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‘Masterpiece’ fails to deliver what it had promised!

Bad acting and lazy execution killed a story that could have easily left a mark on the viewer’s psyche.

In his first ever short dramatic monologue, ‘Porphyria’s Lover’, Robert Browning makes an attempt to explore the abnormal psychology of a lover who strangles his beloved to death. As much as the poem today recounts every evident of toxic masculinity, in the lines, “I propped her head up as before,/ Only, this time my shoulder bore/ Her head, which droops upon it still...” Browning gives us a clear image of the lover watching his beloved lying dead look as alive as she always has been. Pulling on those strings where passion and obsession create a jarring affair in a person’s mind, Rajeeb Barnwal’s installation in Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films, ‘Masterpiece’, finds that blurring line between creativity and madness.

Starring Akshay Oberoi and Simrat Kaur, the short film follows a struggling artist who often visits a cafe to take inspiration from the people around him whom he sketches in his notebook. He is soon noticed by a seemingly good looking girl who accuses him of stalking her but soon begins to admire his art when she sees he had sketched her. As their friendship blooms, the heating romance takes the front seat and soon both of them see the first sparks of romance taking its course. However, there is a twist in the end. The somewhat decent demurred artist has a dark secret and that does not come out until he manages to paint his final masterpiece of a bride.