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30%
2.15 

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Nothing to communicate, just a beautiful journey..
Mar 16, 2010 05:27 PM 2946 Views
(Updated Mar 16, 2010 06:31 PM)

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When I finished watching "Road, movie", I felt an inexplicable feeling of well being and happiness. I am not sure why, maybe it was the cheerful "sar jo tera chakraye" song at the end, that made me want to skip along after the movie!. There wasnt much of a story, none of the characters stayed with me..yet I felt that in that 90 minutes, I had been in a truck with some odd ball characters, witnessing magical landscapes, allowing myself to be seduced by parched earth, and splashes of colour. THAT is the power of this movie.....sit back in your chair and prepare your mind to go on a fabulous journey through the most barren yet astounding terrain on earth....


Director: Dev Benegal (of English August fame)


Cast: Abhay Deol, Faisal, Satish Kaushik, Tanishtha Chatterji


Plot:


A young man, Vishnu, tired of his quirky father's passion for hair oil, wishes to breakaway, and do something different than sell hair oil. He seizes the opportunity to drive a truck with travelling cinema gear across the vast landscape of Rajasthan. Vishnu picks up some passengers on the way, a young boy (Faisal), a grizzly highly intelligent mechanic (Satish Kaushik), and a widowed sultry banjaran (Tanishta Chatterji). They have a few adventures with a vicious police officer, strange water mafia, and a caravan. All the adventures are negotiated with the help of the magic of cinema and hair oil! Vishnu reluctantly bids goodbye to his passengers, gets his truck where he is supposed to, and learns a few life lessons on the way...


My Take:


I wish I could have skipped the plot section altogether coz this movie is SO NOT about the story. If you want a story to ponder over, if you want characters you can hold onto and identify with (normally I want all of that in my movies!), then this is not the movie for you. Yes, there is a spectre of a plot, there are some endearing characters (the chai boy, Satish kaushik), but what remains with you after is the vision of a colourful blue truck travelling through the vast desert of Rajasthan, leaving streamers of movie reels in its wake...


I cant rave enough about the visuals...absolutely astounding...and I am saying that having watched the movie on a computer! If only the movie was out in a theatre near where I am... I can only imagine how much more powerful an experience it would have been. Sun-lit, parched desert terrain, hint of colour in the form of rajasthani women walking long distances to find water, magnificent sunset and dawns, clear beautiful night skies...i can go on and on about the visuals! There is also a delightful, happy instrumental soundtrack to accompany the visuals.


The other delightful aspect for me was the ode to cinema that this movie is. The use of the travelling cinema metaphor was beautiful. The sheer delight on the face of the villagers/ satish kaushik while watching old hindi movies, the image of the projected movie on the smiling faces of the audience, magic.


I am not dismissing the actors at all. Its just that the movie is not about the people, as much as it is about the journey. The characters in the movie do well to let you experience the road along with them. Satish Kaushik is such an under used actor. He IS the grizzly, super intelligent mechanic to the core in the movie. He is so good that when he inexplicably talks of Buster Keaton and Chaplin, you really dont question how a mechanic living in Rajasthan could have experienced so much of cinema...you just believe he is that kind of a magical person who has experienced life in all its dimensions. Abhay Deol is good as usual in his role of providing a tabula rasa to the director, allowing the director to fill the character in him, as he wills. The kid Faisal is a find. Tanishta Chatterji was a bit of a disappointment for me. Although she looked great, I didnt believe her desert banjaran act. Her singing was too stylised and western as well.


If you love cinema as much as I do, if your heart fills with nostalgia when you think back to all the movies you have watched through your lifetime, if you love travelling and are moved by all the beauty this earth has to offer...DO watch Road movie. It is a journey to be treasured.


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