Sulemani Keeda (2014) Review!!

suleSynopsis – Dulal, a brooding intellectual and his hustler friend Mainak dream to write a big Bollywood film. Their picaresque journey brings them in a position where they have to choose between friendship, love and the chance of a big break. The film delves into the world of young migrant writers, their hopes and their ontological anxiety.

My Take – The very popular YouTube channel TVF (The Viral Fever) aka Qtiyapa have done something so simple & elegant, it forces us to think why aren’t we sick yet of this 100 crores’ rubbish being churned out by Bollywood on a daily basis. Director Amit Masurkar provides us a very simple story with engaging characters & their respective their journeys. The film follows two struggling writers Dulal (Naveen Kasturia) & Mainak (Mayank Tewari) trying to get their screenplay produced – one a relatively straight-laced idealist, the other an in- your-face, street smart guy on the make, with a hidden vulnerability. Opportunity comes knocking on their door in the form of Gonzi (Karan Mirchandani), a pseudo European art-house cinema loving producer’s son looking for a perfect launch into the industry.

Writers-Sulemani-Keeda-Naveen-Kasturia-Aditi-VasudevAt the same time Dulal starts connecting & falling in love with a photographer Ruma, who is about to leave for US to pursue higher studies in a week. The cast is virtually unknown – in fact most of them were not actors before this movie was made, with Aditi being the only the ‘professional’ actress with two films behind her (Do Dooni Chaar and Talaash). Frankly, this brought a certain freshness to their roles. This movie is a perfect Indie, so don’t expect it to look as slick and manufactured as your typical Bollywood Khan starer, but the very fact that it is an indie movie is what makes it so charming and refreshing. The movie itself is a fresh take on the people around the film industry, the hopes of the new aspirational middle class, young love, and above all, friendship. The characters are real. These struggling writers could be any of the thousands of people who come to Bombay to make a living in this highly commercialized city’s cinema industry. The producer’s son who wants to make a movie about a story without a story but is 35 and waiting to be launched. The cute gen-next girl who quits law to do a career in photography.

Sulemani_Keeda19_7468_13122The censor board chief who lectures the writers to make “decent” films while staying at the farmhouse of the producer whose films he’s supposed to review. The film is full of such characters you probably know in real life, and subtle yet illuminating moments that it’s easy to miss them. What shines through the most are the dialogues, which are crisp, sharp, natural and very very funny. Apparently a lot of them were improvised during the shooting process, which gives them a very unrehearsed feeling. There is the odd sequence where the editing could have been a wee bit tighter, but it doesn’t take away from the charm of the movie. Actors Mayank, Naveen, Aditi and Karan (especially) have done a fantastic job with their characters. On the whole ‘Sulemani Keeda’ is not your typical fast-paced, big-budget Bollywood masala movie with action, drama, item songs, big sets, stars and the usual crap! Instead its tasteful, hilarious & fun! Must Watch!


Director – Amit Masurkar

Starring – Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev

Rated – R

Run Time – 89 minutes

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