Slamdance Film Review: Hank and Asha

Posted January 21, 2013 in

Hank and Asha

Slamdance Film Festival

Director: James E. Duff

If you want to get to know somebody who lives far away from you, sending a bunch of short videos back and forth to one another seems like an outdated approach. With so many social media outlets to choose from, it is no longer a pain-in-the-ass to get in touch with friends living anywhere in the world. Hell, even sending a basic email is by far an easier method than shooting, editing, and sending a video to someone, and then waiting for a response. In the film Hank and Asha, Hank is a filmmaker living in New York, while Asha is a student in Prague, although her home is in India. Asha sends Hank a video after she saw one of his films, and she wants to know more about him. What ensues is an hour-long video correspondence between the two, and it’s only a little more interesting than it sounds like. The biggest problem with this film is the viewfinder format that director James E. Duff chose to tell this story. It looks like you’re watching through a video camera the entire time, and the lack of contrast between Hank and Asha’s videos create a slow feeling overall. To make up for this, the actors, Andrew Pastides (Hank) and Mahira Kakkar (Asha), seem to over-act, and it comes off as being cheesy and too cute. The story itself is interesting, but the simplistic approach by Duff only hinders the appeal and makes it hard to really care.