wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?) - But do watch it!
A breezy little gem about a pair of struggling writers who hope the become the next Salim-Javed, Sulemani Keeda, directed by Amit Masurkar, is sure to make you smile. Beautifully acted, with some crackling lines, it's the kind of bug you won't mind being bitten by.Read more
There's a breed among us, (numbering at least a few thousands, but who can ever know?) for whom Sulemani Keeda will resonate more than it will with anyone else - those aspiring writers in Mumbai, who dream of having their words traverse the journey from paper to celluloid (or, you know, DCP files, as is the case today).
It is a tough life, that of an aspiring film-maker in Bombay, or anywhere in the world. The struggle of someone who wants to be behind the camera is surpassed only by that of one who wishes to make his name in front of it. This struggle has its share of humour as well, but that's mostly because writers are a lot who don't mind looking at the funnier side of life, even when looking at it soaring above one's head from the bottom of a pit.
Amit Masurkar's film, about the lives of a screenwriter pair who dream of cracking that one script that will turn their fortunes around, is a film laced with humour, insight and a level of honesty that's hard to find. Despite the fact that certain people are bound to identify with the film more than the others, it is also a film that will connect with anyone; because every story, even one about writers, has its basis somewhere in real life.
In fact, the film is quite like that popular meme which visually lists out situations like how the world sees you, how your parents see you, how you see yourself and how you actually are. It is a tiny little slice out of the journey between where one is, and where one wants to be. The journey may be fraught with disappointment and failure, but we're still at it.
Our 'heroes', (though they're anything but,) are named Mainak and Dulal. Yes, they're writing a film for a big Khan. The only hitch is that they're yet to meet him. It is the little touches like these that lend a sense of comic irony to the film.
Mainak is street smart and is more likely to write the kind of lines one hears in a Dabangg. Dulal, on the other hand, is an idealist, a poet, a nomad at heart. When he falls in love, he goes the whole hog. And when his heart breaks - well, I'd leave it to you to figure out what happens when a writer's heart breaks.
What is most heart-warming about Sulemani Keeda is the fact that without being emphatic and jingoistic about it, it subtly subverts so many clichés that we've come to expect from a romantic comedy. The process of meeting, attraction, realizing the presence of an emotional and intellectual connect - all of it seems so much more genuine. (A big reason for this is the cast, but I'll get to that in a bit.)
Even the done-to-death airport climax is dumped in favour of a sequence that's most likely how it'll be, if it were to happen in real life. Kudos, also, to the film-makers for the character of Ruma, the kind of woman you're more likely to run into in middle class Bombay than any other woman you've seen on screen.
Mayank Tewari and Naveen Kasturia, who play Mainak and Dulal respectively, perform like there's no camera, as though they are Mainak and Dulal. Cinematic characters usually spend more relative time worrying about morality than real people. Director Masurkar gets it bang on, the way he treats these characters and their moral dilemmas. Mainak comes across as a likeable creep, and Dulal as the bumbling romantic. They're real people, these two, even if they're probably an amalgam of a bunch of them. Aditi Vasudeo, who plays Ruma, is an absolute natural.
Admittedly, the film doesn't age as well as one would have hoped. I first watched this film over a year ago at the Mumbai Film Festival, and it seemed so much less like a low budget indie back then. In fact, it is apparent just how much of 'jugaad' - getting things done by hook or by crook - has gone into this film. Yet, that's also the beauty of it. In it's message as well as in the manner in which it was made, it is a film that inspires you to undertake the journey you seek. For only then will you have been a story.
This review is by guest reviewer Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.
