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Sulemani Keeda review: As tragicomic as life itself!

Sulemani Keeda review: As tragicomic as life itself!

Source: Sonia Chopra

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Saturday 6 December 2014

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Movie Title

Sulemani Keeda

Director

Amit Masurkar

Star Cast

Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev

A tiny apartment, two roomies-men who still think they're boys- trying to write the next Hindi blockbuster, struggle to pay the rent, trying to score with the next cute girl. This may sound like a generalization, but it's a reasonably accurate representation of a large populace of film industry strugglers that stretches between Lokhandwala and Versova in Mumbai's Andheri West area.

You'll see them in suburban coffee shops - well turned out, talking about auditioning for a second lead that's actually a one-scene long role, hunched on the laptop and writing for hours together, networking , sharing, and determined to make it big.

Our struggling protagonists Dulal (Naveen Kasturia) and Mainak (Mayank Tewari) have just been commissioned to write a blockbuster script for the launch of producer Sweety Kapoor's son. While the father (Razak Khan) is an old-school industry guy who compares writers to cooks, the son Gonzo (Karan Mirchandani, hilarious), wants to do something "different". Such that he bans our writers from addressing the main characters as hero, heroine and villain.

Unfortunately, that's where his out-of-the-box quest ends, and the 35-year old actor decides he wants to make a film where he's a college kid with two girls (one hot, one tomboy) in love with him, recreating Kuch Kuch Hota Hai's story.

While Mainak is willing to compromise where the producer demands it, Dulal finds the ridiculousness of the industry where the producer's middle-aged son wants to play a college kid too much to take.

In any case he's distracted by his attraction to Ruma (Aditi Vasudev), a friend with whom he whines about there being only tragedy in his love life. Romance develops over sweet, playful banter.

We see the glory and fun in Mainak and Dulal's struggle, but then it gets a bit too repetitive. One understands, even encourages, that the film is about nothing (as in no structured storyline), but even then, once characters are established, we need to experience more. Plus there are several scenes that are insinuated for effect. The one where Dulal is talking to his mother over the phone, as the sounds of porn in the next room (Mainak is watching it) embarrass him is one such example.

The dialogue where a girl says about Dulal, Delhi ka hai, par rape vape nahin karega, is another such instance. The farmhouse sequence is again lame.

But there is much to cheer about as well. The scene where the consistently unkempt Mainak hopes to get laid, and asks the woman he has dropped if he can come up and use the loo is hilarious. So are the scenes that establish the equation between the two friends. Like the one where Mainak convinces the simpleton Dulal against wearing a red T-shirt on a morning picnic, and then proceeds to steal and wear it himself.

The film pokes fun at its characters as much as the film industry (especially the notorious father-son producer duos) that keeps films such as this on the periphery. Sweety Kapoor's character is hilarious because it's such an accurate representation. When Mainak dares to ask about his dues as a writer, the producer takes it as a personal insult and asks him, pyaar, izzat aur dua kaafi nahin hai?

The performances by the lead and peripheral cast are the film's highlight!

You'll also enjoy the atmospherics in each scene whether it's the party sequence at Ruma's place where everyone's having alcohol in plastic glasses, the fight on a busy Mumbai street, the roadside shopping scene at Colaba or the conversations held in a local train.

Surjodeep Ghosh's cinematography captures these textures beautifully. The songs and background score are a treat incorporating the harmonium in one scene and jazz-y music in the other.

Dialogue is consistently funny and insightful, except for the time it becomes unnecessarily crude, even sexist. There are brilliant lines like Mainak trying to convince Dulal to concentrate on Gonzo's script by saying, Gonzo hamara main track hai, Ruma side track hai.

Stylistic pieces are included like the silent portion where the two are struggling to write a script on a deadline with more paper in the trash than words written. And the brilliant rendition of Gonzo getting high, co-starring a fish and a cat.

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!

Rating: 3.5 stars

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