Prince Charming, Sheheryar Munawar’s directorial debut, portrays the stranded realities of an otherwise “steady” relationship in 12 minutes. This reality appears to be misplaced at first, as the film implies an extramarital affair in order to portray a sad woman’s attempt to bring colour to her life.

The film, however, revolves around the grayscale, since it illustrates the various forms that every relationship might take at any period. And the relationship’s drab, faded allure takes a toll on the people it links – sometimes in ways that others don’t understand.

Sheheryar, who gives insight on post-marital depression with this short film, has shown the ambiguity of what may seem as “ungratefulness” with utmost sensitivity.

Mahira portrays the hopeless idealist in despair, who is frequently reduced to a damsel in distress, as she mirrors the quivering influence of her fantasies on her body in Prince Charming. In an attempt to soothe herself, Mahira’s character creates a bubble with the charming prince she anticipated to marry. This prince has the same appearance as her spouse, but he treats her like a queen and lavishes her with praise. But the most essential thing is that he never abandons her – something that most men struggle with in a 9-5 job.

While it is undeniable that women in our society often feel deceived by the reality of marriage, which is not always the fairytale they grew up knowing it to be, the consequences of that betrayal is often minimised. Women are left unheard with the justifications of “this is how it is,” and “at least he isn’t abusing you,” while they are expected to do it all without saying a word and sacrificing their own needs by staying at home and caring for everyone else’s. The same society that teaches little girls that they can do it all after marriage also tells them that they must forego their own desires once they marry.

If she obtains a condition as a result of how “reality” affected her, it labels her “ill in the head.”

So Prince Charming is definitely worth watching, especially because it presents a topic that is sometimes brushed under the floor and dismissed as a “non-issue” with such candour. Seemeen Naveed executive produced the short, which is available on See Prime’s YouTube channel.