Thumbs up, by Aneela Zeb Babar, Desi Martini : ...Ten minutes into the movie the 'aspiring' (Aamir keliye film likh rahe hain bus Aamir se meeting hojaaye) writers two (Dulaal--'some friends call me Red' and Mainak--mountain peak? flying mountain? or words to that effect) are cajoling a security guard for THE Chopras to the whereabouts of Bollywood's paterfamilias; this while a show reel chronicling their tragi-comic attempts to get a foot into the hallowed portals of Bollywood plays. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Arnab Banerjee, FirstPost : ...Refreshingly narrated and well-acted by the cast, the storytelling falters midway. Still, the witty one-liners, cuss-flecked dialogues and deadpan humour are as real as it gets. The film echoes sentiments and experiences of all screenplay writers worldwide, whether in Bollywood or Hollywood. That must be the reason for the young film’s instant connect with moviegoers in the festival circuit wherever it has been screened so far. This is their story, just padded with some caricature and prettiness.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...The film coasts along smoothly for the most part of its 90-minute running time, except for the flabby, repetitive middle portion in which Dulal and Ruma engage in profound conversations each time they meet. Slickly shot, capturing a real, lived-in feel of the city, this is a charming little indie that manages to say something important, while never forgetting to make you laugh. I'm going with three out of five for Sulemani Keeda. Give it a chance.... full review
Thumbs up, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...Masurkar’s inventive thinking is what is the best part of Sulemani Keeda. His Mise en scene-ish expression drives the film and his bizzaro vein of thinking makes the film a delightful watch. A vibrant, slice of life which has a tight story, fabulous performances and the feel good fuzziness as an afterfeeling, must not be missed. I quite loved it and will make my way to the theaters to catch this!... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty Saha, MiD DAY : ...One regret, though. There is this one totally crazy, absolutely wonderful scene about a cat accidentally sniffing coke and dunking itself in the fish bowl. Wish there were more of those. For a story that is not really novel, this movie would have been much more exciting with a wee bit more confidence and craziness. Nevertheless, it's definitely worth one watch for a good laugh. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Stutee Ghosh, Planet Bollywood : ...The relaxed youthful feel of the film, the cheeky dialogues and some brilliant acting does warrant praise. It is no doubt a niche film catering to only those who would rather die than go watch Action Jackson-the other big release of the week. It’s a dilemma Dulal and Mainak face too – to follow the rules or make your own. Sulemani Keeda plays by its own rules and u have to be a kindred spirit to appreciate this one. With a run time of 89mins it sure is innocuous fun.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Director Amit V Masurkar's indie slacker comedy hits home for the most part as it is gives us these deeply flawed, real characters that we laugh at and laugh with. We emotionally invest in their everyday tragedies and smile at their comical solutions. In that sense, the film is as rich, complex and tragicomic as life itself. Go for it!... full review
So-So, Daily Bhaskar : ...Sulemani Keeda is a light-hearted, which will keep you engrossed till ends, given you are aged below 30. But if you are looking for paisa vasool stuff at the theatres this week, then you could wait till the DVDs are out. You won’t regret watching the film. ... full review
So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Indie films are a rarity in India. Rarer still are good ones. Sulemani Keeda is a little film that satires life in the periphery of the film industry. It’s a bittersweet tale of how struggling writers’ lives unfold in the glitzy by lanes of Mumbai. Some of it is truly hilarious, some profound and a little bit just doesn’t make sense. Like any piece of art, it has its imperfect strokes. The story for example, is a tad too simple. Yet, the movie reflects upon certain insider truths of the industry that make for an invigorating experience.... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...It’s an urban comedy that retains its freshness because of some inspired casting, smart performances, light-hearted narration, enticing background score and spiffy editing. This is by and large a fun film – unfortunately the fun doesn’t stretch all the way to the end credits. ... full review
So-So, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Sulemani Keeda is a perfect example of a well-made, low-budget independent film. It's engaging, entertaining and witty. Watch it, you won't be disappointed. - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/reviews/sulemani-keeda-review-ordinary-people-extraordinary-show/article1-1293148.aspx#sthash.GJBwCO5G.dpuf... full review
So-So, india today : ...Nonetheless, cinephiles are likely to appreciate the attempt to show how hard it is for outsiders to break into an industry which is still driven by nepotism and commerce. Despite the film's flaws, Masurkar shows promise as a filmmaker drawing from what seem like his own experiences as a filmmaker. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with next. Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sulemani-keeda-review/1/405338.html... full review
So-So, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...Sulemaani Keeda feels like an in-group Versova film that needed more to say hello to the world. At others, it feels yet another variation of Luck By Chance, albeit from the margins. It didn’t stay with me for long.... full review
So-So, by Meena Iyer, Times of India : ...Sheen as Wes Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide, is sharp and effective. While Kal and the lovely Mischa, as the journalists on the rampage, have you rooting for them, Rajpal and Tannishta are nicely believable.... full review
Writweeter: Sulemani Keeda releases today. A laugh riot it is! Go watch!
utkarshvmehta: OK best dialogue of sulemani keeda! "Tum ganja donge Toh hum coke denge, tum bandook donge Toh hum thok denge" good movie!
