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ROAD, MOVIE - Movie Review : Not at all exciting as suggested by its title and promoted visuals. (Review By Bobby Sing)

06 Mar, 2010 | Movie Reviews / 2010 Releases

Before going into the finer details, let’s study some important facts associated with the film called “Road, Movie”.

1. A widely appreciated new project from Dev Benegal, the director of a worth watching “English August” & a marginally good “Split Wide Open” coming after a long gap.

2. Featuring, Abhay Deol in the lead, who is now known for his off-beat choice of subjects and great understanding of the medium.

3. Presence of another veteran Satish Kaushik in a hopeful comic role which sounds pretty exciting.

4. Refreshing and innovative promotional material with visuals of an old truck painted with Indian slogans and inviting visuals depicting wide roads of Rajasthan.

5. And “Sar Jo Tera Chakraye” track from “Pyaasa” playing in the background of its introducing trailer.

What an ensemble of exciting stuff associated with a single project!
And what a disastrous final product in the offering for all those viewers who were eager enough to see a realistic road movie featuring their favorite thinking actor, Abhay Deol. To be straight, I love artistic movies, especially the ones which have the power to enlighten and are widely acclaimed in the festival circuits. But with “Road, Movie”, I was highly disappointed as it had nothing as compared to its striking promotional campaign and the earlier two movies from the director mentioned above. Therefore I am unable to appreciate and praise this baffling movie which on the contrary was nominated and even awarded in many festival circuits around the world.

Now here’s the detailed review:

Once again, as seen in many of the current projects, the movie starts off brilliantly with an artistic feel and ambience. But right after the much publicized old truck comes in to the story, the film steps onto an escalator, slowly moving downwards. Abhay Deol, who is not interested in his father’s oil business, wakes up one morning and goes on to take an undisclosed assignment to drive an old truck to another unknown destination and keeps wandering in the deserts and plain regions with no living being in the sight. The viewer is never told in the narration that why he took up this job, what was the purpose of his voyage, what goods he had to deliver and what was the actual destination he was heading for. Also there is no explanation given for the fact that why he didn’t even know that there was a projector and whole equipment of showing a movie in the truck he was driving. Moreover he very unintelligently takes up the job of driving an old truck through the lonely roads of Rajasthan all alone without taking any cleaner or helper along with him as a helping hand. That was indeed very daring thought put in by the writers.

Besides all this confusion written in the script, a project with the title “Road, Movie” misses all those thrilling factors associated with a long road journey and its joy. The viewers who love travelling long distances through roads and enjoy the lengthy highways are sure going to be disappointed with the treatment given by the director to the theme. For instance, one strongly misses the highway chills, the roadside dhabas, the occasional stoppages, the view of wide barren lands along with great music running at the back, children waving from the roadsides and risky one nights stays in the cheap hotels while watching this weak movie on “Road theme”. There is nothing stated above in the entire movie.

In fact the director is more interested in emphasizing only on the outdoor cinema being arranged from the projector in the truck and its craze among the villagers in his vaguely written movie. Along with that, he also adds the plot of a mystified romance between Abhay and a nomad girl, the tragic end of a good hearted mechanic and a silly sequence about a desert don running a water-mafia. But sadly none of these sub-plots works in the movie.

On the contrary each new development on the screen makes the viewer even more confused than before and he keeps wondering what the story or director actually wants to convey? Especially the sequence about the grand fair in the lonely desert, coming out of nowhere. This particular part is the most confusing one in the entire movie and is also left unexplained by the director just like that. May be he wanted the festival people to make their own creative conclusion about the same. Likewise it was also quite puzzling to see the projector showing the movie with a great soundtrack too. The director never shows us any sound equipment being installed by anyone before screening the film in the outdoors. May be that was too a festival liberty taken by the director with style.

The other major question which came to my mind while watching “Road, Movie” was that why all the western filmmakers are still interested in showing the poverty, villages and rural areas of India in their movies more than anything else. Unfortunately the worldwide success of “Slumdog Millionaire” has contributed a lot in this direction and taking a clue from it, other film-makers have again started planning to make their new projects on this overblown underdeveloped image of India.

However, all these talented directors, making films around our rural India, simply forget the essence & culture of our country while shooting their intimate sexual scenes which seems to be quite funny. Like in “Road, Movie” too, at one end the director shows a nomad girl, who has never watched cinema in her life, taking lift in the truck. Yet in a later sequence he shows the same village girl smooching Abhay Deol in a pure western style and passion. Frankly speaking that was quite funny and amateur kind of direction from the experienced director.

Technically the film stands out with its stunning visuals and great cinematography. But the director seems to have taken care of his camera angles and locations more than his script and story. The film moves at a very lazy pace which forces the viewer to look at his watch repeatedly. The screenplay falls flat and has nothing exceptional in store for the thinking viewer. Musically the film misses any special tracks to enjoy on a long drive (as per its title) and "Pyaasa's - Tel Maalish" song is also not used in any respectable context by the director. Talking about the performances, Abhay Deol fits to the role as a T, but the film would not prove to be another ace up his sleeve. His honest effort gets betrayed by a badly written script. Satish Kaushik is completely lovable. Mohammed Faizal Usmani shines with his witty dialogues and Tannishtha Chatterjee does her job well.

In a nutshell, “Road, Movie” is not at all exciting as suggested by its title and eye catching promotional campaign. Its neither a thought provoking artistic venture nor an interesting novel project made on a different theme. Its just a tiring, fruitless journey heading towards no-where.

Rating : 1.5 / 5

Tags : Road Movie Review, Road, Movie Film Review by Bobby Sing, Movie Review Raod Movie, Film Review Road Movie, Dev Benegal, Abhay Deol, New Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com,
06 Mar 2010 / Comments ( 5 )

Well, my friend, please come out of the old habbit of spoon feeding....Movie making is an art just like Dancing, Writing and Painting and please come out of your illusion that a particular movie is an art film and a particular one is not.
Every movie is an art film which portrays the Director\'s potential to show what he wants to. Films can be classified only based on genres and not based on whether its an art film or not...

Bobby Sing

Sorry brother,
I dont agree with your view here. The films can surely be classified with genres but there does exist a difference between commercial cinema and thought provoking realistic kind of cinema.
May be you dont want to call it art movies that is fine but in reality there still is a difference between the both.

For instance. Just try sending "Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge" to the festivals and see the response. Morevoer the BO result & critics reviews of the said movie says it all.

And replying in your words, spoon feeding is surely not required at all in such kind of projects, but atleast the dish should be tasteful enough to have. 

Still, I respect your opinion and Thanks for your comment.
Keep visiting........

I agree with you at most of the points but still it was great scenic beauty to see.
Bobby Sing

Thanks Rajeev for you comment and yes it was poetic as far as cinematography is concerned but lacked the content. In other words it was beautiful but hollow.

Farooq Azam

These type of movies are made on very low budget. There is a big difference between a movie of high budget and low budget.

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