Road Movie Movie Review
Road Movie (Hindi)
Vishnu (Abhay Deol), a restless young man, itches to escape his father's faltering hair oil business. An old truck beckons, which Vishnu sees as his ticket to freedom. He offers to drive the antique Chevy across the desert to the sea, where it has been sold to a local museum. As he sets off across the harsh terrain of desert India, he discovers heâ€™s not merely transporting a battered vehicle but an old touring cinema.
Along the way, Vishnu reluctantly picks up a young runaway (Mohammed Faizal Usmani), a wandering old entertainer (Satish Kaushik) and a striking gypsy woman (Tannishtha Chatterjee - Brick Lane). Together they roam the barren land, searching for water and an elusive fair. The journey turns dire when they are waylaid by corrupt cops and a notorious waterlord. The key to their freedom is the eccentric collection of films and the two forty-year-old film projectors in the back of the truck.
As in 1001 Nights, if the films are good, they live and move on. If the films are boring, they face death in the outback. The journey proves transformative for each of the travelers, but especially for Vishnu who discovers life, love and laughter on the Indian highway.
The film is slow and in parts, clunky and underwritten. But Benegal tells the tale with such tenderness and affection that you are slowly but irrevocably seduced by his visionRead more
It feels too long, a tad boring, and pretentious evenRead more
At that moment alone, very early on in this road movie, you could tell the filmmaker is looking for a â€˜whiterâ€™ audience, not necessarily a â€˜widerâ€™ oneRead more
Dev Benegalâ€™s latest, which marries the two, lacks the enchantment this sort of film must necessarily possess to take hold of, and enthrallRead more
The most memorable character in the film, soaked in romance, is the cinema projector and the broken cinema reels that the travellers screen during the journeyRead more
Its pacing is laboriously slow, its exposition minimal and there are fleeting moments of magic realism. It also comes with the trappings of the kind of Indian exotica the West so lovesRead more
Benegal's screenplay ends up, as we said, like Deol: it goes nowhere, driving aimlessly around in circles. And yet there are charming characters, and visuals to remember. It's a casual drive, short enough to not mind, long enough to leave you slightly tiredRead more
The pacing is sluggish for a road flick and Dev Benegalâ€™s screenplay is bland, lacking basic level drama. The characters lack depth and the gypsy woman and the young boy are undefined to the extent that they remain nameless till the end creditsRead more
The screenplay is good and the editing superb, which doubles the charm of watching this film. Dev Benegal scores full marks as a director to keep the film short and crisp, with the right dosage of thrill, humour, sarcasm and reality rolled into oneRead more
The film works slowly and sensuously, drawing you into its folksy tale of a Sheherzade-like journey through a landscape dotted with mean cops and marauding gangsters from the water mafia that rules the parched desertRead more