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Supermen of Malegaon (2008) (Movies To See Before You Die - Biographical / Documentary)

02 Jan, 2013 | Movies To See Before You Die / Documentary

You must have heard and read a lot about the passion for cinema in India. The unparalleled craze here about films, their super-stars and the songs is seen with a great amazement throughout the world. And that’s also the reason why major production houses of the west are now venturing into Indian films to en-cash this phenomenal obsession for films spread all over the country. In fact if you are asked to name the two most famous things in India then the answer undoubtedly would be FILMS and CRICKET without any exception.

But still, this essential part of life in India, has rarely been used as the subject of any well made and worth watching documentaries in the past, as I can remember. A few decades back there was an attempt titled “Cinema Cinema” in 1979 which was actually about the growth of cinema in India. But post it I am not able to recall any significant step taken in this specific direction (and I may be wrong) till date and probably that adds a lot more value to this worth watching documentary called “Supermen of Malegaon”.
The film is the real-life account of ‘Malegaon’ a small town in Maharashtra known for its burning passion for watching films from both Indian Film Industry and the West. The town is also known for its communal reasons as Hindu & Muslim community lives in two different parts of the region divided by a river. But when it comes to watching some new films in the local video theaters, they all become one following a mutual passion for cinema more than anything else.

The basic focus is on a local video maker Shaikh Nasir, who earlier used to run a video theater experimenting with new English films being shown to the Malegaon’s public and they used to love them for their exceptional action and graphics. Chasing his own filmmaking dreams Shaikh Nasir made few small budget bollywood spoof movies like ‘Malegaon Ke Sholay’ & “Shaan” with his limited resources and found the people enjoying it a lot in his own video parlor. Encouraged from the response he received for his earlier ventures, he is now ready to go for a Superhero film with some attempted graphics and wishes to call it “Malegaon Ka Superman”. So this whole documentary captures the amazing process of making a ‘Big’ film by Shaikh Nasir with the help of his small technical team and local actors. And that’s the reason why they have titled it “Supermen of Malegaon” since its all about the enthusiastic film freak Super men of Malegaon who are now into making their own superhero film.

As Shaikh Nasir progresses in the process of making his ambitious project, the documentary follows him constantly and we get to see an interesting, eye-opening and entertaining account of all the problems, they have to face till the film gets complete. And believe me you cannot even think of how Shaikh Nasir confidently shoots his various scenes with a hilarious yet innovative set of techniques in an incredible manner.

To give you an idea, here we have a man who is the cinematographer, editor and director himself handling a normal handy cam throughout. He has a screenplay writer Farogh Jafri, who is an expert of Urdu language and has a great vision on film writing too. Together they choose a cast in which the superhero is as thin as sugarcane and his leading lady is brought in from a neighbouring village since the locals don’t allow their ladies to act in films. They have a villain too who gives a new definition to the term weird in his own way and then the shooting also gets interrupted because the leading hero is getting married in his real life. Moreover the major highlight of the film remains the way they visualize the scenes of Superman flying in the air and the style in which they successfully manage to shoot it (in Chroma) with an astounding spirit.

In short, this is a documentary which you might enjoy watching more than any latest Bollywood flick in most of the cases. It is delightfully entertaining and engrossing giving you a new insight on the passion lived by the people for cinema, who wish to pursue their hobbies too along with fulfilling their other duties of life as required. The film also has a human touch as it takes you into the homes and families of everyone related to this magnetic craze of filmmaking. And it’s a genuine account of how people eat-drink-sleep cinema in India unlike anywhere else.

Hence ‘Supermen of Malegoan’ needs to be seen by every true movie lover of the country as a must since its not about anyone else but its all about WE only who watch movies like our essential food for living or our daily feed. Plus it also deserves to be seen for the reason that its almost impossible that its final original film “Malegaon Ka Superman” will get released in the future in our cities and no one is going to see it in the local video parlor by visiting the place (Malegaon) personally.

However if you still are not convinced then just read below, what its writer Farogh Jafri has to say about Filmmaking and Film Writing and then decide for yourself…….and he says,
“A film-writer born anywhere in the world actually serves the most in this line. Because what he has in mind about his characters and plot, doesn’t really reach the director most of the times in the actual desired manner. So even if it is a TITANIC, it still remains 20% of what the writer had in his vision and the rest 80% always remains within his mind or soul which is the most painful process of film-making and cannot be compensated with any amount of money.”

Its an essential watch for all lovers & students of cinema as it has many valuable & realistic lessons about the creative process involved in film-making practiced at an unbelievable level. In short, it redefines ‘Passion For Films’ in India in an enlightening novel way.
Directed By Faiza Ahmad Khan
Starring : Shaikh Nasir, Shakeel Bharati, Farogh Jafri and Akram Khan

Tags : Supermen of Malegaon (2008), Movies To See Before You Die, Biographical Documentary, Must See Indian Documentaries Must See Movies List by Bobby Sing, Not To Be Missed Bollywood Documentaries, Must Watch Documentaries on Bollywood.
02 Jan 2013 / Comments ( 6 )
Jithin Mathew Thomas

Very nice review.I had the opportunity to watch the movie in theatre when it released.It was hilarious and informative at the same time,which I think is a rare feat to achieve in a documentary. The documentary very subtly talks about a lot of things like the poverty of the country, Cinema obsession , passion ,etc. A very interesting aspect I observed is the personality of Shaikh Nasir. He had no ambitions to shift to Bollywood or anything of that sort. He is happy making films for Malegaon. A quality very rare to be seen. Wishing you a happy new year.

Bobby Sing

Hi Jithin,
You are very right as the one thing which I remembered the most after wacthing this was that Shaikh Nasir really had no ambitions to shift to Bollywood or prove anything to the people there and I really loved this unblievable quality or spirit of satisfaction in him a lot.
Cheers and a belated Happy New Year to you and all your beloved ones too!

Vikas Saitya
Hi Bobby

Finally my long pending wish granted by you this review.
I am waiting for this for so long.

Thank you Bobby dear

long live the passion of Cinema.

Bobby Sing

The pleasure is all mine Vikas.
Cheers and Keep Writing in!

sandeep pawar

Where is Mehboob Khan in ur list mr.boby sir....Sai paranjpee, Saeed Akhter Mirza, Sudhir Mishra and Shekher Kapoor????????????

Bobby Sing

Hi Sandeep,
Actually I have added those directors in the list whose most of the ventures I loved a lot.
However Sai Paranjpe is right there in the list and I will sure add Saeed Akhtar Mirza and Shekhar Kapoor in it soon.
BTW I loved Mehboob Khan's Mother India a lot and feel that Sudhir Mishra has now bowed down to the commercial requirements in his films.


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