Verdict: Heartwarming documentary on the making of a film that’s based on hope and faith, and a well-scripted parody-cum-satire.
The first time we heard the name “Supermen of Malegaon” – the thought of a rural Superman trying to fly, we cringed. The original film might probably be ridiculously cheesy and corny, but this making-of it has shown what people do for entertainment and being a part of it.
Malegaon’s Muslim society are the filmmakers of the tiny city in Maharashtra. It’s an industry. Mollywood, they call it. Some do it for their passion of cinema, some do it for experience before they head out to Mumbai.
Faiza Ahmed Khan’s documentary on the people behind Malegaon ka Superman might leave one teary-eyed seeing the hope and faith that people of Malegaon have. But it isn’t the “if there’s a will, there’s a way” bit that makes the film what it is.
Nasir Sheikh used to run a video parlour in Malegaon earlier where he would screen a curated list of films ranging from Bollywood’s best to Hollywood’s classics. While at it, he had also directed Malegaon ke Sholay. Nasir prefers making what he calls ‘paarody’. And it’s while making an Indianized paarody of Superman, the resulting comical satire on India – its society, film industry, and infrastructure, is what makes the film shine. A few choice lines from the documentary:
“When Superman gets a call for help on his mobile, he can’t hear clearly. He has to fly up into the sky to get a better reception on his mobile.”
“I look at the these Bollywood films and wonder why is the plot and direction so weak. What I’ve learnt is just from studying Hollywood films.”
“They should’ve written Superman, instead they wrote Spiderman,” while reading an article in the local Urdu daily.
To make Superman fly, Nasir wanted to use chroma, a technology that lets editors add backgrounds easily to a frame. A vendor in Mumbai quoted him two lacs. “In that much money I can make four films,” Nasir commented.
Previously, he’d happily do everything – scripting, direction, editing – on his own, without caring about the extra time and effort put in. He just wanted to make people laugh. Until of course, he learnt that a director’s role is to make everyone’s effort come together in one final framework.
After the scheduled two weeks of screening for Supermen of Malegaon, it’s been extended for another week now. Do catch it before it goes off screens.
PVR Juhu: 11.15pm
PVR Phoenix: 11.15pm