26 June 2010 | Peter_Young
The journey of life, the magic of cinema!
'Road, Movie' is an extraordinary movie and one of the most beautiful films I've seen in recent years. This is the story of Vishnu (Abhay Deol), a young apathetic and carefree guy who hits the road in his old neighbour's very antique kind of a truck, a 1942 Chevy with a traveling cinema in its back carrying Victoria film projectors. For him, this truck is in a sense a way to escape his family's burden - selling Atma hair oil for his dad — and take a week of freedom while driving from Rajasthan to the sea. On his way, Vishnu picks up several passengers who go on this journey with him: a smart orphaned boy, an old wise mechanic, and a beautiful widowed gypsy. Even this barren place has its rulers, however, and they appear in the form of a sadistic policeman and cruel, water-hoarding gangsters.
This movie is visually stunning, poetic, artistic and completely real. Dev Benegal's direction is fantastic. In order to understand the true meaning of this symbolic piece, one would have to figure out what every object in the movie signifies - the oil, the water, the well, the people he meets and goes on this journey with, the group of water searching women he always encounters on his way. This is the journey of life, and everyone is free to interpret it the way they want. But it does not really matter if you just want to enjoy the film. The movie is just engaging, mysterious and interesting without forcing you to find a hidden significance in the story. The situations, the dialogue, the characters, the locations are so authentic and fascinating that the movie flows extremely well. I was captivated not only because it is visually stunning; it is also perfectly paced and has an inexplicably understated sense of life.
Road, Movie captures the serene and peaceful beauty of the broad and desolate desert landscapes. It is done is a way that is so precise that there seems to be no way possible to take your eyes off the screen. This is aided by two aspects which are of the strongest in the film: the exquisite cinematography and the superb background score. These two aspects, done with sheer excellence by Michel Amathieu and Michael Brook, respectively, are perfectly brought together on-screen to create a breathtakingly mesmerising visual treat. The music complements the images and vice versa. I loved the sequences in which the group started screening different classic films, used to relax the villains. From Deewaar (1975) to Jaal (1986) to Andaz (1971). And ironically, Vishnu's father's damned hair oil somehow always comes to his rescue.
As already mentioned, the film is extremely realistic, and the acting is roundly natural. All characters no matter how lengthy or brief they are look totally genuine. Abhay Deol leads this film, and this brilliant actor yet again proves why he is possibly the finest actor of his age bracket. He is a brave actor as he is not afraid to be unlikable or look selfish and he does it exceedingly well. Mohammed Faisal plays the nameless boy who is in search of a better life with ease and conviction. Tannishtha Chatterjee is mind-blowing as the mysterious and widowed gypsy woman. The scene in which she starts singing a beautiful folklore song is wonderful. However, the one who steals the show is undoubtedly Satish Kaushik - he is simply outstanding from start to end. He makes his character so authentic, likable and memorable. This is one of his finest performances and according to me the finest in the movie.
In one of the film's most wonderful dialogues, Satish Kaushik's character says something that really epitomises the power of this picture: "Ah, the magic of cinema - lets you forget life, pain, worry... Takes you far away into a world of dreams." 'Road, Movie' really is a lyrical tribute to the magic of movies - a breathtaking, beautiful and fascinating gem. This is a spectacular picture.