The Obscure Life of a Teen by Kunwar Mahajan

This film is a great proof that you don’t need a lot of time to be able to send out a very powerful message, although it is not always easy to be able to convey such a thing in a short period of time, but director “Kunwar Mahjan” was able to put together a very substantial and convincing piece of work.

Dealing with mental health and its repercussions is not something to be taken lightly or is it easy to come up with a screenplay that would reflect the true meaning of psychological setbacks such as anxiety, depression, bullying and the likes. “Mahjan” was able with his short to transport the audiences on an emotional and psychological trip through the way his scenes develop and how he uncovers details as we move forward with each and every scene. The characters in this movie hold semantic implications and can be categorized as representations of emotions that someone with mental health issues feel and the different circumstances that they endure.

Technically, the amazing accomplishment is the ability to send out such a powerful and professional message in such a short time, from the first second of the film the brilliant use of sound effects and music carried the viewer into the mindset desired by the director, his ability to manipulate the diegesis with his use of a color pallet that translates his words without the need to say a single one.  The music and sound effects used served their purpose in a very subtle way and elevated the work into a real enjoyment. As for the tremendous work done in the post production with the special effects used and the scribbled style effect applied shows great maturity and reflects real understanding of the art of film-making.

In the end, and as mentioned earlier, it is never easy to portray on film the mental state that people might go through and how they deal with such agonizing dilemma. This film is a must see and could be a real contributor in the treatment needed to help with the healing process since it is a part of a trilogy that sheds light on the most wide spread and most dangerous of illnesses of our time due to the current lifestyle the whole world is living due to the current pandemic that took the whole by surprise and turned our lives upside down.


N.Khouri Ph.D 

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