Line up Raju with last week’s Pentecost and realize that there is no comparison. Although they are incredibly different from one another, Raju packs a punch with its entire package. A twenty-four minute short that felt half as long, it is both deep and action-packed.
Jan Fischer (Wotan Wilke Möhring) and his wife Sarah (Julia Richter) have traveled all the way from Germany to a reputable orphanage in India to adopt a little boy named Raju (Krish Gupta). He is a precious four year old with big eyes and ears who constantly speaks in untranslated Indian gibberish. The day after they pick him up from the orphanage, Sarah wakes up sick, so Jan and Raju go out exploring together. Immediately they have an adorable connection, helped by Raju’s fearless display of affection. Jan is taken with the boy. While they are near the end of their day, they stop at a market and while buying food, they notice a flock of kites flying over the buildings. Jan inevitably takes his eyes off of Raju for two seconds, and when he looks back, the little boy is gone.
Raju is certainly more action packed than your typical Oscar nominee, using editing and music techniques more common to a Bond film. Because it is a short, it gets you onto the edge of your seat pretty quickly and keeps you there for most of the film. Imagine the absolute terror of losing your child in a foreign country, only to find out that it’s much bigger than simply a lost boy.
Everything considered, Raju is probably my favourite short I’ve seen so far. It wasn’t necessarily the most original plot or the most thought-provoking script, but its execution was fairly flawless. If you’re looking for a short to accompany your Friday night movie this week, I would highly recommend this Max Zahle creation.