|Hindi Movie Reviews|
The Indian documentary film making business has been around for some time now, but has never really managed to break out. Not in a cinematic sense at least, though every television channel from Doordarshan to MTV India has managed to feature many homegrown documentaries covering an array of topics. So it is actually an incredibly rare occurrence when a documentary film directed in India gets a cinematic release. So was the case last weekend when Supermen of Malegaon made it to the big screen for a national audience.
THE STORY AND ITS PLAYERS: So what is Supermen of Malegaon all about, you may ask? It is actually a documentary capturing the behind-the-scenes story of a small budget direct to video film titled "Malegaon Ka Superman". For those not in the know, Malegaon is a little town which lies less than 300 kms away from the metropolitan of Mumbai. Apparently, just as Mumbai has its own film-making industry named "Bollywood", Malegaon has its very own "Mollywood", which specializes in low budgeted movies based in Malegaon and mainly utilizing talent based in Malegaon itself. "Malegaon Ka Superman" happens to be Mollywood' s first superhero movie. The director of the movie is one Shiekh Nasir, a local videographer who enjoys making spoofs on blockbusters like "Shaan" and "Sholay". Extremely low budgeted spoofs and remakes, which are readily consumed by the localites. This time, Nasir' s fancy has been caught by not a Bollywood blockbuster, but a Hollywood one- Richard Donner' s "Superman", to be precise. Nasir sets about finding his lead hero to play the Man of Steel and settles on Shaikh Shafique, a skinny village boy who would be the last person anyone would pick to play Superman. But what Shafique lacks in physique, he more than makes up for it in his sincerity, earnestness, and gratitude for having being picked for the role.
The director of the documentary, Faiza Ahmad Khan, chronicles the work of Nasir as he goes about putting together his movie- gathering a local production unit who are ready to work for a low fee, having to get a leading lady from outside the village (as none of the village people were comfortable with having their daughters participate in the movie), even coming up with an idiosyncratic script for the movie where Superman is obsessed with filth and wishes to have every Indian spit everywhere possible. Also, Nasir' s Superman suffers from asthma. It is an excellent satire, if you seriously think about it.
But most of all, it is Nasir' s extremely ambitious goal to incorporate special effects into his shoe string budget movie which speaks directly to the viewer. Thematically, it works too. Superman is supposed to be the embodiment of all of our highest aspirations assembled together. And the fact that a local villager would dare to dream of having his movie included in the ranks of Hollywood mega superhero blockbusters like Donner' s "Superman", Sam Raimi' s "Spider-Man", Christopher Nolan' s Batman trilogy, and goes to great lengths to make a full-fledged effort to utilize all of the resources at his disposal, and beyond, is a perfect reflection of what superheroes basically stand for. It is Nasir' s resourcefulness and ingenuity while making his film which is a real wonder to behold. Nasir goes to great lengths to make sure that his project speaks of effort, at the very least. In the absence of a trolley, he gets a cycle. Similarly, a bullock cart substitutes for a jimmy jib. What is more, he even goes so far as to replicate the effects of a "flying man", as seen in the mammoth Hollywood productions themselves. For the purpose, the crew rip off Superman' s undergarments to tie them to an iron pole and hoist Shafique, Superman himself, over a homemade green chrome background, used for almost every CGI effect laden scene. It is instances like these which make Sheikh Nasir a true inspiration and worthy of the title of "Superman of Malegaon".
Similarly, Shafique is equally charming as he is the ultimate commoner turned superhero. His glee and disbelief at playing Superman is endearing, and touching at the same time. Khan, the director of the documentary, presents both Nasir and Shafique, the primary subjects of her film, in a light which focuses on the hilarity of their respective situations, but never at their expense. She ensures that we are laughing with the two "Supermen" in question, but not at them.
What makes watching "Supermen of Malegaon" all the more poignant, is knowing the fact that Shafique passed away from mouth cancer in 2011, giving these last glimpses of him in the film the same kind of surreal, captivating power one feels while watching the late Christopher Reeve in the original Superman films or the late Heath Ledger in his Oscar winning performance as The Joker in "The Dark Knight".
