‘Char Cutting’- an initiative by Jamuura releases four widely-acclaimed short films this week in selected theatres around India, as part of PVR Director’s Rare. Being from Vadodara, where there is no scope for such screenings, I couldn’t catch up with all the shorts under this umbrella. But I was lucky enough to attend a screening of Skin Deep, arranged by Hardik Mehta for some close friends, family and cinephiles in the city. So, here I try to interpret Skin Deep from my point-of-view.

(Spoilers ahead)

Skin Deep, written by Motwane and directed by Hardik Mehta, follows a young couple in Mumbai, who face a problem while making love on a certain day. The problem being an extra tag of skin on his penis. Convinced that this is something that can’t be carried on further, the guy decides to undergo circumcision before their marriage. Destinies interfere, things go wrong at the operation table, and soon he finds himself in a completely new reality. His girlfriend has moved on, and is now pregnant with someone else’s baby.


The film uses a wonderful metaphor by incorporating the subject of circumcision in the script. Until one is circumcised, they never realize the pain and utter sensitivity that lies beneath the skin. But once it is removed, the penis gets to face the harsh reality of the new milieu it is in. At times, the pain is more than it was before. But it learns to adapt to that new surroundings. And it eventually does.

Similar is the case with the ‘feelings’ of the characters in the story. Once the female protagonist is stripped of the ‘hope’ of a new life she sees with him, abandonment is the only harsh way to go on with her life. It hurts her, for sure, but she has accepted it. The guy too, on realizing that the girl who loved him so much has moved on, is unable to accept it for some time. But as the last scene shows, he too has decided to move on with his feelings.

So basically, the movie puts a light on how our lives can be affected by some events in the milieu we live in and how our emotions, which are just a ‘skin deep’, can be peeled apart from our soul.

Hats off to Hardik Mehta for portraying those emotions so wonderfully on the screen. Naveen Kasturia and Aditi Vasudev do a brilliant job as well.

(Doctor by day and an aspiring filmmaker by night, Arnab Sarkar believes in films more than medicines. Residing in Vadodara, he also writes on his own blog 35mm.)

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