Dev Benegal’s Road, Movie (earlier post updated)


thanks to Rooney for the latest trailer and stories..


In what represents a significant first for the Indian movie industry, leading international sales agent Fortissimo Films has picked up the global distribution rights of Dev Benegal’s Hindi film Road, Movie.

Presented by The Indian Film Company (TIFC) in collaboration with Studio 18, Road, Movie is based on a Benegal screenplay that had made it to the prestigious L’Atelier selection of the Cannes Film Festival two years ago. It was here that the writer-director had found the film’s Hollywood co-producers, Susan B. Landau and Ross Katz, whose credits include Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation.

Road, Movie stars Abhay Deol, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Satish Kaushik. And Michael J. Werner, co-chairman of Fortissimo Films, says it is a story told in a truly “universal” style by Benegal, who has earlier made films like English, August and Split Wide Open.

Werner feels Road, Movie is just the sort of Indian film that can travel around the world and generate a major buzz for the world’s largest movie industry.

“It is ‘Cinema Paradiso’ set in India, a uniquely indigenous story told in a style that is remarkably universal,” he said.

“There is renewed interest around the world in Indian stories thanks to the super success of Slumdog Millionaire. The agents who distributed the film are looking for the next Slumdog Millionaire, and those that didn’t are desperate to find their own Slumdog Millionaire,” Werner said.

For Fortissimo, which has in the past handled the international distribution of Deepa Mehta’s Bollywood Hollywood, which in Werner’s words “is a Canadian film”, the focus has usually been on Asian cinema made outside the Indian subcontinent.

“Hitherto, we as a company have had limited familiarity with Indian cinema,” he pointed out. “Indian producers are generally focussed on the domestic market.”

Sandeep Bhargava, CEO of TIFC, believes that the insularity of Indian cinema needs to be done away with.

“We are now looking at an international audience that goes beyond the diaspora. It is a happy augury that a new breed of globally-oriented Indian directors is steadily emerging.”

Werner too feels it is high time Indian filmmakers worked towards “touching the hearts and wallets of international sales agents”.

Road, Movie has made a beginning. The Fortissimo co-chairman asserts that there could be more excitement up ahead for Indian cinema.

9 Responses to “Dev Benegal’s Road, Movie (earlier post updated)”

  1. this has me excited for sure !!


  2. Variety’s review of Road, Movie from TIFF

    Road, Movie
    (India – U.S.)


    Dev Benegal’s aptly titled “Road, Movie” is a modestly amusing dramedy that is all the more pleasant for its fleeting detours into cheeky fantasy. Following a disaffected young man’s cross-country trek in a truck once used by an itinerant projectionist, the pic surprisingly soft-pedals the intriguing concept of bringing movie magic to isolated communities. Instead, the plot focuses more on comedic and romantic complications, along with a few melodramatic interludes to ratchet up interest. Notably bereft of Bollywood-style excess, this low-key India-U.S. co-production may find receptive auds in limited theatrical runs before hitting the homevid highway.
    Unenthused about the prospects of following his dad in the family business of hawking hair oil, Vishnu (Abhay Deol) agrees to deliver his uncle’s rattletrap truck to a museum hundreds of miles away. For years, his uncle drove from village to village, screening movies from the back of his vehicle. But Vishnu has little interest in operating a traveling cinema until he’s persuaded to do so by passengers he picks up en route: a robust geezer (Satish Kaushik), a runaway urchin (Mohammed Faizal Usmani) and a lovely gypsy (Tannishtha Chatterjee).

    Dangerous encounters with brutal cops and a water-controlling warlord generate mild suspense during the journey. For the most part, though, Benegal maintains a light touch, so that that there’s seldom a sense of real danger. Indeed, one seemingly dire situation is resolved with a sly stroke of broad comedy that borders on magical realism.

    At another point, multitudes inexplicably appear to construct an elaborate fair (complete with carnival rides) in the middle of the desert. Much like the lead characters, auds have no choice but to simply accept the literally fabulous phenomenon.

    Deol makes a credible transition from self-centered malcontent to selfless comrade, and the supporting players — especially Kaushik, who shakes the dust off a cliched character with a jolt of garrulous charm — are well cast. There is an unexpectedly bittersweet taste to the pic’s final minutes, but that, too, is part of the appeal of this road trip.

    Michael Brook’s effectively eclectic score is the pic’s standout production value.

    Camera (color), Michel Amathieu; editor, Yaniv Dabach; music, Michael brook; production designer, Anne Seibel; costume designer, Amba Sanyal; sound, Vikram Joglekar; associate producer, Maulik C. Mehta. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Special Presentations), Sept. 16, 2009. Running time: 95 MIN.


  3. sarvanash Says:

    i’m excited about this one, abhay deol has a good eye for picking scripts and projects. it’s even more impressive, since he mainly works with first timers. he should manage the other deols’ careers as well.


  4. Hmm, reviews are not good for this movie – D+ (43%)


  5. alex adams Says:

    “i’m excited about this one, abhay deol has a good eye for picking scripts and projects. it’s even more impressive, since he mainly works with first timers. he should manage the other deols’ careers as well.”lol
    oye lucky and dev d—-class acts.
    must be commended for making a unque niche for himself, so much so, that he has started to be somewhat of a “frontrunner of the alternative film scenario”.
    His name is deol but i suspect that he received NO help from his once more famous cousins.
    i remember a time when the deols appeared to shy off from him LEST he tries to TAG onto them for help, suppor.
    times change………


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