Sulemani Keeda (which apparently means ‘pain in the ass’) trails the story of two aspiring screenwriters in Mumbai desperate for an opportunity in the big bling world of Bollywood, chasing directors, actors to peddle their script. When they’re not chasing directors, our perennially horny writers Mainak (Mayank Tewari) and Dulal (Naveen Kasturia) are chasing women.
After a break-up with his long-distance girlfriend, Dulal finds solace in the company of Ruma (Aditi Vasudev), a lawyer by profession and a photographer by passion. When they meet, Ruma is about to fly to the States to study photography. Will love take flight too?
The film parallel-y explores the journey of Mainak and Dulal’s professional struggle and the latter’s love life.
The concept is not new but the treatment is delightfully fresh and promises no clichés. The characters aren’t out of a Hindi film. Borrowing an oft-quoted phrase in the film, the characters aren’t ‘boxed up’ to behave or act a certain way. They are one of us. Their conversations are relatable. Their spontaneity, humor, unpredictability make them endearing, believable and their journey easier to connect with. Mayank Tewari (writer and stand-up comic) and Naveen Kasturia (who has previously assisted Dibakar Banerjee) are brilliantly cast. Their timings are impeccable.
Smart writing, narrative ease, quirky, real characterisations and cinematography elevate this film to a cult level in its genre.
Cinematographer Surjodeep Ghosh skilfully captures the mood and tenor of the film, aiding the narrative. ‘Long Live Cinema’ shared an interesting piece by Ghosh on how they made it happen. You can read it here.