Review - Road, Movie: weird steer off beaten path
Road, Movie takes you into a reverie. And you know not if you have walked in at the beginning, end, or the middle of the daydream. You laugh because you don't understand what's going on. You feel sorry because you know the distraught water situation of the country. But is water just a metaphor for the various issues plaguing our society. You interpret and so will I.
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Road, Movie is another one of those few films that take a while to sink in. One in which most of the audience comes out laughing because they haven't a clue what just transpired in there. Yep, I didn't understand the film, its purpose, or the characters. But, it aroused enough curiosity. And make me think. Not necessarily about the issues raised by the film, but what the film was trying to say. Yeah, it is that kind of a film. In fact, if it were not for the absolutely spell-binding cinematography, I'd have suggested a wait till it's on TV/DVD. One needs to develop a palate for such films, and I'm still not one who can appreciate such narration completely.
So what is all this absurd, bizarre talk about. The best way to tell you is as is. And there's hardly any worry of giving the movie away, because it is so open to interpretation. The stage is set with a truck carrying reels and reels of films and the mechanism to play it in an arid, rugged, barely inhabited desert. Water is more precious than oil. Oil is more abundant than water. And despite this basic need people have their aspirations and dreams. And well their dreams come true, in their dreams. Or something like that. :D
And these dreams have been picturized beautifully. Of course, in an abstract way. It's difficult to explain and it's difficult to digest too. Not to mention that it's easily graspable in the first place. Ok, I don't mean to scare you. It's just that going in knowing that the film is about hope and accomplishment but has a dark and enigmatic tone, might help.
Given all the ambiguity, I needed to care for someone, for at least one of the four characters. Ok, I wanted them to find water to quench their thirst, but so did I want the other women walking miles together in the desert sun to find water. I couldn't care more. The characters were pretty flat, except for Vishnu (Abhay Deol). But then Vishnu isn't a person you would care for. You could hate him, if you wanted to spend that kind of energy.
I'd say that the Abhay Deol followers are the ones who will be keen to watch this film. Not for him per se, but more for his choice of films. And this one is less likely to disappoint that part of the audience. He doesn’t have way too much to do. And the part he needs to play, as always, he uses his eyes and expressions more than his body language. Satish Kaushik does a fairly entertaining job, but then that's more because his character is sort-of the sweet adorable types. Mohammad Faisal Usmani, the 10-odd year old, had too much of a smart-Alec kind-of a character for me to get interested in how he's played it. The lines given to him are rather annoying. Tannishtha Chatterjee, has a lovely screen presence. I completely fell in love with the song her character sings in the loneliness of the night.
Then there are those odd things that stick out. Nicely greased faces with only lips that are dry due to the heat. The background music is beautifl, just that it didn't feel like it went with the tone of the film, and thus stuck out. That too adds to the obscure atmosphere. Then there are people in the interiors having knowledge and presence of mind to use brands like "starbucks" in their daily language. And it's an intelligent film, so the line wasn't put in thoughtlessly. Does that mean the entire film is a dream of all the characters? phew
Road, Movie. An intentionally ambiguous film. A film very purposefully left open to interpretation. A deliberate attempt at making the audience yell, "what the…?!"
The lyrics of the age-old song take on a new meaning while playing as the credits roll -
Ya dil dooba jaaye
Aaja pyaare paas hamaare
Kaahe ghabraaye, kaahe ghabraaye
Sun sun sun, are beta sun
is champi mein bade bade gun
Laakh dukhon ki ek dava hai
kyon na aazmaaye, kyon na aazmaaye
(If your head is all muddled
Or the heart is sinking low
Come to me darling
Worry you not, worry you not
Listen to me dear, hear me out
This greasy wonder is very virtuous
A hundred thousand pains has one solution
Why don't you try, why don't you try?)
Seems like the makers are saying, if you don't understand, don't worry. Just watch films, enjoy them for what they are, it is the one solution to all your problems, no? ducking the brick
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: A policeman brutally beating up an inmate.
- Language: Most abusive language silenced out.
- Nudity & Sexual content: One love-making scene. And a couple kissing scenes.
- Concept: That of a guy leaving his home just because he wanted to get out of there and following a dream?
- General Look and Feel: It has a very dark comedy kind of a feel.
Road, Movie - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Producer: Ross Katz, Susan B. Landau, Dev Benegal
- Story: Dev Benegal
- Screenplay: Dev Benegal
- Dialogues: Dev Benegal
- Cinematography: Michel Amathieu
- Editor: Yaniv Dabach
- Action Choreography: Parvez Shaikh, Feroz Sheikh
- Music Director: Michael Brook
- Lyrics: Dev Benegal
- Costume Designer: Amba Sanyal
- Art Direction: Amon Mohan Vidhate
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 100 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Crime