MOUNTAIN OF LIGHT BY AASHISH GADHVI

Directed by Aashish Gadhvi Reviewed by Adva Reichman

The British Crown Jewels contain an infamous diamond.Originating from India, the famed ‘Kohinoor’, or ‘Mountain of Light’ in English, is now the object of desire by many around the world. So, when a small group of thieves decides to fulfill that desire, we get a great short packed with tense drama, twists and turns.

The governments of India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan have all claimed rightful ownership of the Kohinoor diamond and demanded its return ever since India gained independence from the UK in 1947. The British government insists the gem was obtained legally under the terms of the Last Treaty of Lahore and has rejected the claims. In the film, three British Asians steal the diamond, dreaming of returning it to its rightful owner.

Of course, nothing about that operation is simple and through their relationships we learn about the complex animosity Indians and Pakistanis hold for one another, and of the great curse surrounding the diamond.Because its history involves a great deal of fighting between men, the Kohinoor acquired a reputation within the British royal family for bringing bad luck to any man who touches it. For women however, it’s considered safe and so it was placed on the British queen’s crown. As the film progresses, the thieves lose faith in one another, and fight not only for the diamond, but also for their lives. Will the ancient curse have the last laugh? You’ll have to see to find out…

The writer/ director, Aashish Gadhvi, did a beautiful job layering the different conflicts the thieves deal with and engaging the viewers in their agendas and beliefs. The film is surprising, and the plot twists are fun and smart. The acting done by Jaz Deol as the plan master, and Amit Dhut and Natalie Perera as his fellow conspirators works well, and for the most part, they’ll manage to confuse you and keep you guessing what their next step might be.

The cinematography, done by Daniel Lillie, is gorgeous and helps amp the pressure the group feels. It’s clear much thought had been given to framing and shots selection. The film takes place in one location, but every scene is incredibly engaging and so you never lose your focus. The music, composed by Jay Woodcock, elevates the pressure and contributes to the great pacing the editor made.

The film is a cinematic experience that will keep you on your toes while teaching you about an ancient desired diamond, the curse surrounding it, and the countless people who want to claim ownership.  

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