Review - The President Is Coming: Having fun with stereotypes
Dir: Kunaal Roy Kapur
An extremely ridiculous premise used to spoof everything from reality TV shows to jingoism. Subtle humor to on-the-face silliness makes it easy to keep that smile on for the entire 90 minutes.
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President Bush has provided us with loads of entertainment over the last eight years. So what if they were with headshakes-in-despair. Six Indians who represent the other billion of us wait for a handshake-in-desperation with THE man in The President is coming. It is as much a comment on our obsession as a nation with the American dream - love it or hate it - as it is about the nation who chose this man twice to lead their nation!
A Math nerd, a farmer, a stockbroker, a wannabe-Paris-Hilton, an accent trainer and a leftist novelist - are all motivated to meet President Bush on his visit to India. If that wasn't diversity enough - one of them is a South Indian, one a hardcore Maratha, another a Gujrati, then a Bengali and two "better-exposed" city-bred youngsters. You can imagine the amount of fun this medley can cause all thanks to of course - stereotyping. And they do it largely without slapstick!!
Filled to the last bit with sarcasm, The President is coming is consistent with the typecasts it initiates. It's not satire for the sake of satire. The characters are all someone you might've met - at work, in family, amongst friends, friends of friends. Which is why it is charming and the humor keeps you engaged. At no point is it rolling-on-the-floor-laughing, but I found myself snickering throughout. Yeah, in many ways it makes you feel good about yourself - Like you are not one of them, though they have been chosen to represent you - the youth of India - to a foreigner.
Each character is also the extreme of the stereotype it represents, almost on the border of exaggeration, but you know it's not. The writer takes you to the brink of a believable character and very smartly stops. Yet, a lot of the plot is contrived. And I'm not even talking of the basic premise. There are tangents that the movie goes off on which are kind-of to exhibit a character's quirk. But, since 8 characters are being squished together in 90 minutes, many of these remain half-baked.
And yet, the movie is enjoyable like a sitcom. Enjoy the now of the joke. And this is possible because of some awesome casting. From the guy who plays the geek from Bengalooru to the possibly-illiterate stockbroker. Needless to say you can laugh only if the dialogues are bright and they are timed well. And this combination occurs often enough.
It is one of those that you see on a lazy Sunday afternoon when you are in the mood for something light and when you are done you forget it. No more and no less.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: A couple of fist fights.
- Nudity & Sexual content: Sexual gestures, a short love-making scene being seen on a phone screen. Casual usage of profanity.
- Concept: Sarcasm, sexism, racism, stereotyping, political satire - whether your child will enjoy it depends on how much he/she can grasp these concepts
The President Is Coming - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Producer: Anuvab Pal
- Director: Kunaal Roy Kapur
- Lead Cast: Konkana Sen Sharma, Shernaz Patel, Ira Dubey, Vivek Gomber, Satchit Puranik, Namit Das, Anand Tiwari, Shivani Tanksale
- Story: Anuvab Pal
- Screenplay: Anuvab Pal
- Dialogues: Anuvab Pal
- Cinematography: Keshav Prakash, Keshav Prakash
- Editor: Jabeen Merchant
- Costume Designer: Shilpa
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 90 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Comedy, Satire