Let the plot thicken

A film on reality television might shake you out of your couch, says Aastha Atray Banan

Kingmaker Shorey in a still from Tejpal’s (left) Kaam Ka Plot
Kingmaker Shorey in a still from Tejpal’s (left) Kaam Ka Plot
Photo: Shailendra Pandey

IT’S RARE WHEN A HINDI MOVIE lets its hero win his battle against exploitation just by the pure force of his street sharp ways. It’s even rarer when the hero is a middle-class, jobless Mumbaikar. Maybe that’s why film critic and first-time director Mintty Tejpal’s Kaam Ka Plot is disturbing at first, but endearing as it ends. Not only because it attacks the reality TV phenomenon; it also gives the middleclass Indian an identity. “It is a comment on reality TV. I know what goes into this business. We are becoming voyeuristic as a society and that bothers me. But the focus is on the middle-class Indian who has disappeared from our movies,” says Mintty.
The film revolves around Dashrath Srivastava (Ranvir Shorey), a gullible do-gooder who is tricked into the dirty world of reality TV but manages to become a smart businessman. “Despite the resources with which the film was made — it cost Rs. 60 lakh, was written in a week and shot in 16 days — it has tremendous merit. The fact that Mintty has managed to create ripples in an industry that works through coteries is commendable,” says Shorey, who co-starred with Sandhya Mridul and Vinay Pathak.
Though it was commissioned by Zoom as a made-for-television film and premiered last week, Mintty is hopeful that Kaam Ka Plot will attract distributors. However, that hasn’t stopped the accolades from flowing in. While filmmaker Sudhir Mishra calls it “quirky, full of surprises, often very funny and has a deep connection with reality”, film critic Rajeev Masand feels it’s the film’s unpredictability that sets it apart from the usual fare. “The premise was familiar and I kept waiting for the usual, but it never came.
The end was absolutely surprising. It stuns because it’s uncompromised.”