Will you choose the easy way out or the hard one in a difficult situation? Human Instinct would be to go with the former. Amit Venugopal’s short film, The Cycle, explores this theme through a narrative that is set in strange circumstances.
A person is busy typing on his mobile while driving his car on a deserted road. He gets distracted for a moment and hits the cyclist who is riding ahead of him. Hesitantly he gets out of the car to check on the cyclist, but is shocked to see only the cycle and not the rider.
Help comes in the form of a piece of paper lying near the cycle. It says that he can make a call to the number written on it to solve any problem. He dials the number, explains the situation to the other person and says that he wants to get out of the situation instead of reporting the incident to the police. The respondent agrees to help. But will that happen and at what cost?
“The film is an attempt to explore the concept of morality. It deals with our basic instinct to get out of a situation in the easiest way possible. But, sooner or later, we will face the consequence of making that decision,” says Amit, who is working with Envestnet in Thiruvananthapuram.
In spite of certain shortcomings, the short, which is 13.32 minutes long, scores for the way the subject has been treated. The setting is bizzare, as Amit calls it, as he has blended mystery and supernatural elements into the storyline. “I have always loved the thriller-mystery genre and wanted to try that in this film,” says Amit. He had earlier directed the short, Unheard in 2020 while pursuing his engineering studies, as part of Chiri, a tele-counselling project of the Kerala Government begun during the lockdown in 2020 for the mental well-being of those below the age of 18.
While Amit plays a role in the short, the other roles are played by his colleagues. Shot in and around picturesque Vellayani in Thiruvananthapuram over four days, the short has cinematography by Ramshi K and music by Jomon M John.
The Cycle is streaming on YouTube.