It is pitch dark on a highway. A badly battered man (Swanand Kirkire) runs towards his car and begins to drive. The vehicle’s doors close. The headlights guide him as he drives on the lonely, eerie highway. Slowly, the camera reveals the two passengers behind: a mother (Amruta Subhash) and daughter (Shweta Tripathi) who have been raped. In Shlok Sharma’s gripping nine-minute short film Beautiful World, the viewer’s attention stays focused inside the car as the trio process the horror of what has transpired. In the dialogue-free film, it is the cries of the two women that speak volumes.
Produced by Anurag Kashyap and Fundamental Pictures, Sharma’s film is loosely based on the 2016 Bulandshahr gang rape of a woman and her teenage daughter off a highway in Uttar Pradesh. The film is available for viewing on The Quint’s YouTube channel.