Vaishali Naik knocks it out of the park in her directorial debut, which shines a light on a dark time in the COVID-19 era which the nation deserves to be reminded of time and time again.
Last Updated: 12.16 PM, Nov 04, 2022
Sudhir and Vinod are two performer brothers who run the business - 7 Star Dinosor Entertainment, where they dress up in uncanny looking dinosaur costumes and provide entertainment at parties. Their booming business soon runs into trouble when the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown put a stop to public gatherings. Unable to leave for home and stuck with their dwindling supplies, the brothers find themselves at the end of their ropes as the days roll by.
“There’s no need to change the pages of the calendar, time has stood still since 2019”. This singular line from 7 Star Dinosor Entertainment is something that every person in the country, and the world even, can resonate with, thinking back to the time when the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm. While the situation turned out to be an inconvenience, albeit a frustrating one,for some, for others the pandemic brought a death sentence that went above and beyond the ravages of the virus.
The pandemic saw a number of low income and minority communities being left out to dry, and debutante director Vaishali Naik tries to remind viewers of the same through her short film, 7 Star Dinosor Entertainment. The film follows the story of two brothers, Sudhir and Vinod, whose livelihood consisted of dressing up as dinosaurs and providing entertainment at parties and gatherings. Their business comes to a standstill when the lockdown is declared and gatherings are prohibited.
Perhaps the most unsettling is how the duo had tried everything in their power to stay afloat despite the circumstances, which chip away at their patience and sanity as well. The sequences of them trying to ration their only food, a cake, over the course of several days, is heartbreaking. But perhaps the most affecting is the fact that the two make desperate attempts to leave, only to be told that their improper documents come in the way of them going back to their families.
The story is fictitious, but deeply rooted to real events. The story of Sudhir and Vinod, dinosaur costumes aside, is reminiscent of the plight of a large number of people who found themselves with no means of income and survival when the lockdowns were declared in the nation. Their helplessness and desperation is depicted in all its anguish and painful detail, and the writing manages to strike the perfect balance between absurdity and the protagonists’ anguish. Another sequence, which is still stirring in its comicalness, is one where Vinod says that his brother had tried to fake having COVID-19, just for the promise of a few days of free meal. The way the young man’s smile wanes away into an expression of sombreness when the full weight of his situation hits him, is hard to watch.
The film makes no attempt to try and diminish the impact of the issue it tries to highlight with an optimistic ending either, making it all the more gut wrenching in its rawness.
Vaishali Naik makes a stellar directorial debut with 7 Star Dinosor Entertainment, effortlessly marrying elements of absurdity and gravitas in the film’s poignant story, that highlights a huge preventable tragedy the country bore witness to.