A lovable buffoon as a lead played by a virtually unknown actor is quite a rarity in Indian movies. We see them mostly by the side of the muscular hero or they are used as props in between bouts of drama and action for ‘comic relief’ and generally relegated to the sidelines. Filmistaan is the movie of the side-heroes. It’s an ode to cinema crazy fans who remember every dialogue of their favorite films. All of us know one such friend/uncle who lightens up any situation by over-dramatic humor and filmy dialogues. Filmistaan is the story of that guy.
Without giving away any spoilers, the story follows a struggling, affable assistant director, Sunny (Sharib Hashmi), who gets an opportunity to work with a foreign film crew for shooting in Rajasthan and due to a confused kidnapping, Sunny lands up in middle of a Pakistani village with a few villagers and terrorists for company. How he tries to familiarize himself in the new environment and attempt to escape from his ordeal forms the crux of the story.
To be fair to Filmistaan, there are multiple moments of genuine humor interspersed throughout the movie. There is an innate goodness and earthiness in all the characters, which is not often seen on the screen. The whole film tries to be an ode to the crazy cinema loving Indian played by Sharib Hashmi and his Pakistani counterpart played by Inaamulhaq and their exchanges make for some really good moments in the film.
However, too much of a good thing isn’t always great and here as well in order to display the goodness of the characters, the movie goes overboard often. There are situations which drag the movie in the second half and the laughs also get fewer as we go along towards the climax. The ending is another weak point of the movie. An unsatisfying climax leaves a mixed taste after the movie.
The film boasts of some good performances specially by the lead duo. Kumud Mishra is also effective albeit a bit too understated as the terrorist leader. The music, however, is average. And while the arid landscape of Rajasthan does make for a nice backdrop, visually the movie could still have been better.
Finally, Filmistaan makes a good first impression though faltering towards the end. Director Nitin Kakkar must be lauded for the effort and it is good to see the film, made in 2012, finally getting a theatrical release. The performances by the leads and the moments of great humour make it worth a watch. The movie has it’s heart in the right place and if you love Bollywood, you will love Filmistaan.
Hindi, Comedy, Drama, Color