While this week moviegoers’ attention is riveted to the stunning Udta Punjab and the heart-warming Dhanak a short film from Google entitled The hero: A Bollywood Story which weaves a deeply emotional journey of a father and son into the former’s past.
Directed by Amit Sharma, a well-known name in the ad world who last year made his unsuccessful Bollywood debut with the Arjun Kapoor–Sonakshi Sinha flop Tevar, The Hero: A Bollywood Story features the Zubaan actor Vicky Kaushal as a son whose repressed father, a manager in a local cinema hall in a sleepy hill town, has kept a secret for 40 years.
Vicky’s father wanted to be an actor and had even wangled a role in a film that was shot near Bangalore circa 1975.
That’s the information Vicky’s mother provides her son. Vicky then takes advice from the world’s no.1 counsellor: Google! Finds out where dad was meant to shoot 40 years ago and tricks him into visiting the location and experience that could’ve changed his life 40 years ago.
Yes, didn’t I mention it? This film is sponsored by Google. If product placement is perennially problematic in Hindi cinema, this short film shows us how to do it with tact flair and intelligence.
From this point onwards The Hero: A Bollywood Story becomes the story of a journey that the son makes his father take into his past re-living the ‘Kitne aadmi the’ moment from Sholay in the midst of the rugged rocks of Ramanagar in Karnataka. The twosome then visit other legendary locations of Bollywood, from Farah Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti and, oddly, even Shakti Samanta’s Kashmir Ki Kali.
It seems a little odd that the father never vented his Bollywood passion during all these years when he served as a manager in a cinema hall.This isn’t killing one’s dreams, it’s choking the breath out of them. But the father-son relationship and their bonding over a nostalgic trip to the golden moments of Hindi cinema works like a charm.
The film makes use of R D Burman’s evocative theme music from Sholay to gently punctuate the father-son kinship in stealing the golden moments from Bollywood. R Balki whose production company has produced this magical little gem says, “We wanted to pay a homage top Bollywood by incorporating some of Indian cinema’s golden moments.”
It’s hard not to fall in love with this big short-film which tells us it’s never too late to retrieve our dreams from the trashcan of social obligations.
Go, relive the magic of the movies.