Banner: Thumbnail Pictures
Producer: Samira Bandyopadhyay
Director: Sudip Bandyopadhyay
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Sonali
Kulkarni, Amir Bashir, Naveen
Kasturia, Kabir Sajid, Virti Vaghani, Beena
Writer: Sudip Bandyopadhyay
Music: Rupert Fernandes
What is the one thing that keeps us going even when all seems lost? It is the hope that the future will be better than today. The story of this film is built on that one ray of hope.
Nagesh Srivastava, the head of the Srivastava family, is obsessed with an old German photocopy machine, which he refers to as Mr Sonneken (the machine’s brand name). This machine does not work very well now and all it does is occupy space in their already cramped house. Nagesh desperately hunts for a lens for this machine so that Mr Sonneken can get back to his glorious past.
His older son Neeraj is a simple man who has been working towards getting a promotion. He understands his father’s love for this machine but also understands his wife Aditi’s demand that the machine be disposed of to make extra room for the kids. Nitin, Neeraj’s younger brother, works in Dubai. During one of his visits home, he brings his father a state-of-the-art photocopy machine. Even that does not coax Nagesh to give up Mr Sonneken.
The young Srivastavas, Tanu and Anu, are constantly at loggerheads, especially when Anu, with his constant cricket commentary disturbs his older sister while she is studying. The youngest Srivastava, Anu, is a cricket enthusiast. When he is not having life conversations with his granddad about destiny, he is all about cricket. However, a trip to his maternal grandmother’s haveli changes the young boy. And when, on returning home, he finds that things are changing here too, he withdraws into a shell.
Anu struggles with his demons, Nagesh desperately wants to keep Mr Sonneken alive, Neeraj prays for a promotion, Aditi wants less clutter at home, Tanu wants her own room and Nitin wants to find his lost mobile phone. And through their personal quests, the family discovers hope and happiness.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay has woven together interesting yet simple characters that everyone can relate to. The storytelling is uncomplicated, with the right doses of emotion, comedy and even a bit of suspense. There are no over-the-top melodramatic scenes or conflicts. The story is easy to connect with and unfolds beautifully. Ravi K Chandran’s camera work lends itself to the narrative very well. He has kept it as simple as the characters in the story. The songs blend in perfectly with the story and echo the emotions well.
Performance-wise, Naseeruddin Shah is a breeze as Nagesh Srivastava. He brings a certain vintage charm to the character. You empathise with his loneliness and at the same time are inspired by his will to accept the changes around him.
Amir Bashir as Neeraj is uncomplicated. He does his job so well that in one scene, where he is sharing a drink with his on-screen father, the duo could easily pass off as real-life father-and-son. Sonali Kulkarni is dignified as Aditi and plays her part well. Naveen Kasturia as Nitin brings the nervous energy needed for the role.
Virti Vaghani as Tanu is very good. Kabir Sajid as Anu is extremely lovable. Veteran actress Beena as the maternal grandmother is a wonderful addition.
Verdict: Worth watching!