Director: Dev Benegal
Producers: Susan B Landau, Ross Katz
Director of Photography: Michel Amathieu
Banners: Indian Films, August Entertainment, Studio 18
To start with, Road, Movie is a fascinating journey with humorous undertones. Vishnu, (Abhay Deol) a restless young man itches for a break from his father’s stumbling oil business. The film follows the journey of Vishnu in an old rusty truck, which once served as a touring cinema and ticks around his encounter with strangers as well as a local population in an eternal search for water.
The movie has its amusing moments, especially the rumbling between Vishnu, the local ‘chaiwalla’ boy (Mohammed Faizal) and the worldly wise mechanic (Satish Kaushik). But throughout the journey, Road, Movie fails to pinpoint what it is aiming at. Is it about craving for water and exposing the local water mafia? Is it the strange love between a townie and a banjaran (Tannishtha Chatterjee) who is readymade for urban ways? Or is it the hunt for a mela? Too many angles are being tackled here. And when brought together, it becomes confusing. Where the entry of police looked real, the scene of the water mafia was irrelevant.
The exotic desert area of India has been beautifully filmed. From the rugged roads to the salt desert and later to the sea, all added splendid milieu to the film. The background score is pleasantly soothing. Dialogue is more like a light banter. Though they only extend till the police station scene, beyond that monotony sets in.
Abhay Deol is a charmer and has a pleasing way of acting out his part. Satish Kaushik is very good with his lines. And, both of them with verbal duals make for some enjoyable moments. The young lad, Mohammed Faizal as the smart ass kid is good. Tannishtha Chatterjee has been roped in for some female presence and is okay. Virendra Saxena ably justifies his brief role.
Direction by Dev Benegal shows his dexterity with good takes and cuts. However, one is curious about the circus scene as well as the love-making scene; what are they, dreams?
All said a film for hard core cineastes.