Jatin Verma, Naina Mishra, Anu Simran
"Identity" Gets Set for Film Festival Circuit
In Amit Chauhan's film Identity, a 17-year-old girl, Avantika (Naina Mishra), gets entangled in an online love affair without knowing the true identity of her virtual lover.
Currently getting set for the indie fest circuit, Identity is a Hitchcock-tinged modern-day tale of love and betrayal set within the framework of a contemporary story where cyber obsession and internet addiction, or Internet Addiction Disorder, have made preying on isolated human beings a more prevalent and dangerous reality.
Indeed, the story in Identity is the strong point here. It's an intriguing, thoughtful story that is sold with intentionality by Chauhan's ensemble cast yet a story that is also hindered by the film's sub-par overwrought and occasionally muddy production values including washed out lensing by Shaurya Arora that seems aimed toward being naturalistic yet is often too out of focus to truly live into that level of authenticity.
While Identity has suspenseful elements, its Hitchcockian threads largely fail to convince as Chauhan often allows the film to drift over the line into melodrama. Even the film's opening moments, an extended credit sequence, largely sets the tone that Identity is headed more toward the land of melodrama than into an emotionally resonant psychosocial thriller.
However, despite the film's numerous problems the cast tries to make the most of the material including Naina Mishra, whose performance here rises above the film's limitations and reminds you of the central vulnerability that makes this such an important story.
Identity certainly won't resonate with everyone and, indeed, it's mostly for mature audiences, but fans on the low-budget and experimental film circuits will find much to enjoy here and will appreciate Chauhan's effort to bring attention to the kind of story that plays out over and over again worldwide.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic