist.
Parting Shot: The BICYCLE Girl is a phone ad disguised as a short film and it is not what the streaming world is for.
Cast: Lekha Prajapati
Directed by: Sywed Ahmad Afzal
Duration: 3 Mins
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