A sure-fire way of enjoying Valentine’s Day is through the gut. This is the common route taken by the short films Lovey Dovey and Kheer to mark February 14.
In the 20-minute Lovey Dovey, army officer Gautam (Rajeshwar Nag) and his teacher-wife Suvy (Nidhi Singh) take a day off from work on Valentine’s Day and spend quality time together. They shop and eat in the small market of Chail, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Through their awkward conversations, it is revealed that the newly weds have met through an arranged marriage.
For the first 15 minutes, director Adeeb Rais builds up the plot through comic scenes involving a chili spray, a breakfast of pickle and cornflakes, a condom discount offer at a store and a quiz aimed at romantic couples. The short warms up in the last five minutes when the disenchanted couple share a drink by a bonfire, exchanging stories about their hopes and disappointments from their marriage and toasting the night to the beginning of a lifelong friendship. It won’t get you teary-eyed, but it will make you feel a little giddy with schmaltz.
In Kheer, Anupam Kher plays Govind, a widower who prepares a sumptuous pot of the rice pudding to win over the affections of his grandchildren, Stuti Dixit and Abhimanyu Chawla. While visiting Govind’s house, the grandchildren find an elderly woman (Natasha Rastogi) helping Govind with the household chores. Is she their grandfather’s new girlfriend?
In under seven minutes, director Surya Balakrishnan infuses her short with the quotidian humour that we often miss in the bigger (and busy) picture of our daily lives. The interaction between the characters is warm and evocative, firing the belly for a bowl of home-made rice pudding sprinkled with a dash of (you guessed it).