Director Hardik Mehta brings those in spotlight who are mostly lost in dark
Although this is Hardik’s first film as a director in Bollywood, he is not a complete stranger. His documentary Amdavad Ma Famous not only got him National Film Award but several prestigious international film awards. Having worked on films like Queen, Lootera, and Trapped, he makes Har Kisse Ke Hisse Kaamyaab. The film is interesting for two things- 1) It is a story of side actors, who generally don’t come out loud in public domain and 2) A character actor becomes your hero, something that Bollywood hasn’t seen a lot.
Sudheer (Sanjay Mishra) is a prolific veteran side actor. Now forgotten, he lives alone, indulged in loneliness and alcohol. Although he has his daughter’s family in the same city, who love him. By sheer chance, he one day realises that he’s acted in 499 films. For an actor’s creative satisfaction, he now wants to do one more to be able to complete the round figure of 500. He approaches a junior of his Dinesh Gulati (Deepak Dobriyal), who is now a famous casting director.
Written by Mehta himself and Radhika Anand, it’s a story that instantly touches you. It is probably for the first time that you are seeing unlikely superstars in such fashion. Barring the cinema buffs, these people are such whose names are not known by general public. Putting them on the centre stage is something Mehta should be hailed for. The idea is original, the execution is perfect.
While the film is inherently light and breezy, there is ingrained pathos in the flow. Now that being immensely difficult not only to write but also to play up, Mehta infuses realism mixed with human connect in his scenes. Since the protagonist has been a prolific side actor with numerous films to his credit, a significant portion of the screenplay is dedicated to recreating or rather paying an ode to the earlier films of Bollywood.
The set up begins with projecting Sudheer as someone legendary moving to what his life today is. The phase of what has changed over the years for actors, especially character artists, has also been brought out.
There’s a sequence post interval where Sudheer is giving a shot. And somehow isn’t able to give it right. Tries for many takes. The way the graph keeps going down with superlative Mishra at job is a stunning spectacle. Similarly when Sudheer’s daughter says Aap ek tough quiz ke sawal banke reh jaenge, you feel a lump in your throat.
The film is sweet. Emotional. Leaves you thinking. You feel pity for your actor. You want to cherish his life. And all of this comes from crisp writing. The film brings forth mental psyche of an actor, someone who’s done such vast work. His life and what he becomes. The struggles of coming to terms with what you are. Ofcourse, the film isn’t for all. Target audience will be limited for the positioning.
What is commendable here is the choice of the actors. People who lift bland scenes to great heights, would naturally do unimaginable wonders when the script is so strong. The keen eye of the casting team along with the commitment of the core makers shows. Also, they have casted real side actors of Bollywood (you’ll identify almost all of them) to give the film that contemporary and real touch. You actually feel that your lead actor is living a real life.
The climax has also been conceptualised with pure heart. Conveys the essence and leaves you choked.
Need we say anything about the genius of Sanjay Mishra? Just right in every frame, he rules the film. Even when he is not there on screen, you are thinking of him. He makes you laugh and weep, love and hate, relax and frown. He is so good that just 10mins into the film, you forget that he is an actor. You start seeing that side actor in him. You feel for him. You want him to win. There are scenes when he says so much with just his face and eyes. He doesn’t need dialogues. Also, he makes it look so easy. Watch it carefully. It is a very difficult role, seeming a cakewalk.
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Deepak Dobriyal also has done a marvellous job. His body language is something you will love. He comes across as someone who could incline in any direction. You love him for whatever he does. He is supportive, the good man, the go to person for your hero. Dobriyal never hits the false note.
Sarika Singh does a very good job as Sudheer’s daughter. She comes rarely on screen, but whenever she does, she lifts the film giving it the much needed nuance and detailing.
Isha Talwar has a small role. And she does okay. Avtar Gill playing himself is good with his restrained screen presence. He leaves his mark though.
Music mostly forms the background of the film. Reminding you of the era of 70s, 80s and 90s, the music and score by Rachita Arora is very smart. The songs and tunes have a meaning, going well with the situations of the film. No songs seem out of place.
Piyush Puty’s camera is amazingly wonderful. The camera along with a near perfect production design by Ravi Srivastava takes you in all those times from where your hero passes. The milieu is what does most of the story telling. The set up is downplayed to some extent where things don’t glitter unnecessarily. It is the visual appeal that does the job for the film
Editing by Prashanth Ramchandran Jaylaxmi is also very impressive for the fact that the film has a fair share of almost everything- that too in right proportions at right places.
Thanks to Hardik Mehta for bringing such a heart-to-heart story. Thanks for making it with so much passion. The emotions are in abundance. The performances are stunning. What more can you ask for?