REVIEW: Something inherently likeable about ‘Roshni’

By Bryan Durham - June 26, 2020

A collaborative project that sees electronica artist SickFlip, singer-producer Ritviz and hip-hop duo Seedhe Maut come together with Bombay-based creative studio The Outbox Project, Roshni arrives several months after it was first dropped last year at OnePlus Music Festival and NH7 Weekender.

REVIEW: Something inherently likeable about ‘Roshni’
Ritviz flanked by Seedhe Maut and SickFlip | Pic Credit: RC Photography

When the first Roshni visualiser dropped on June 19 with the audio on Ritviz’s YouTube channel, it sparked interest when it declared: This video is unlike the ones you’ve seen on here. This one is up to you. In order to view this video, we need you to stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and let the song create visuals in your head.

It has, since that day, racked up 640,487 views (at the time of writing this). Which is quite good for a video that starts out “darkness-to-light” over the course of 3 minutes in the absence of any visuals.

The official music video dropped earlier today on SickFlip’s YouTube channel and is loosely based on the message that no matter how deep the darkness, it will be illuminated one day.

It follows Aiman Mukhtiar from a therapist’s couch to finding herself lonely, desolate, running from an unseen fear. She drifts from nothingness to nostalgia to despair, reaching out for the slightest sliver of hope that comes in the form of an embrace that turns into a group hug and leads her into metaphorical light and we see her finally smile.

Loneliness and despair are emotions that are deeply intimate and at the same time, universal. Aiman’s Roshni struggles, she reaches into the recesses of her soul, cries her eyes out, exhales her pain, making the video threadbare and surreal all at once. It breathes so relatable you feel you can reach out and touch (and hug) Roshni and tell her it’s gonna be okay.

REVIEW: Something inherently likeable about ‘Roshni’

Director Siddharth Sathyajit makes Aiman’s Roshni the hero even as art director Aisha Want makes a fervent case for a duotoned video while DoP Caleb Wissun Bhide’s closeup-and-midshot dominated visuals keep you connected to Roshni’s story.

And it does get your fingers snapping and you swaying. There’s something inherently likeable about Roshni even if you are the sort who believes they need subtitles to understand Ritviz’s lyrics and that’s where the collaboration makes sense.

Sometimes, less is more. This is one of those few happy exceptions.

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