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Late one night, a pavement dweller comes across a wallet with money, abandoned by the side of the road. As he sifts through the contents of the wallet, he notices the owner of the wallet watching him from across the road. Scared of being accused of stealing the wallet, he offers the wallet back to the owner. But the owner is not interested in the wallet and asks the finder to keep it, even requesting him to use the money in the wallet. The owner of the wallet says that he has no use for money in the place he is going to. Surprised at this unusual answer, the finder tries to persuade the owner away from his decision to end his life. Does this chance meeting of two strangers under such strange circumstances change the course of their lives?

‘Abandonment’ is a student film by Director Sagnik Dutta Gupta. It is an unassuming little story that addresses some very poignant social issues like mental health and depression from an innocently sweet perspective. The director treats the film with a refreshing simplicity that makes the viewer forget any shortcoming he may notice in the film. For a student film, ‘Abandonment’ is mature in the way it handles the character depth of its key characters. Though we know of many stories where a chance interaction with a stranger on that eventful day when someone decides to take his own life changes everything, abandonment succeeds in the way it communicates the bond that develops between the two characters. With minimal use of dialogues and no music throughout the film, the way the film endears both the characters and communicates their feeling for each other is commendable.

‘Abandonment’ is a conversation starter about mental health, depression and the increasing rate of suicides among the younger generation. Though the film does not dissect the reasons or preach, it leaves the right aftertaste about these issues and a warm fuzzy feeling at the end.

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