New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) After playing a spoilt brat in "Dev D" and a thief in "Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!", Abhay Deol is back to entertain viewers with his next "Road, Movie", which releases Friday. But this time he plays a "sheltered young man who wants to see the world" and finds salvation by screening cinema across a desert.
Produced by Ross Katz and Susan B. Landau for Rs.80 million ($1.8 mn), the 95-minute film has been directed by Dev Benegal. It also stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik and debutant Mohammed Faizal Usmani apart from Abhay.
"'Road, Movie' is a celebration of cinema. It's actually a film that you are watching within a film. It plays upon how important it (cinema) is to us and how it is treated and accepted. It is a journey of cinema," Abhay told IANS.
"It's very enjoyable, much more light and not serious and preachy. We don't make any great statements with this film. It's just totally made to enjoy the ride," he said.
The story of "Road, Movie" revolves around Vishnu (Abhay), a restless young man, who itches to escape his father's faltering hair oil business.
An old truck beckons and Vishnu sees it as his ticket to freedom. He offers to drive the antique vehicle across the desert as it has been sold to a museum. As he sets off across the harsh terrain of the desert in India, he discovers he's not merely transporting a battered vehicle but an old touring cinema.
Along the way, Vishnu reluctantly picks up a young runaway (Usmani), a wandering old entertainer (Kaushik) and a striking gypsy woman (Tannishtha). Together they roam in the barren land, searching for water and an elusive fair. The journey takes a turn when they are waylaid by corrupt cops and a notorious water lord.
The key to their freedom is the eccentric collection of films and the two 40-year-old film projectors in the back of the truck. Screening films in the middle of the desert provides them all with moments of salvation and reflection.
"Road, Movie" also has a modern-day rendition of the quirky Bollywood number "Sar jo tera chakraye" from Guru Dutt's "Pyaasa" shot on Johnny Walker.
Tannishtha has also lent her voice to a song inspired by Rajasthani construction workers in the movie.
The movie has already garnered huge appreciation at the world festival circuit, including the Toronto Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival.
Considering Dev Benegal's previous films like "English August" and "Split Wide Open", Abhay's track record and the buzz around the movie, "Road, Movie" sure sounds interesting.