See the film and decide for yourself how many Bollywood actors share even an ounce of the passion that Malegaon director Nasser has for filmmaking
By Soumyadipta Banerjee
“Hey! You didn’t come for the press show?”
“Sorry, I missed it. Actually I was coming from Mahim and got stuck in traffic…”
“We don’t have anymore press shows happening…”
“Can you accommodate me in one of the private shows?”
“Umm…I can do that…but it will be a little too private. You okay with it?”
This was roughly the conversation that I had with the public relations consultant of 'Supermen of Malegaon' when I called her to tell her that I had missed the press show of the film in Juhu and I wanted to attend another screening. When I finally reached Santacruz, the venue set for the screening, I finally understood what Debbie meant by the words ‘too private’.
The screening was arranged in the bedroom of a second-floor apartment near the Benetton showroom. Instead of the multiplex staff serving us popcorn, we had a very old and cute daadi happily and smilingly serving us tea. On two remote corners of a small bed sat two reviewers of two opposite genders from two rival media companies. As the lights were switched off, the air-conditioner switched on and the DVD of the film was played out – the host gingerly asked us if we felt ‘comfortable and not too hot’ in the room. I just nodded in the affirmative and film started rolling.
This was the first time I had such a ‘private screening’ and this couldn’t have been a better setting for a film that transported me to another filmdom – called Malegoan. This sleepy hamlet is just a few hundred kilometres from Mumbai in distance but a hundred years older than our city in age.
This is not a film that you can ‘enjoy’ but it will make you happy
Whatever this may be, this is not a Bollywood masala film. Once in a while, when too much Bollywood clogs your mind, these films are like injections of oxygen into your tired brain. Of course, this film is being released in the leading multiplexes of the country but this film is at least 300 years away from Bollywood - just like Malegaon which is 300 kilometres away from Mumbai but dares to run a parallel film industry.
You have no idea about the struggles that a filmmaker and the crew go through while making their films. But then, you have that ONE thing that helps you escape into a make-belief world away from the cruel reality where the sound of power looms loom large in your nightmares. The film portrays how the people of Malegaon live in two alternate and diametrically opposite realities – one where they sweat all day in a dusty power-loom just to earn 400 bucks a day and another, the colourful reality of their own films where a Superman wearing chappals and bright red half-pants can take a evil-looking man down by just tapping on his bald pate.
The documentary is an amazing film about a film. It details the journey of a filmmaker who aspired to remake a Malegaon-style Hollywood film armed with a handy-cam and army of friends ready to do anything to make the film see the light of the day. The film also tells a story of a bunch of film-crazy actors, script writers and directors sacrificing their daily bread and even risking their lives just because they wanted to create a film. It says how chasing your dreams may suddenly blur the lines that define reality and fantasy.
The crew and the actors all dream of making it big in Mumbai one day but what they don’t know is that most Bollywood filmmakers would slip into a coma if they happen to see just one shot of any of the films that they have made. This review is also an application through an improper channel to all Bollywood filmmakers and actors urging them to see this docu-film at least once. See the film and decide for yourself how many Bollywood actors share even an ounce of the passion that Malegaon director Nasser has for filmmaking. The story of their alternate reality has the power to move even an Ajmal Kasab to tears.
Why we rated the film five stars
We only talk about films that entertain us and rave about those films. By defining ‘Bollywood entertainment’ with films like Rowdy Rathore and Ready, we tend to forget that there might be a different kind of entertainment as well. Yes, this film entertains you while sharing the journey of a certain Malegaon Ka Superhero who lives in his own fantasy world and is ready to forgo his measly salary of Rs 400 a month for just a longer role in a video-film which cannot even match a well-made shaadi ka video. It entertains you when you know that the hero of the film died of cancer and he had one death wish – that the world sees him on the big screen someday. You feel happy when you know that you are part of somebody’s last wish. Doesn’t the pursuit of happiness mean entertainment to you?
We figured out that this film cannot be rated. But for technical reasons (because a lot of sites map how many stars a reviewer has given to a film), we need to rate this film. We cannot give it half a star (like we do to most films which are not fit to be rated) because that would demean the attempt made by the director. This film is out of the world created by Bollywood and hence it has no comparisons with it. So, what do we do when we have put a number to this review when technically we shouldn’t be doing it?
We, therefore, rated this film five out of five stars because it deserves no less.
in.com rating: 5/5
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