Voot released The Shailas as a part of the Voot Special Film Festival. It is a 14-minutes long short film with a story that revolves around the relationship of a rich and privileged woman and her domestic worker. Through this, we are able to see the class difference between the two. Unlike its theme, the film takes a humorous side to portray the issue. The Shailas focuses on the life of a wealthy socialite in Bombay named Lexi, played by Kaneez Surka. Lexi lives a life in a bubble as the topmost priority in her life is to outdo her friends in a fiercely competitive tea party.
– The Shailas review contains mild spoilers –
Her three friends invite each other for a tea party with fancy invitations. The shining silver crockery and fancy china adorn the room in which they sit. Each party keeps on getting fancier, with the last one having five helpers for one person to drink tea. Lexi, who wants to be the best in the game, goes on a hunt to find a maid. The film is a satirical take on the complex relationship between an upper class and a lower-class person. The difference is visible in real life as well that, in turn, makes The Shailas an incredible film as it seems ridiculous from the third-person’s view.
A Hot & Cold Relationship
Lexi finds the perfect new maid, named Lakshmi, for her. We can see Lexi’s controlling attitude come out as she changes Lakshmi’s name into Shaila. Over a period of time, through tiny details, conversations and incidents that occur, Lexi starts to face issues with Shaila. Being controlling herself, Lexi dislikes the control Shaila has over the household stuff. However, no matter what is happening, her main focus is the tea party.
Lexi’s competitiveness is apparent when one of her friends comes over and recognizes Shaila, as she is her former maid. The two of them bond, which makes Lexi jealous as she does not have that sort of a relationship with Shaila. As the story of The Shailas moves forward we see growing disparities between the two. So much so that at one point, Shaila leaves Lexi right before the grand tea party for which she has been prepping.
The more time the two spend with each other, the closer Lexi and Shaila become, as well. Even if they have a hot and cold relationship. Ultimately they are two women of similar personalities, with a major difference in power, who live together. Lexi, who thinks that she has an upper hand spies on Shaila and focuses on her weaknesses.
Worth The Watch?
Even though it was a short film, it was able to make you wonder about your privileges by the end of it. The director of The Shaila(s), Neha RT, who is also the writer and the producer, has done a remarkable job at keeping a predictable screenplay interesting. Every time a new fight between Lexi and Shaila comes up, you wonder what it will be and how far can it go.
Kaneez Surka fits well in her role. After watching her on social media for so long, we can see just how perfect she was for the role. What is more fun is the fact that you keep wondering how Lexi will react to any given situation. We could see her empathy showing during the menstruation scene. In the end, The Shailas, with its satirical sense of humour, is a story about a dysfunctional employer-worker relationship where class difference plays the biggest role, followed by the brewing friendship between two women.
You can watch The Shailas on Voot.