Imtiaz Ali's Short Film - India Tomorrow Review

Imtiaz Ali Stuns in this Highly Metaphorical Short Film "India Tomorrow." But Did you Get its Message Right?

Brain-o-meter Rating: 8/10

Imtiaz Ali has been a revered director for long now, so much so that contemporary romance is associated with the director. After his hit and miss "Tamasha," he is back with a short film that talks about a dialogue between a prostitute and her client. Loads have people have commented that this film is outstanding and presents a new sense of perspective while many others loathed its story and were mostly confused about its message. India tomorrow, eh?

Here is the video itself:

For those who loved it, I want to say this. Just because a well-known director has got a prostitute to speak educated stock market mumbo-jumbo does not mean that it is cool. Did you think why the prostitute was in such a situation even after being educated? Does the director want to promote the profession and term it empowerment where they can assert their freedom after having a plan? Many prostitutes have a plan, do they get to execute it? What about the title? Does it have anything to do with prostitutes earning their right to respect in the society? Does that mean that the director encourages brothels everywhere so that each of them can get out of it after making some money out of it whenever they want to?

For those who hated it, do you really think that after going through Imtiaz Ali filmography, especially Highway, he will make a short film titled India tomorrow only to show an impossible scenario with a prostitute speaking what she did and then dismissing the practical advice from her client about being an investment banker?

Well, in my first impressions. I hated it and then slowly realized that there was much more than what meets the eye here. Women are scorned and tortured from time immemorial and here she is shown to be a victim only to realize she has a plan of progress reserved for herself. She is not willing to submit meekly to the status quo which implies that she was forced into it. There is lack of respect on the part of the client at the start, but then he quickly realizes that she is smarter than what her choice of profession is.

Banking on Imtiaz Ali's filmography, I found some visual motifs that hint at some rich subtext. Here is my interpretation. The lady here stands for every victim in the society who is looked down upon, but who has a positive frame of mind and a brashness that stands for her confidence in her future plan. She stands for each person who has to give up on their life, their interests, ambition and dreams.

The client stands for all those people who invest their time, money and effort in things that are said to reap them profits, but ultimately hit the ceiling and crash down along with their expectations. The dialogue sums up the importance of low times and lower people who are not regarded with respect in the society, but who can bounce back with time. Just as the stock market crashes, the low points give chances to smart investors to make money over time, people who hit rock bottom can only rise from them on. The dialogue at the end also hints at the self-reliance of such people who are not willing to let backhanded sympathy from their so-called well-wishers who use them selfishly.

The clock at the start is referenced in the end, implying that each selfish tirade meets an end in some time or the other. Note that she refers to the time remaining for sex and hits back at the client to be concerned of that only.

At the end, the music amply reflects what I have interpreted here. The song Sadda Haq is about our rights and how India tomorrow will include all those who stand up for their rights and have a definite plan for rising up above their dismal status quo - the dreamers. This is mentioned in the first frame itself.

This is my take on the short film. It might be different from what you feel, but in conclusion, from what I surmise, this short film titled "India Tomorrow" is exactly a metaphorical allusion to the rise of dreamers who are set to rise from the ashes of reality like the phoenix.

Post your views in the comments section and let me know if I have got it right or wrong.