With all the crime surrounding us, it’s only natural to fall prey to fear and paranoia every once in a while. No short film expresses these feelings quite as accurately as Paranoia.

Aptly named, Paranoia shows us what happens when one man finds himself doubting the intentions of a fellow traveler. It doesn’t help that the traveler is carrying a suspicious-looking suitcase. Seeing him sets off a wave of terror in the first passenger’s mind, making him envision his own death.

Paranoia perfectly depicts the feeling of anxiety and the uneasiness that lingers in the country post the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The fear and the suspicion are perfectly illustrated, even though the film doesn’t feature any music or dialogues. Instead, it relies on sharp animation that blends the best elements of 2D and 3D to give us an exemplary final product.

The short film, produced by the students of Thakur Toonskool Advanced Animation Academy, is crisp and to the point. The precision and attention to detail are noteworthy. Every movement and sound of the train will feel as realistic as your own morning commute.

All technical aspects aside, what makes Paranoia work is its portrayal of the dread and apprehension we’re all familiar with. The four-minute short will make you feel a myriad of emotions, including guilt, fear and confusion. It makes you think by inducing these very real feelings, but without using a single word. And for that, Paranoia deserves applause.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. The short film has garnered critical acclaim at a number of festivals; ranging from the Pune International Film Festival to the Athens International Animation Festival. Watch the award-winning short film here, if you haven’t already. (Suggestion: Do NOT watch during your commute!)

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