VERDICT: Watching "Supermen of Malegaon" is an enjoyable and awe-inspiring experience as it is the perfect blend of both wit and a tribute to the immense potential of the human will, proving that you do not need to be a Hollywood mogul if you want to try and make people believe that a man could possibly fly. And it is that spirit and dedication which truly makes Nasir, and his cast and crew, real life superheroes.
Reviewed by: Vikshant Shetty
KBS Productions, MediaCorp, NHK
Supermen of Malegaon Reviews by Twitter Users:
Swapnil Tamse reviewed on 2012-07-17 at 14:31:11Z
Supermen of Malegaon is the best documentary i have come across depicting desi passion and Jugaad Triumph !
Karishma Rao reviewed on 2012-07-17 at 14:15:46Z
Supermen of Malegaon- A real life comedy of unsung heroes. an absolute must watch!
Rituparna Chatterjee reviewed on 2012-07-17 at 11:40:00Z
Finally caught up with long overdue films, and loved The Supermen of Malegaon documentary.
ƤƦƋƨħstyle reviewed on 2012-07-17 at 06:02:16Z
Supermen Of Malegaon - It’s the only superhero film in which the superhero is saved by ordinary people! Hilarious watch!
ƤƦƋƨħstyle reviewed on 2012-07-17 at 05:58:54Z
Supermen Of Malegaon Have you ever seen a superman wearing naadewala kachha and slippers, and ppl wiping their face with his red cape?
Amit Bhowmik reviewed on 2012-07-16 at 15:53:35Z
One good Superman movie in this lifetime. That' s all.
Kirti reviewed on 2012-07-16 at 01:30:22Z
Watched Supermen of Malegaon yesterday. Wonderful take on the film crazy men of Malegaon. WATCH IT. MUST WATCH
Krutika reviewed on 2012-07-15 at 18:50:35Z
Before heading in for the movie, I had concerns about its length. But with 1 hour duration, Supermen of Malegaon is a complete film.
Krutika reviewed on 2012-07-15 at 16:13:07Z
Please please watch Supermen of Malegaon. One of the best film experiences I' ve had in a long time. I was laughing and/or crying throughout
sangeetha devi reviewed on 2012-07-15 at 14:33:20Z
Watched Supermen of Malegaon in 2010 & was mind blown.
Chandru reviewed on 2012-07-15 at 08:22:25Z
watched supermen of malegaon today finally...HILARIOUS!
sidharth todi reviewed on 2012-07-14 at 19:09:50Z
supermen of malegaon is a must watch!
Heisenberg reviewed on 2012-07-14 at 18:19:10Z
What a delightful movie this is ---> Supermen of Malegaon (2008)
Bhuvan Mehta reviewed on 2012-07-14 at 14:00:00Z
If you have any doubt wrt what impact and passion of cinema can be, go and watch Superman of Malegaon...
Nitish Kumar ™ reviewed on 2012-07-14 at 03:26:45Z
A very different experience. People should watch it.
I$haan Lahiri reviewed on 2012-07-13 at 21:32:59Z
Supermen Of Malegaon: It captures the emotions of the people of Malegaon and what one can achieve if he' s got will to do it.
I$haan Lahiri reviewed on 2012-07-13 at 21:30:59Z
Supermen Of Malegaon : I' ve waited for 4 years to watch this and it was totally worth it. It makes you laugh and cringe at the same time.
shyam trivedi reviewed on 2012-07-13 at 19:06:40Z
Nothing they have yet striving hard.. supermen of malegaon, amazing
Mitaksh reviewed on 2012-07-13 at 18:40:18Z
I forgot to mention supermen of malegaon , worth a watch, so deserves every bit of your attention, catch it if you can!
Abhishek Choudhury reviewed on 2012-07-13 at 17:32:10Z
I missed thanking you for your review about Supermen of Malegaon...such movies deserve more mainstream recognition. Well done
Anil Sawant reviewed on 2012-07-13 at 12:00:19Z
juss saw supermen of mgaon superb movie incredible film Supermen of Malegaon !! Awesome if u have nt see it,then go watch it worth it is
YSA) reviewed on 2012-07-13 at 11:44:19Z
Supermen of Malegaon on screens for another week. This is why you should definitely watch it
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