After meeting Hank (Andrew Pastides) at a film festival in New York, Asha (Mahira Kakkar) travels to Prague to studying filmmaking, but the two maintain contact and start an intimate friendship after they begin sharing their video diaries. Their entries to each other are underscored by their collective love of cinema, while also examining more sensitive issues surrounding traditional and cultural identity. Hank and Asha grow closer with each message that is exchanged despite being separated by thousands of miles of land and sea, but their newfound intimacy comes with its own unexpected challenges for the two young dreamers.
Unconventional in many regards, Hank and Asha cleverly crafts a tale centered on the human desire for intimacy, which is slyly underscored by Hank and Asha’s consistent onscreen separation. The diary entries made by the young cinephiles are more than simple confessionals, but probe meaningfully into anxiety over love and identity, among many other things, and can be most accurately described as small standalone vignettes that come together for an even greater effect. The focus of Hank and Asha is on a generation that is now inseparably intertwined with the digital tools they use to communicate, and restyles the typical romantic comedy formula by examining both the benefits and the challenges that are posed by new types of modern relationships.
Told with a daring narrative format and bolstered by the performances of its two young leads, Hank and Asha has already been recognized as a critical success and has been a consistent favorite among fans on the festival circuit. The film takes an unflinching look at the challenges of a contemporary relationship, celebrating the power of cinema to bridge the gaps of distance, while also not backing down from the challenges that such a relationship entails. An enlightening and heartwarming look at how new technology is influencing contemporary global relationships, James E. Duff’s big screen premiere is just as smart as it is entertaining, and the infectious nature of Hank and Asha’s personalities makes it difficult to hold back a smile.