Feature Name: Ave Maria
Directed By: Vanita Omung Kumar
Cast: Shivika Rishi, Lin Laishram,. Annup Sonni, Nitinn R Miranni
Run Time: 24 minutes
Review By: Manisha Karki
Ave Maria is story about six-year-old daughter Maria, she is shy and introvert in nature. The story begins with Maria (Shivika Rishi) being sad and not speaking with anyone, not even her parents Paul and Sussanne played by Annup Sonii and Lin Laishram respectively.
Maria finds solace and a true friend, in a ventriloquist dummy gifted to her by her mother, and names her ‘Mary’. Mary becomes Maria’s voice. Paul finds this behaviour abnormal and expresses his concern as he wants his daughter to be just a normal happy kid.
Their fears are realised when Maria decides to confront her demons at her birthday party when she with the help of Mary her dummy, discloses that she has been sexually abused by her Uncle John, Paul’s brother.
The director Vanita Omung Kumar has beautifully showcase the story and the screenplay has convayed all the emotions of the character in the short film. The film focuses on creating awareness about child abuse and highlighting the importance of communication as most of the Indian families lack.
The cinematography, dialogues, sound design and the visual effects also blend in seamlessly in this short film. The film is shot is Goa and it has perfectly used the location in terms of story also the background score which is dark as the subject is but it will definately bright up your mind in the end.
Talking about the performances, Shivika Rishi was a perfect choice for her role. She has done her job well and brilliantly performed as Maria. Apart from her, Lin Laishram & Annup Sonni are the best as mother and father. As per their character and chemistry they where decent and good on screen.
Talking about the villain in the story, Nitinn R Miranni, his performance was superb and will be remember as a baddie by role till the end.
Child abuse in India is everywhere, it can be in cities and rural homes, in the homes of the rich and the poor, and in the streets and schools. With this film Vanita Omung Kumar has taken a step forward to showcase the terror of child abuse.
We with all our hearts give Ave Maria 3 stars.