With the sumptuous landscape of India as his canvas, director Dev Benegal paints a delightfully original road movie. We meet young Vishnu (Abhay Deol) as he is being prepped to take over the family hair-oil business. Embarrassed by this prospect, Vishnu jumps at the chance to drive his uncle's beat-up Chevy truck across India to its new owner. Along his journey, he picks up a young runaway, a wandering old entertainer, and a beautiful woman, and they embark on a magical journey together that will change Vishnu's life.
Road, Movie may have all the components of a "road movie," but Benegal injects such freshness into the film that it transcends the genre. Deol and the rest of the cast are splendid to watch as they navigate the breathtaking terrain of India, making Road, Movie both entertaining and touching.
Director's Statement Collapse
I stood alongside a battered green truck and stared out at the infinite desert. I had traveled to the middle of the outback hoping to see a film in the open air. But there was no one in sight. I nearly gave up and left, but as the sun went down, I spotted a figure in the horizon. And then another. Almost magically, from nowhere, they started coming. Most of them on foot, others on bullock carts, a family of four on a motorbike, 20 people crushed together in a jeep. The line seemed endless. Within a few hours, five thousand people had gathered, coming from miles away, all for the same reason: to see a film.
The crowd sat at the foot of the gigantic screen, forming a human oasis amid the vast desert. It was a form of surrender. Surrender to emotions, a good story, and the towering image on screen. By dawn, it was all over—like a dream. Everyone was gone. No trace of the night before. They had returned to their quotidian life, waiting for the next gathering, perhaps a few months or even a year away. It was a deeply personal experience: traveling with a touring cinema took me to a world where past, present, and future freely coexisted. A dreamlike journey where man, nature, and film all came together for that fleeting moment underneath the star lit sky.
Road, Movie was born from this journey. A story of a young man transporting an old truck across the mythic landscape of India. A modern tale of survival and hope against a world of fear, prejudice and authority.
Cast & Credits Collapse
Primary Cast Abhay Deol, Satish Kaushik, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Mohammad Faizal
Director Dev Benegal
Screenwriter Dev Benegal
Producers Susan B. Landau, Ross Katz
Editor Yaniv Dabach
Director of Photography Michel Amathieu A.F.C
Executive Producers Vandana Malik, Sanjay Ray Chaudhuri
Composer Michael Brook
Co-Producers Sopan Muller, Fred Berger
Executive Producer Vandana Malik, Sanjay Ray Chaudhuri
About the Director(s)Collapse
Dev Benegal is acknowledged as a pioneer in digital technology whose work represents modern Indian cinema. Benegal's first feature, English, August, debuted in 1994 and was followed by Split Wide Open. Road, Movie and Ravan & Eddie gained Benegal screenwriter awards, and he now works as a script advisor in France and Germany.