Cinema is nowhere close to being the cheapest form of art. On the contrary it could possibly be the most expensive art form practiced worldwide. As we witnessed the digital revolution, cinema has started to become more and more personal. We are just counting days till the next Rodriguez comes up with his version of El Mariachi shot on his iPhone. And we will appreciate it not because it is shot with no budget. But for the fact that an individual has the guts to invest resources both in the form of time and money to tell his unique story.
Sulemani Keeda is a story of storytellers. It is about two struggling writers in the suburbs of Mumbai trying to make a career and deal with even more complex issues in life; such as love and, life. But it is far from being a documentary about how difficult it is to get into the industry and how one has to keep his morals aside. By watching the trailer itself you can tell that about the film that it is not a Madhur Bhandarkar film.
Simple is boring – At least when it comes to characters, make them complex. Right from their dressing sense to their smallest attributes. Give the audience something to remember. In the film, the second lead played by Mayank Tewari dwells on this simple principle.
Comic relief – For me, the genre of the film was comedy. So you can’t really call it a comic relief. But take a serious film for example – Life is Beautiful. No matter how serious your subject is, the audience needs some hope. Some reason to believe that things are going to get better. So a dramatic scene sandwiched between comedy scenes is even more gripping and it distracts from the melodrama on screen.
Every person can have a different approach to the same story. If I have to make this same film again, I would make it in a completely different form. That’s why there are new films coming every week. Because the plot of two films could be similar but the treatment of the film can change the whole perspective.
On a totally irrelevant note – Irrelevant scenes that are memorable get etched into the audience’s mind. Get your characters out of their comfort zones. Let them do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. Try to capture the emotions over there and you have a brilliant scene.
In terms of technicalities the film lacks the professional touch. At least that’s what I felt. Watching it on Vimeo certainly doesn’t make me the best judge of it. But the cinematography and the sound design was quite off. I seriously felt such a fresh story needed a better technical support. But nevertheless, it wasn’t distracting me from the story. As long as the story is going in the right direction, I don’t mind compromising on these details.
Apart from a fresh script if there is anything that makes the film what it is then it is the conviction behind it. No matter what the budget is, you are always spending time while making a film. Right from the idea to actually watching it on the screen, it takes a huge investment in terms of time. And it is a great achievement to dedicate yourself to a project such as this with little or no guarantee of returns. That is what I take back from this film.
I hate the fact that such attempts are showered with almost no love by the audience. Yes, we have a certain group that actually goes to the theaters to watch an experimental film by a talented new director. Yet, when it comes to actually getting the money back from revenues, set aside some profit; is extremely difficult. But everyone knows that. As the one character in the film says – if you want to make a film, think like a shopkeeper, not like a writer. So I don’t know about others, but I actually want to catch as many indie films as I can in the theaters this year.
To watch Sulemani Keeda online, follow these steps
Oh and by the way, here are some of the greatest indie films. Let’s watch them together!