First and foremost, this Road movie is not anywhere near to the earlier Road movie came starring Antara Mali, Vivek Oberoi and Manoj Bajpayee. This movie is light years ahead of that. I had expectations from this movie before it was released in India. Then suddenly one or two people saw and told me it’s not worth the hype. So the expectations reduced. But still I wanted to watch the movie and I went. And I was impressed. The movie is a spectacular & a vibrant roller coaster ride.
Directed by acclaimed Dev Benegal, the movie is the story of a young man Vishnu played by Abhay Deol who travels miles in a very old truck to deliver it. The truck is a traveling cinema. On the road as the name suggests he meets various characters and how characters come and interwine to give us a beautiful movie.Onthe way, he picks up three fellow travelers. A young boy ( Mohammed Faizal who is a theater actor), old mechanic (Satish Kaushik) and a banjaran (Tannishtha Chatterjee). For a some time, these 4 people share a truck and their lives, till destiny takes its turn.
Road is full of metaphors. Throughout the movie we can see a group of women looking for water in the desert. Benegal brilliantly brings various social issues like the corruption, water problems ,stealing of water by water lords etc and makes it a part of the journey which Vishnu is on. The movie shows the rural India in its best form. Far better than what Slumdog Millionaire showed. Vishu has a mobile phone but not water. At one point India is going global and hi-tech and on the other end there are barren lands with people dying for water. And with this Benegal adds beauty of Cinema, which makes people forget the worries and get involved in the world of fantasy. The shots where they show movie to the villagers and the cops is one of the best.
The movie is about discovering laughter and happiness and about enjoying yourself and letting yourself go and going for the ride as Benegal says. The movie will bring a smile on your face time and again. It’s not melodramatic, its not commercial but it’s still commercial. Benegal added all masala required (except an item number). The best sequence which i am still trying to figure out is the sequence where the mela happens and Vishnu sleeps with the banjaran. I still am not able to figure out that was it the dream sequence or that actually happened. Whatever the case maybe, that doesn’t affect the story much because in the end they both are not meant to be together and they don’t. No Drama no Natak.
Cinematography and editing in the movie is too perfect. The shots of the desert and the truck and the group of women searching for water are simply brilliant. The story is simple yet intruding. All characters fit the role. I don’t think nobody other than Abhay Deol could have done this kind of role. Tanishtha is brilliant & beautiful whereas Satish Kaushik shows how good actor he has been over years.
Use of the the old song Tel Maalish is just brilliantly involved with the story of Vishnu’s background where his father sells tel and wants him to do the same. The sequence where Abhay tells the water lord the use of tel for him to become "mard" is just too good. Another touching scene in the movie is the death scene of Satish Kaushik where he dies laughing with tears in his eyes watching Charlie Chaplin.
Road is about about two worlds, colliding with one another. Road is about the colour of rural India. Road is about coming of age of Indian Cinema. Road is about the power of cinema. Told in true Polish style of film making, known for its serious and weighty themes and its cinematography, Road is a pleasant change. A thinking movie. So don’t waste your money if you want to see some paisa vasool movie coz this won’t do that. This will take you to a colourful ups and downs in a Chevy truck around the beautiful Rajasthan and talks issues and entertain with a moving cinema.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5