Road, Movie: This trip is boring

March 5, 2010

Road, MovieA road trip epitomises my idea of a good time and so does watching a great film. A combination of the two on celluloid is an exciting proposition.

Add to the fact that you have two young, promising actors — Abhay Deol and Tannishtha Chatterjee — and “Road, Movie” ┬áhad a lot going for it.

An hour-and-a-half later, I walked out of the theatre disappointed with the film. A lot of people would call “Road, Movie” a “festival film” but I dispute that point because I have seen a lot of good films at festivals.

This one was shot beautifully and had some good dialogues, but on the whole I was bored out of my mind.

Abhay Deol plays Vishnu, a small town boy who longs for a better life. To escape his father’s hair oil business, he takes up the job of talking an ancient truck (that doubles up as a travelling cinema) to a far-off town.

On his journey there, he meets a motley group of characters, including a smart talking urchin, an old truck mechanic (Satish Kaushik) and a gypsy (Tannishtha Chatterjee).

The trio have to face not only the difficulties of negotiating the arid landscape of Rajasthan, with no roads and a scarcity of water, but also each other’s egos and characteristics before they reach their destinations.

But besides the brilliant cinematography, don’t expect much else. The premise of the film and its execution are pretentious to the core. You don’t feel any sympathy for any of the characters, except perhaps Kaushik’s. The pace is slow and the characters’ actions don’t seem logical.

In spite of its comparatively short running time, “Road, Movie” leaves you feeling you have just been on a never-ending road trip that has tired you out.

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As I watched the film, with 25-odd viewers on Friday, I felt perhaps we have lost the ability to watch films with passages without dialogue allowing slow action to develop. We have got so used to the ear-splitting noise of routine Bollywood fare. Thus a movie like Road looks out of character with the multiplex ambience. But was impressed with Dev’s conviction to attempt such a film.

Agree with Shilpa that the movie fails to spring to life. Dev has failed to tautly link episodes. Does the hero evolve in the end? There is no evidence, leaving one wondering whether the director had any such lofty ambitions in the first place.

I remember Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s acclaimed Malayalam movie Kodiyettam (Flag hoisting) where the main character of the late Gopi(who won the national award for best actor) is a simpleton who gains wisdom as he journeys to the plains.

Road, Movie shows yet again the treasure of stories that can be unearthed in rural India.

Posted by ananth2010 | Report as abusive