A few days back, my favorite student form the Film Institute, Satchit Puranik, wrote to me saying I must watch
The President is Coming.
Since I knew that Satchit is into theater a lot, I presumed that he was talking about a play.
I saw him online and popped a question in the chat box.
When are you guys coming to Bangalore?
I don't know. No such plans right now.
Oh, I won't be able to see the President then.
Why? You cant go see a film on your own?
It's a film? I thought its a play.
It's a film, darling. Read the mail again.
Oh, Ok, ... It was a play, now its a film?
Yup. Do see it.
Sure I will. First day, first show.
Before I went for the show yesterday evening, I saw this video on popcorn and was quite exited at the thought of seeing a different kind of film. The video shows how stars torment directors and I was feeling sorry for Kunal, the director of the President.
And just before leaving the house, like an idiot I promised a review, and when I was coming home I was thinking, I will just delete the post, but I got a comment from Smita which said, 'Waiting' and now, well...
Actually, Satchit is more than just my favorite student. He has read my novel, and suggested that an Indo-European film can be made from it. Satchit is my hope that 'A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage', will one day hit the screen.
So you see, I cannot write a bad review in a film that he has acted. And he has done a good job. He is a 'social worker from Nagpur', my home town, he breaks out in Marathi (my mother tongue) time and again, he hits an asshole with his chappal, (so goes barefoot for a minute); Yes, I could almost identify with his character.
I even liked Konkana's role. She is a novelist. Who can beat a man and break his nose too. Which felt weird, but then, its a weird movie. It's funny alright, but even the laughter meditation we do in Yoga classes is not more than a full five minutes. A good comedy is always interspersed with enough action, songs, relief, breaks, and the really good ones even explain their jokes.
I mean, the only build up here is 'who will get to shake the President's hand?' I think I have been out of Ftii too long and my sensibilities are ruined by Hindi films. Or, like a good friend recently mentioned, I have become a 'spiritual junkie' and need to be inspired all the time.
What I am trying to say is that the film was good, so what if I don't have a taste for satire? Do see it if you like to see stupid people doing doing stupid things. But don't take your kids along, the jokes are too non-vegetarian for their subconscious minds.
Here is a video of the director and Satchit, arguing about film sensibilities. Followed by a funnier
bit about how an actor does not want the film to release because his parents think he works in a bank.
Now I wonder if these 'funnier than the film' promos have been scripted or they are genuinely impromptu.