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Ei Taxi – A Short Film Review

Much worthy of its three laurels (Festival de Cannes, Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival, Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival), Ei Taxi is a short film with which anyone with the slightest literary appreciation can fall in love. The film holds particular relevance in today’s Indian society as it follows the guilty subconscious of a perverted taxi driver that is projected through the jaw-dropping gorgeous woman who recurringly happens upon his cab. It does well to raise awareness about the prevalence of such societal problems today.

The dramatic slow opening scene consists of an emphasis laid upon the magazine that the driver is eyeing with a gaze that proves to be quite disturbing to the viewer, portraying his evidently depraved thoughts. The mysterious woman then avails his cab and they have an intriguing conversation, in the middle of which she vanishes into thin air. She reappears again in a different ensemble at the side of whom viewers can only presume to be her lover. The video then skips to the next shot of the driver waking up to find the woman stock-still. Surprised, to see her fall like the dead when he touches her, he checks her pulse and staggers back in horror at the lack thereof. He then proceeds to bury her. However, just moments after the deed, she appears, very much alive, back in his cab.

This entire sequence of events seems to transpire in the surrealistic setting of the subconscious of his mind. The ambiance is certainly as steeped in mystery, as the plot itself as a motif of purple tinted light acts as a symbol of his dream-like state. This is also hinted at by the blurry shots that seem vague and cloudy – never really showing a clear shot of either characters’ faces. Thus, almost as in one’s dream, the imagery is unclear.

The video serves as an exploration of the dirty male Indian mind-set that considers women only worthy of being preyed upon in the darkness of night, never amounting to more than a curvaceous warm body to serve the needs of the men. However, the face of the woman he dared to act inappropriately with, even in his own imagination, haunts him. These hallucinations are likely to have been caused by intoxication but the reason behind it is not what proves to be significant here but rather this serves as a projection of his conscience-stricken mind.

Ei Taxi allows insight into the working of an average Indian male’s brain, defining them as prey to their own desires but also to their own compunction.