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A young man's journey across the mythic Indian landscape becomes a life changing odyssey.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Om
...
The Woman
Mohammed Faisal ...
The Boy (as Mohammed Faizal)
...
Waterlord
...
Police Chief
Amitabh Srivastava ...
Aatma - Father
Suhita Thatte ...
Mother
Roshan Taneja ...
OPJ - Truck Owner
Shradha Shrivastav ...
Sister (as Shraddha Shrivastava)
Hardik Mehta ...
Masseur
Shabbir Hussain ...
Hair Oil Convention President
Bharat Vaibhav ...
Head Constable
Rajinder Grover ...
Waterlord's Driver
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Niraj Kothari ...
Developer
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Storyline

VISHNU, a restless young man, itches to escape his father's faltering hair oil business. An old truck beckons, which Vishnu sees as his ticket to freedom. He offers to drive the antique Chevy across the desert to the sea, where it has been sold to a local museum. As he sets off across the harsh terrain, he discovers he's not merely transporting a battered vehicle, but an old touring cinema. Along the way, Vishnu reluctantly picks up a young runaway, a wandering old entertainer and a striking gypsy woman. Together they roam the barren land, searching for water and an elusive fair. The journey turns dire when they are waylaid by corrupt cops and a notorious waterlord. The key to their freedom is the eccentric collection of films and the two forty-year-old film projectors in the back of the truck. As in 1001 Nights, if the films are good, they live and move on. If the films are boring, they face death in the outback. The journey proves transformative for each of the travelers, but ... Written by AE

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

truck | water | desert | mechanic | death | See All (28) »


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Details

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Release Date:

5 May 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Road Movie  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dev Benegal has directed two movies, Road, Movie (2009) and English, August (1994), with commas in the title. See more »

Goofs

When showing the arrival of performers for the fair, the setting sun is first shown about to disappear behind the horizon and a few scenes later it is higher above the horizon. See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the end credits, the film acknowledges to have ended by a slide-show of the words "The End" in different fonts, types, colors & even languages. See more »

Connections

Features Ram Jaane (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Tel Maaish
Written by Sachin Dev Burman (as S.D. Burman) and Sahir Ludhianvi
Performed by Sylvia Gordon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A lesson in cinematographic excellence, an incomplete movie
9 March 2010 | by (India) – See all my reviews

There are just four characters in the movie. Vishnu, played by Abhay Deol, wants to do more than just waste his time selling herbal oil as his father does before him. So, he volunteers for a friend to deliver across the desert an old truck which is a mobile cinema. The film is then about his journey, the movies that he plays & more importantly, the people that he meets on the way.

We have seen bits of brilliance from Satish Kaushik in the past, from Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro to Calendar in Mr. India, but I think this is the one that he will be most remembered for as an actor. Cast as a veteran mechanic, Kaushik plays a central role in taking the movie in a different direction than the protagonist has planned to. He has been cast very well along with the little boy that Vishnu picks up early in his journey. Both these characters provide for the lighter moments in the film while also inducing some thought provoking dialogue. There is also scope for a female lead. A tribal whose husband was slain over a water dispute some years ago. As she mentions that she too wants to get lost in the magic of cinema, one can't help but wonder if there is a deeper meaning to this sentence. And this deep meaning dialogue is a standard feature of the film.

Wide angle views of the vastness of the desert that lead to nothingness in the desert and a set of women treading along for days in search of water are brilliantly executed. And, other than the road & the movies, they are a common string throughout the film.

The film exists at many levels. At the most superficial level, it appears to be a subtle comedy with situational jokes and a bit of slapstick too. You dig a little, and you find that it is a person's journey to finding himself by having to deal with an old truck, rough, dry weather and some people who have been through their share of pain & suffering and how they still manage to be at peace and look forward to some elusive tranquility.

Dig a little deeper and you find the film is about some inherent social problems that still affect most of rural & tribal India. That something as basic as water can be a reason for murder & arson is hard to imagine but it is brought to us with a lot of sensitivity. How the lead characters almost die of thirst, how they almost get killed for trying to steal water all help appreciate a problem that is alien to most of us.

Dig a bit more and we find that Indian cinema is trying to usher in the seemingly selfish directors who make films from the heart with a message that they want to send across to anyone who tries to understand their cinema. There is no plot in the movie that would build up into something big. For a film like this, there has to be no plot. Very few directors can do it and get away with it. It is a movie that should go down as one that shifted or at least tried to shift the paradigm of Indian cinema.

That said there is much that the director could do better explaining & elaborating a little. Like what is the protagonist actually wanting to do with the truck, how does a particular mela (caravan fair) disappear overnight and mostly, why such a brilliant film seem a bit too long even for its 95 minute run time.

It is most definitely a lesson in cinematographic excellence. One would just hope that it would be a complete movie in itself too.


12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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