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Innocent Chat

A married man, wrestling with constant marital strife, anger issues of his wife, and an emptiness over not having had a biological child, is drawn to online chatting with a much younger woman, rationalizing in terms of a higher purpose of having a family. The co-protagonist, the young adult woman, has an equally deep emotional void, due to not having had a father, mental health issues, lack of self-esteem and unrequited love life with someone her age group. As they both seek meaning with each other, will their rendezvous lead to what they think they want, or what they really look for?

Rajiv Mallick comes to the world of film making from a long and distinguished career in health care research. His career and life experiences and learnings have intersected in a desire to be creative in a literary form. As a career professional, Rajiv brings to the world of film his immense health outcomes research learnings on affective and anxiety disorders, and their treatments, and as a middle-aged adult, his various life experiences as a husband and father. His film company, Innocent Entertainment - Mallick Films LLC, is devoted to a mission of developing content that focuses on and celebrates innocence, in all its various forms - innocence of feelings, innocence of actions, and innocence from alleged wrongdoing. His first film, Innocent Chat, is about how character and behavioral flaws, when unaddressed, can lead to hugely missed life opportunities. The film touches on infidelity, depression, low self-esteem, and anger management, yet offers hope and redemption out of the realization of innocent decisions gone wrong.

Rajiv actively continues to finesse his film scriptwriting and directing skills by attending relevant webinars and engaging with industry leaders in script consults via platforms such as Stage 32. Rajiv is currently finalizing his feature script, on a young DACA immigrant, accused of sexual assault, who fights for his innocence with the help of an unlikely ally.

Director statement:

This film is inspired in part by various life events and experiences. Although some of the exact events including the climax are fictionalized, the genesis of the concepts is based on true life relationships over my own adulthood, and that of my young adult daughter. I was inspired to tell this story to highlight our complex personalities, where our conscious and apparently gratuitous adult actions may really reflect unrecognized subconscious child-like, or more innocent, feelings.

In making this film, following the method approach, I wanted to ensure that my acting cast, especially the co-protagonists, completely understood the underlying mindset, conscious and sub-conscious, of the characters they were playing. And from there it was easy, even if they improvised a bit on the exact script, what was important to me as a director was that they convey the underlying intended feelings of the characters as accurately as possible. I learnt that filmmaking can be fun when you are completely honest with your cast about who your characters are so they can internalize them and play them out as themselves, and with each other.

We had to improvise on locations too - when a restaurant bailed out in terms of availability, we switched the location to a family member's apartment to serve as the co-protagonist's home, immediately raising the stakes and potential intimacy of the date.

I hope the viewers will see what emotions lie underneath the motivations of the characters and that not everything is what it seems.


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