ThePuccaCritic: Sulemani Keeda: a film about Bombay and it's people, and will be seen, mostly, by Bombay. We need more such films.
tanejamainhoon: Any way.. So how many of you saw Sulemani Keeda yet? If you haven't seen it, why not?? Go watch, it's the best surprise of the year!
souryadash: #SulemaniKeeda : It needs to be watched , applauded and such films must be encouraged : My review http://souryadash.blogspot.in/2014/12/sulemani-keeda.html @AmritaRao
pulpcinemaprods: Friends must watch ... Sulemani Keeda :) https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1536419983270842&id=100007085650697
omarnpaul: Fresh, urban, witty, hilarious & an extraordinary entertainer , "SULEMANI KEEDA" is in cinemas now. Not to be missed! http://twitter.com/omarnpaul/status/540941959368425472/photo/1
MunnishPuri: Watched a small gem of a film, SULEMANI KEEDA - Releases 5th Dec.. Superb dialogues and lots of laughter - Must watch http://twitter.com/MunnishPuri/status/540002652810014720/photo/1
MovieReviews001: Sulemani Keeda (3.5/5) : Its a very good off track movie. Performances are superb. In few words, its simple ,... https://www.facebook.com/1movie.reviews/posts/816510698405345
KevinnB96: Sulemani Keeda. It's Brilliantly written and portrayed. Something you shouldn't /mustn't miss out! @sulemanikeeda http://twitter.com/KevinnB96/status/541698488275193856/photo/1
KDevanshuSingh: 'Sulemani Keeda' dekhiye aur Sunday ko banaiye Funday! :) http://twitter.com/KDevanshuSingh/status/541458787089924097/photo/1
jeethmehta: Charming & funny to the core bromantic comedy, SULEMANI KEEDA. This film is not to be missed. #SulemaniKeeda http://twitter.com/jeethmehta/status/540369768448929793/photo/1
Incredibelita: I highly recommend catching the film Sulemani Keeda for much needed hysterical laughter & giggle fits! featuring the beautiful @rotalks
HitheshDS: Sulemani Keeda might also be one of the very few films whose "Thanks To" section is longer than the "Cast" in the end credits
GrittyNomad: Sulemani Keeda is a good 7/10 watch. Good humor, average story and a few moving characters. Go watch !
GmaneGawade: I liked sulemani keeda. That's it.
Gaga_Tanya: GUYS PLEASE GO WATCH SULEMANI KEEDA !!! ITS IN THE THEATRES NOW!!!! Amit V Masurkar Aditi Vasudev Tinka... https://www.facebook.com/tanya.sharma.94009841/posts/10154891163845007
durjoydatta: Go watch Sulemani Keeda! Awesome movie. A laugh riot.
chhavi: Watched 'sulemani keeda' today. It was rather sweet, and surprisingly short. hurrah for Indie cinema that gets you home in time for dinner.
cedzo28: Just watched Sulemani Keeda and I must say this is what's called Out of the Box. .yet so simple and classy. .cheers team @sulemanikeeda
bhaskar_kgp: Watched Sulemani Keeda @DTCinemas ....Very Pleasant and Refreshing #SulemaniKeeda
bavlichhori: Sulemani Keeda paints a true picture of a reality lived by many in this city of dreams. But reality isn't as funny as d film @Amit_Masurkar
azeem2112: Loved sulemani keeda .. Go watch it people in theatres now .. Feel good .. Refreshing and honest
abchakravorty: Sulemani Keeda was phenomenal!
1yrold: Yeah. well I am totally gone crazy for Sulemani keeda. a very fine attempt. Sorry for lil more than normal RT’S.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.