Cast: Ashwini Malik
Driving back home from out of town, Akhil is in a euphoric mood. His happiness is due to the fact that he is alone and yet not feeling afraid. He is, after all, recovering from a condition that has crippled his life – monophobia or the fear of being alone. To test his recovery, Akhil turns his car into a forest and drives deep inside. And then, the car breaks down and Akhil finds himself lost in the wilderness. Initially he is calm and composed, but soon panic begins to set in. As he battles for survival and tries to find his way back to civilization, his fear subjects him to the most terrifying experience of his life. He soon realizes that his greatest threat is from himself…
In order to get into the mind of the protagonist and live his experience, Monophobia is presented strictly from the point-of-view of the protagonist, Akhil. Therefore, his face is not seen in the film. And because he is alone when this happens, no one else is seen either.
Director’s Note of Intent:
Monophobia is my reaction to the neglect of storytelling in contemporary cinema. Filmmakers go to such desperate lengths for the moviegoer’s attention that one rarely gets to have a pure cinematic experience. Stars, big budgets and technology often smother the story and its cinematic potential.
Monophobia is my conscious attempt to traverse the opposite direction. There is a story, but no star – in fact the actor’s face is not seen in the film. There is no real budget to speak of; the film has been produced using basic, inexpensive equipment. (The shooting crew comprised of precisely 2 people – the director and the DoP!) Even in terms of the subject matter, I have consciously chosen to not explore a social issue, in order to allow the story and characters to engage with the viewer.
To get into the mind of the protagonist and live his experience, Monophobia is presented strictly from the point-of-view of the protagonist. Therefore, his face is not seen in the film. And because he is alone through the duration of the story, no one else is seen either. I realize that this may seem gimmicky, and I’m not sure how far I’ve succeeded in what could be called an experiment, but the idea was to try and connect with the viewer on the strength of the story alone.