Director: Amit Masurkar

Star Cast: Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev, Karan Mirchandani, Krishna Singh Bisht, Rukshana Tabassum, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Razak Khan, Rohini Ramanathan

Rating: 3.5/5

Running time: 90 minutes

Screenplay: Amit Masurkar

Release Date: 05/12/14

Music composed by: Arfaaz Kagalwala, Anurag Shanker

It’s not hard to locate self-proclaimed cinema people with a promising story to tell on screen in the city of dreams, Mumbai. You don’t have to knock too many doors to meet & greet struggling film-writers like Dulal [Naveen Kasturia] & Mainak [Mayank Tewari]. SULEMANI KEEDA is their Narak Yatra i.e. the trip to hell [a Hindi Novel written by Gyan Chaturvedi can be seen in one of the earliest frames] to make it big in the Hindi film industry but in a very realistic, engaging and entertaining manner. Humor flows vigorously from the flagrant flares of lust, itch for fame and human coarseness in characters to the ‘real to the core’ verbal exchange between them.

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Soon after breaking up with his girlfriend of 2 years, Dulal is seen explaining the genesis of an idea to evoke in him the much-needed push for writing. Taking inspirations from Sahir Ludhiyanvi saab’s, “maine jo geet tere pyaar ki khatir likhe, aaj unn geeton ko bazaar mein le aaya hoon”; he too wants each failed relationships of his life to be kept alive in his writings, of course with a disclaimer that he will change the names. On other hand, Mainek is more like a chaotic, topsy-turvy missile who can never hit the right spot, on purpose. Together, they bang doors of every big name in the industry to back and buy their story but end up taking painfully deep, profound and inexplicable lecture on life by Mr. Mahesh ‘know-it-all’ Bhatt.

Their only existing hope is a 35-year old star-son of a B-grade film producer who wants an out-of the-box story with no story as such to be his long-awaited launch-pad where he can play an 18-year old romantic lead. This colorful character Gonzo- a Torkovsky fan doesn’t really stand the term ‘Hero’ in the script, thinks it’s time to revolutionize Hindi films with full-frontal nudity and loves to call her cat ‘Fellini’. Meanwhile, Dulal’s 3-day sting with a beautiful, positive and self-assured photographer Ruma [Aditi Vasudev] lands him in a brawl with Mainek and a late realization of love striking again in his life.

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With writers trying hard to just get an appointment with makers, being ignored, overlooked and even disgracefully shooed away for asking their payments [my favorite moment in the film with Mainek being the victim] and then, making creative compromises to sustain at the last; first-timer Amit Masurkar’s SULEMANI KEEDA is an impressive take of how things work in Bollywood especially if you haven’t crossed the line of success yet. The best part, all of it gets told with fine suggestions sugar-coated in competent wit. Even in its most dull and regular moment [there are few, comparatively], you are never thrown in state of boredom or depression.

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The editing is superbly done. The camerawork beautifully captures the essence of Mumbai as a city full of dreamy illuminations and existent imaginations in daylight and nightlife both. The sound designing keeps surprising you with experiments that never go wrong. On the performances, Naveen is perfectly cast as a cutely confused but decently sound writer. Mayank Tewari succeeds in making you laugh with his ease at the craft. Aditi Vasudev is impressive.

To sum up, SULEMANI KEEDA is an indie best to celebrate friendship that doesn’t falter in extremes, is rudely controlling and a bag full of conflicting shades of different personalities but filled with loads of happier moments to rejoice later in life. Watch it, if you ever had a roommate who can convince you not to wear your favorite t-shirt on one of your big days and later, to find the same on his body at the same event. And do not miss, if you ever had thoughts of being a film-writer in Bollywood!

Review Written By:- Gaurav Rai

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