First, the good news: India In a Day moves quickly. As a fan of 2011’s Life In a Day (also co-produced by Ridley Scott), I can admit that Kevin MacDonald’s doc had sagging stretches of unhelpful video. The filmmaker and his editor were too comfortable, which meant they often forgo their timeline.
For India In a Day (also built from amateur video shot on a single day), the lifestyle spectrum narrows down, allowing director Richie Mehta to stick closely to his reliable 24-hour timeline and encompassing parallels like morning routines and birthdays.
Unfortunately, all of the other parts that give India In a Day its momentum are surprisingly shiftless and dull. The audience receives the same sort of intimacy we’re seen before in the series and it’s nice to see so many passionate people speak honestly about their home, but I walked away from Mehta’s film having not been overall moved or consistently interested by its content. There’s no craft to this film. It constantly plays like a slew of randomly placed home movies rather than a bigger, more innovative story.
Apart from the scenery (which, luckily, is shot well) and some cute clips of kids, India In a Day doesn’t have the resonance MacDonald’s film did. Let’s hope Canada In a Day doesn’t suffer from the same flaws.
India In a Day screens at TIFF on:
Sunday, September 11 at 9:15 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
Friday, September 16 at 3:45 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Runtime: 86 minutes
For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.
Buy tickets here.
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