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Day 4: Biffes, 2009

Fatih Akin’s Short Sharp Shock starts as a Dil Chahta Hai and, towards the end, degenerates into Meanstreets territory. Degenerates because it has the wittiness and camaraderie of Dil Chahta Hai or even Diner, but certainly not the raw unpredictability of Meanstreets.

This was one of the most disappointing experiences in the festival. A film with such promise and chutzpah in the beginning just doesn’t have the conviction to aim higher or take few risks. After a while, it is just so predictable.

References to the Maifiosi and Al Pacino work fine as tribute pieces, but when they take over the film, there’s just no escape for Akin. Of three friends, one gets tangled with the mafia and every life involved is ruined. The edginess in the early, major part of the film is somewhere lost with the director’s Scarface addiction. Bobby (perhaps a tribute to Robert de Niro) is Akin’s Johny Boy. But his favourite actor is Al Pacino. So much so that in one scene, with his girlfriend, his ranting sounds very similar to Pacino’s.

The shift from its wittiness to violence is too quick. Short, sharp and a shock, for the characters, but sadly not for the viewers.