Cabin Fever Is A Young, Witty Snapshot Of Lockdown Love

Director: Pranav Bhasin
Writers: Pranav Bhasin, Sanskriti Shukla
Solid: Arnav Bhasin, Sanskriti Shukla
Editor: Pralay Valanju
Producer: Ritviz, Jugaad Movement Footage
Streaming on: YouTube

Cabin Fever is likely one of the cooler lockdown-set tales produced within the final six months. A 3-part mini-series of video calls between a stir-crazy younger couple, Cabin Fever is directed by Pranav Bhasin. Bhasin is a traditional OTT creator: his voice oozes observational wit, and like a number of sketch-centric artists concerned within the TVF revolution, he makes use of wry comedy to disclose the eccentricities and fears of a whole technology. Solely just lately I watched his quick, Wolf of Chawl Street, a depraved slumdog satire a couple of Mumbai-based graffiti “artist” who will get impressed by Banksy. Shot as a mockumentary, it exhibits up a whole filmmaking format in addition to an oft-fetishized city subculture. Arnav Bhasin, the Wolf actor, additionally stars in Cabin Fever – one other poker-faced riff on the millennial grammar of battle. The writing, non-serious as it might appear, blurs the road between sarcastic parody and endearing romedy.

Right here Arnav is Jounty, a hyper-energetic and juvenile 20-something: the kind of almost-adult who has no filter, zero political correctness and a stream-of-consciousness Bandra-street chatter that’s extra of a protection mechanism towards silence/isolation. Some would possibly say he has the fluid jello-mind of a stressed artist. But he’d be the hero’s sidekick – a “pattern” – in a full-length film. Naturally, he seems as “Jounty Hustler” on the telephone of his girlfriend, Sanskriti, who sounds extra like a involved mom than a companion to the good-hearted man-child. Within the first episode, Sanskriti tries to speak him out of biking and eloping to a distant village on the seventh day of lockdown. Within the second episode, Sanskriti, preoccupied along with her work-from-home job, tries to speak him out of sending a rap music as his CV for a job software. Within the third episode, on the eve of their first assembly in 95 days, a paranoid Sanskriti tries to speak him out of organizing and live-streaming India’s first post-lockdown rap live performance.

The three episodes symbolize three separate phases of quarantine frustration: the cops and curfews are nonetheless an enormous deal within the first, people and cabs could be seen within the third. It helps that the episodes appear to be shot that means, too – in real-time, at totally different factors of the 12 months, as a substitute of capturing to recreate the emotions of the Might-June-September intervals. Consequently, the actors don’t must fake to be a part of a premise. Their conversations then aren’t constructed to impart data. Jounty’s impulses might sound surreal, and nearly sardonic, nevertheless it ties in properly along with his persona; their chemistry – his “dumbness” will get on her nerves, he’s each oblivious and delicate about her phrases – denotes a cushty college-sweetheart equation, the place one has eased into the position of the caregiver and the opposite, a affected person.

Extra importantly, it feels just like the makers too are coming to phrases with the novelty of circumstances. They aren’t creating with the good thing about hindsight. Jounty speaks to Sanskriti however he’s actually talking to himself, and Sanskriti is so busy course-correcting and reacting to his selections that she forgets to assume for herself. You’ll be able to sense that these characters aren’t used to being aside. Their descent into insanity is a results of each stillness and distance: a consequence of all their flaws and hopes trapped in a cage.

Watching millennials describe their days is like watching the wealthy talk about recession – dysfunction has desensitized them for thus lengthy that they’re unable to tell apart between issues and privilege. However you are feeling for Jounty and Sanskriti as a result of they, like the remainder of us, are struggling to confront the sudden pointlessness of life. Each breathless anecdote – as an example, when Jounty narrates why his tv set is now hanging over his balcony (“the watchman watches the information now”) – is so straight-faced that the funniness doesn’t really feel random. It feels unintentional and, at occasions, oddly poignant. Like vulnerability sporting the desperation of humour. In spite of everything, comedy with context is merely tragedy with out textual content. 

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