James E. Duff
Hank and Asha (NR)
Comedy 73 April 11, 2014
Hank (Andrew Pastides) is a New York filmmaker who receives a video from film student Asha (Mahira Kakkar) after she sees a documentary he made in Prague, where she’s studying. A video correspondence commences, as they reveal their favorite haunts and gradually share their worlds. The film's success rests upon the interest engendered by these characters, but Hank and Asha fail to meaningfully engage us -- both are earnest and comprehensible to the point of tedium, failing to display complexities that might create a sense of nuance or interest in the dynamic of this virtual couple.
Sometimes saccharine in its register (one scene consists of Hank strumming his guitar and singing for Asha) and at others conceptually clunky (another features Hank taking his camera to dinner, speaking to it as if it's Asha, and -- rather profligately -- ordering an entire meal for it), Hank and Asha struggles to find a solution for its challenging conceit. In all fairness, it’s no small task.