Candid Cinema

‘Desi Standard Time Travel’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

The one thing about growing up is that we don’t realize that our parents are getting older. We tend to shrug it off and not see that they are changing, just as we are. We see our parents as these immortal figures who will always be there for us. We can sometimes get carried away in arguments and even question why they treat us the way they do. But they still see their children as the baby they have to mould and educate to become well-rounded people. The unconditional love from parents knows no bounds and will always be present in their children’s lives. Desi Standard Time Travel is a little reminder not to take your parents for granted, and it is a touching story. Director Kashif Pasta tenderly directs this heartfelt story that he also co-wrote with Nessa Aref.

When Imran (Adolyn H. Dar) becomes a new father, he suddenly loses his dad. He is allowed to travel back in time for an evening. And it helps him end things on a better note. The last time Imran spoke to his father, it became a typical father/son argument about not trusting his judgment as an adult. Since Imran was born in Canada, he has never understood the hardships that his father had to go through. He left his family and his entire life at home to give his son a better life in a country filled with opportunity. Once Imran meets his father back in the ‘90s (before he was born), he soon realizes he is just as clueless. When we’re young, we believe that our parents know absolutely everything, and that’s why they guide us. But once we reach their age, we finally understand that they had no clue how to navigate life and our parents were making their own mistakes. 

There are some great choices made through the cinematography to show the distinction of the period. And how Imran remembers his parents. There is this warm, golden, dreamlike atmosphere when he returns to his childhood home. It’s emotional and touching at that moment because Imran realizes that he is more like his father than he realizes. Aref and Pasta wanted to highlight that one argument or disagreement doesn’t define our relationship with anyone. In this case, the concept of time travel as a voucher when someone passes instead of a will is a beautiful sentiment. It also poses the question, at which moment would you return to share one last special moment with your loved one? The cycle of living continues long after our loved ones pass. Fortunately, they’ve left us with so much knowledge, unconditional love, and the confidence to keep pushing forward in building our own lives. 

Desi Standard Time Travel will make you want to hug your parents right after you watch it. It’s a touching story with a beautiful lesson in not taking any of your relationships for granted. Our parents are the first people whom we build relationships with. And they should be the most important people in our lives. It’s heartfelt and emotional and shows that life can change instantly. We don’t realize how much time we have with people until they’re gone. Our parents have taught us many life lessons. And as the world evolves, we help them in return. Aref and Pasta tell this story so beautifully that it will resonate with many, as it has a universal emotional connection to family dynamics and grief.  It has screened at film festivals in Canada, winning multiple Best Short and Audience awards including Best Short at Toronto Reel Asian. It is currently in the running for a Canadian Screen Award nomination.


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