Star Cast: Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev, Karan Mirchandani, Krishna Bisht, Rukshana Tabassum
Director: Amit Masurkar
What’s Good: The humor, the dialogues, the film’s spirit and the brightly beaming narrative that draws you in instantly.
What’s Bad: The story does lose steam in the middle, it’s plot meandering for a nano-bit in the film but the climax’s build up and culmination will make you forgive these tiny flaws.
Loo break: None
Watch or Not?: Sulemani Keeda will strike your attention for being this fulgent watch which will seem like an Indie-version of Dil Chahta Hai, but Amit Masurkar’s love for cinema and films comes through in this film which takes observational comedy to another level. Young film journalists often mix around in these circles where commonplace oddball film writers with that quirk spunk aren’t uncommon. Such people and their traits are inextricably imbibed in our system and that’s precisely what makes the nuanced jokes in Sulemani Keeda funnier without being dim witted. And afterall, needless to say it’s this perceptive take on what Vikram Chandra would call ‘Love and Longing in Bombay’, that draws us and its characters towards a better understanding of life! Who would mind such a perky, cheeky and fun film afterall?
Mainak and Dulal are two writers who are attempting to make it big in Bollywood. But thinking bright and original is not something that is expected of them. Bollywood calls more for those who can rehash well. The two, one seeking love and other seeking fame go through a series of incidents and end up meeting two pivotal people, Ruma whom Dulal falls in love with and Gonzo is to shape Mainak’s career.
A quirky take on Bollywood and what it thrives on, Sulemani Keeda is brilliantly made slice of life film which culminates into fresh climax.
Sulemani Keeda Review: Script Analysis
I found Sulemani Keeda an unusually pleasant watch. The only issue that one can point out about the film, is that only insiders will entirely understand the film’s zest and find it relatable. For the rest, this is a humorous portrayal of Bollywood and its flip side in a language that doesn’t come from Madhur Bhandarkar’s serious space. And its humor, its fun is its biggest USP. Don’t get me wrong, I do have an apetite for those dramatic portrayals but a well made slice of film, which is quite a rarity in India, is always a treat to watch.
Tracing the story of two budding writers, Mainak and Dulal, the film’s tone never gets serious. It doesn’t trivialize pain and heartbreak. There is a lot of regular ease with which instances happen, scenes flow, people break up, people fall in love, friends turn foes and then fall back. This effortless lucidity of its narrative sets this apart, gives it a real, palpable feel.
Mainak and Dulal try to sell their story Sulemani Keeda to a bunch of producers and writers. We are walked through their attempt to track down Farah Khan, Karan Johar, Salim Khan, Gulzar and Mahesh Bhatt, who even makes 5 minute appearance to convey how stories are scraped in Bombay, practically everytime you blink a story makes its way into the dustbin. The duo, one nursing a heartbreak from a two year old relationship and the other, striving to be a pro at offensive shayari and has given himself a deadline to rope in a Big Khan for a big movie in a year. They two meet Ruma and Gonzo, the two pivotal people who are to shape their life.
Ruma, is a corporate lawyer by profession and a photographer by passion. Free spirited, independent and light years more matured than Dulal, the duo in time are drawn towards each other. Dulal and Mainak, also meet a popular producer’s brat of a son, who wants to bring Andrei Tarkovsky to India. A sly, wicked take on those pseudo intellectuals who try harder to gape European influences and American films, Gonzo is quite a well pitched character from the same space. He demands (harps constantly) on out-of-the-box thinking and makes sure that he graphically describes ‘nothing should be in the box’, talks of finesse, texture et. al, even insists incorporating an orgy. A wicked remark on how those influenced by world cinema don’t use it to open their thinking but invest more energy in figuring out how to gape the idea and Indianize it. It is this intelligence in its writing that makes the humor smart, crisp and indelible.
Sulemani Keeda Review: Star Performances
The film’s major success lies in its brilliant casting. Every actor slips in easily into their parts, delivering funny, remaining to their character and yet bringing their own to it.
Mayank Tewari and Naveen Kasturia are great individually and their camaraderie has an effervescent authentic quality in it.
Karan Mirchandani as Gonzo is quite a find and his great comic timing and straight faced humor helps the story and the film immensely.
Aditi Vasudev, who was also seen in Talaash before, was outstanding. Her unusual beauty and her earnestness at playing Ruma. She is great in her role and often battles with Karan in taking for herself the most noticeable part in the film.
Sulemani Keeda Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Such film’s are more the director’s film and Amit Masurkar, take a bow. Bubbling with fresh energy, vivid narrative and striking performances, it is afterall Amit’s victory he could create such a real film. Using situational comedy as an essential tool, the humor doesn’t need slipping on banana peels to make laugh (And Thank God for that). Using people’s goof ups to laugh at, the dialogues are the ones you’ll find yourself telling your friends. Mainak drops a girl home, in the hope of some action only to find out how the lady lives with her boyfriend. Dulal after a booze party crashes on a girl’s couch. The girl asks a common friend, “Is he safe?”, she replies, ” Dilli se hai, par rape nahin karega!” The peels of laughter are many but you’ll remember the smile afterwards more starkly.
Mainak and Dulal fall out after a disagreement and their fight isn’t one of those melodramatic breakdown of bromance scenes. It is easy, muted, with flustered pigeons making a dash away from the squabbling men. They fall back together just as easily, one yelled at, at work and the other losing his new found love to practicality, they sit on a suburban terrace together with sprawling concrete jungle around them, looking for the setting sun! I loved th film’s editing. A little animation piece that marks Gonzo’s transformation too is fantastically done. Masurkar uses the tone of Thomas Gray’s popular poem ‘ode On The Death Of A Favorite Cat’ and shows how cocaine resulted in the death of Fellini (yes, that was the cat’s name). The undertone of this sequence isn’t as frivolous as it is made to look on the superficial. Used as a scene for the purpose of comic relief, takers might find more.
The film’s cinematography is gorgeous. Bombay is brought to life and its music blends well with the narrative, so much so that you’ll unknowingly find yourself humming the songs once the film is done.
Sulemani Keeda Review: The Last Word
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! I am going with a 3.5/5.
Sulemani Keeda Trailer
Sulemani Keeda releases on 5th December, 2014.
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