Film: Indianapolis International Film Festival

More films from the 2009 IIFF

By Madelyn Ritrosky

Arranged: The Musical

(Suraj Das, director)

Photo above: poster from the film "Arranged, The Musical."

Photo right: actor Nardeep Khurmi (left) and director Suraj Das on the set of Arranged. Photos courtesy of Nardeep Khurmi.

I have to chuckle as I finish writing about Buttery Top and move to Arranged: The Musical.  Although these films didn’t follow each other at the screening, they were in the same screening of shorts called “Man, I Wish I Would Have Joined E-Harmony.”  The two films were the two comedies in the group – and Arranged was humorous in a different vein.  It was a fun way to end the evening. 
As a longer short film (at 27 minutes), we learn more about our main character, Ashok, his life in New York City, and his parents’ wish that he get married, arranged style.  This is a musical-romantic comedy – but with a caveat:  it’s an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek play on Bollywood films, so popular in India.  So we see Ashok and the mysterious woman he meets, Maya, break into romantic songs at the drop of a hat. 
It was also fun to have at the screening the actor who plays Ashok, Nardeep Khurmi.  Although his job in Arranged is to pull off the leading man role in front of the camera, he is also a filmmaker.  He said he wouldn’t mind emulating Clint Eastwood’s career.  Just as Arranged was Suraj Das’s thesis film at NYU, so is Khurmi’s upcoming In Search of Aztec Gold.

Buttery Top

(Kelly Hayes & Catherine Crouch, directors)

Four minutes of humor are what Buttery Top dishes up.  This short short was so amusing that I chuckled – as did the whole audience – from start to finish. 
Two women (played by the co-directors, Kelly Hayes and Catherine Crouch), who are about to meet up for their first date, imagine all kinds of stereotypical eccentricities about the other person.  This is first-date anxiety visualized with plenty of humor. 
The title comes from the bread that one woman (Crouch’s character) chooses to bring to dinner at the other’s home (Hayes’s character).  It’s pretty insightful when you consider the various lines of assumptions that we make based on very little information about other people – based on what kind of car they drive, what type of shoes they wear, what kind of bread they eat... 
When the women realize that other, more erotic meanings can also be deduced from something like the bread chosen for your date, well, the date can proceed more smoothly.  In a buttery sort of way.

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