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Usman Mukhtar has been creating waves in the entertainment business these days; he is loved and hated for his role of Aswad in Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay, he also recently got married and showed us a quirky and fun loving side of his when audiences saw him as a groom on his mehndi. And now his fans will be impressed by his stint as a director in his short film, Bench.

Usman Mukhtar has finally released his much-anticipated and award-winning short on 25th November. The film stars Usman and Rubya Chaudhry and a guest appearance by Iman Shahid. Bench tells the story of a young couple who is unable to decide whether to let life take its course or take control themselves. It emphasizes that relationships, like people, are not black and white. They have different shades and cannot be just boxed in one category.

Read: Pakistani short film ‘Bench’ screened at the Cannes International Film Festival




They two met by chance due to an “accident”, became friends, got married and then drifted apart. Now, they are at a crossroad in their relationship where leaving each other is just as difficult as staying together. The film is a commentary on the unpredictable nature of life where both characters reflect on their journey from being strangers and partners to becoming invisible for each other in the noise of life. There are nuances that will make your heart sink and flutter at the same time; both of them are aware of each other’s flaws and merits, and wholeheartedly accept them; Usman’s character accepts that he is at fault yet he doesn’t shy away to show his love and care. The couple met at their favourite spot, a bench in a park, to resolve their conflicts once and for all.




Directed by Usman Mukhtar and written by Ali Mudar, Bench is a very well executed short where credit should be given to each stake holder. The cinematography is beautiful and sublime, the dialogues are refined and show the hesitancy of the two individuals, who once shared a healthy relationship and are not ready to give up. The actors have taken the story up a notch with their remarkable performances as their every smile, gesture, stare or tear has a story.

Usman has given it a very captivating open-ending as we never get to see if he signed the divorce deed (though I wish it was a proper stamp paper), but Rubya’s smile of contention in the end will leave you with satisfaction despite whatever is in store.

Bench also has an apt soundtrack that adds value to the emotions portrayed on screen. It begins with Soye Nahi by Natasha Humera Ejaz and Mirande Shah which has Bengali lyrics by Rabindranath Tagore, and it ends on Abhi Abhi by Natasha Humera Ejaz.

Earlier, Bench was selected for the Cannes International Independent Film Festival amongst several other fests. It has also won an award at the South Shore Film Festival in New York in July 2021.

Watch the short film here and enjoy:



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