Planet Bollywood
Sulemani Keeda
 
Producer: Datta Dave and Chaitanya Hegde
Director: Amit V Masurkar
Starring: Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev, Karan Mirchandani and Dilip Prabhavalkar
Music: Arfaaz Kagalwala, Anurag Shanker
Lyrics: Arfaaz Kagalwala, Anurag Shanker, Amit Masurkar and Neeraj Rajawat
Genre: Art-Film
Film Released on: 05 December 2014
Reviewed by: Stutee Ghosh  - Rating: 7.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Sulemani Keeda isn’t your regular stuff. Written and directed by debutant Amit Masurkar it revolves around a writer duo wanting to make it big in Bollywood. One of the best things about it - that it is what it promises to be. No pretensions whatsoever. In fact it is this zealotry to hold its own in a maze of Bollywood-ish grandiosity that makes it a brave, fresh film. Sulemani Keeda is a desi slang for pain in the derriere. It’s a story of 2 looser friends, Dulal and Mainak with dreams of making it big as scriptwriters. “Jaise Salim Javed, Jaise Abbas Mastan, jaise Madan Mohan” Madan Mohan?? Well this indie slacker comedy with a spicy hug of self deprecating humor is packed with quite a few bursts of flavor.

The film opens with a sleepy eyed Dulal (Naveen Kasturia) blissfully peeing only to be interrupting by his girlfriend Guggu who breaks up with him over the phone. A crestfallen Dulal is comforted by his wild haired roommate and friend Mainak (Mayank Tewari) who asks him to focus on “track A” – that is to make it big as scriptwriters. However when not loitering around the offices of Mahesh 'Arth' Bhatt, Anil 'Gadar' Sharma and Amrita 'Vivah' Rao they vehemently follow track B , which is to flirt with women and trying to get laid although here too they are equally unsuccessful.

Dulal is the brooding poet of the two, turning his ex girlfriends into characters in his stories and expressing his unrequited love in lines borrowed from Sahir Ludhiyanvi. Mainak is the maverick who by his own admission is a writer and not a reader. He comes up with lines like “ganja maangoge coke denge, rishwat maangoge thok denge” and both together hangout in bookshops judging women on the basis of the books they read. “1984 padh rahi hai, matlab disturbed hogi”.

Perfect casting proves to be the best condiment to this spread. The unlikely protagonists played by Naveen Kasturia and Mayank Tewari slip into their characters with enviable ease. There honesty, those little behavioral tics and the beauty with which they down play their performance help make Dulal and Mainak so real. There is also the charming Aditi Vasudev (the tom boyish daughter in Do Duni Char) playing Ruma who wants to leave her job as a corporate lawyer and study photography. It’s with her that Dulal strikes a chord. The ensuing love track between the two minus swaying yellow mustard flowers, slow motion running and foreign locales is one of the most real and endearing parts in the film. That love and romance can be expressed without a jarring exclamation mark is almost like a long standing prayer being answered.

Sulemani Keeda is as much about the aspiring writers as it is about the 'Sulemani keedas' in their lives. There is the pesky landlord’s son, the ruthless B film producer Sweety Kapoor competently played by Razak Khan and his cat obsessed, Tarkovsky inspired son Gonzo (Karan Mirchandani).The film goes on to take digs at how film scripts are whipped up in Bollywood with borrowed masalas from other movies and weekend stays at suburban farm houses . “Film bechni hai to dukaandar ki tarhan socho writer ki tarah nahin” mouths a character thus summing up the tragedy. It’s a dilemma Dulal and Mainak face – trying to straddle between the avant garde flame of the pseudo intellectual son and his crass, fire exuding producer father. “I want something out of the box” exclaims Gonzo every few minutes leaving Dulal huffing and Mainak panting. There is a point when Gonzo says he wants to make a film so different that there should be no hero, no villain and no story. And this as it were becomes the undoing of the film Sulemani Keeda too. The fact that such succulent characters, brilliant performances and dialogues don’t have a strong storyline to feed on is disappointing. The whole treatment teases our taste buds and then leaves us hungry for more. The narrative meandering in the middle and then falters. The overall impact thus blunt and the precision with which the characters were etched out lost in translation.

Now to answer the cardinal question – should you go for it? The relaxed youthful feel of the film, the cheeky dialogues and some brilliant acting does warrant praise. It is no doubt a niche film catering to only those who would rather die than go watch Action Jackson-the other big release of the week. It’s a dilemma Dulal and Mainak face too – to follow the rules or make your own. Sulemani Keeda plays by its own rules and u have to be a kindred spirit to appreciate this one. With a run time of 89mins it sure is innocuous fun.

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