Actor-director-editor Ashvin Kumar makes a smooth transition from short films with “Road to Ladakh,” a 50-minute featurette set in the stunning wilds of Ladakh, northwest India, that plays as a teasing, extended mood piece. Tale of a fashion model and taciturn stranger lacks a strong enough final twist to totally satisfy but deserves some fest exposure and specialized small screen play in hour slots.
Coked-up looker Sharon Kapoor (Koel Purie, from “Everybody Says I Am Fine”) stops at a remote mountain pass to have a tire repaired and later finds herself being followed by a mysterious man (Irfan Khan, lead in “The Warrior”) in a jeep. The two finally talk and, in an ironic sequence, end up sharing a yurt overnight with some locals. As they journey on the next day — she to interview a general on the sensitive India-Pakistan border, and he on some nefarious activity — the two find their destinies intertwined. Aided by Swiss d.p. Markus Huersch’s clean lensing of the sub-Himalayan locations, and controlled perfs by the two leads, pic maintains interest despite the sparse dialogue. Pro tech credits show no sign of the physically difficult shoot.