Sulemani Keeda review: A film about struggling in Bollywood that's funny and real
Sulemani Keeda been lying in the cans for over two years now and is about the lives and labours of script writers in Bollywood.
By Arnab Banerjee
For some time now, Hindi cinema has begun to stray from the run-of-the-mill stories and bromance – or bromedy – seems to be the favoured detour. Director and screenwriter Amit V Masurkar’s debut film Sulemani Keeda is a coming of age story that isn’t conventional and yet has enough ties to Bollywood to feel familiar but not hackneyed.
Sulemani Keeda been lying in the cans for over two years now and is about the lives and labours of script writers in Bollywood. The tale of flatmates and screenwriter duo Dulaal(Naveen Kasturia) and Mainak (Mayank Tewari), mired in their stagnant careers, is bound to strikes a common chord across the length of Yari Road in Mumbai. Both are lazy, uninspiring and even unscrupulous at times, willing to cut-paste-copy scenes from old flicks in order to meet the deadlines.
Dulaal is less compromising while Mainak seems determined to make it big someday. Their daily grind and strain of writing scenes for a television series along with the everyday banter, punctuated with the sexual frustration that has become the calling card of twenty-something Indian male, makes for engaging viewing. When they receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write the screenplay for the debut of Gonzo (Karan Mirchandani), the son of one of the richest and most successful producers in India, Sweety Kapoor (Razak Khan), it looks like the screenwriting duo is all set for success. But of course, there are twists to this tale.
Bathrobe-wearing Gonzo and his bizarre demands and aspirations –he’s inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky, no less – leave Dulaal and Mainak both dazed and confused.
Life crawls and stumbles, but the going - though uneventful - seems decent enough until Dulaal falls in love with Ruma (Aditi Vasudev), a photographer who is all set to leave the country to study in the USA.
The side track of romance now becomes the main track of Sulemani Keeda, as Dulaal confesses to Mainak at one point within the film. There are dates, conversations and finally, a satire of the conventional Bollywood climax with Dulaal making that last-ditch effort to confess his love for Ruma just as she readies to leave for the airport. It’s absurd and it’s hilarious.
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.
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