Wade, an Indian animated short directed by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and Kalp Sanghvi, is a beautifully composed and impactful film. It marks both a stunning achievement for its creators and a timely, relevant piece of science fiction.
Wade depicts a climate-changed Kolkata. The entire city lies waist-deep in water. Buildings are collapsing. Old graffiti warns against the influx of unwanted refugees. Society is in collapse. People scrape through the refuse to find whatever they can that will let them survive. It is not just humans that flock to safety in the city, however; a Bengal Tiger has as well.
Without dialogue, Wade presents an extraordinarily provocative and well-considered picture of the future. There is a tendency among American-dominated entertainment to imagine the effects of climate change on the developed world, when in truth it is places like the Indian subcontinent where the effects will be most immediate and devastating. There are no punches pulled here, and it makes a powerful impact.
Bhattacharyya and Sanghvi adopt a striking tone for their film, using traditional animation and CGI in a way that shows a clear delineation between the styles rather than to blend them together. Not only does it provide a strong aesthetic, it accentuates the action brilliantly.
Wade was an award-winner at Annecy, and it isn’t difficult to see why. This tightly made, dramatic, and hugely promising short promises great things from its creators in future.
Wade recently screened at the Fantasia International Film Festival.