Sooni Taraporewala, the screenplay writer of ‘Salaam Bombay’ brings the story close to her heart in her debut directorial venture. Its sweetest film ever made by the Parasi, on the Parasi, with the Parasi (but not probably only) for the Parasi. In most of the Indian Hindi cinema the character of Parasi community was used just to give a funny side kick manipulating his/her colloquial sweet tongue. It’s quite ironic to know that it’s Parasis who pioneered & introduced the Cinemas to the Indian audience in early 40s as Wadia Bros and till day it’s rare to get films reflecting their own culture and community. But here’s a film which portrays them as they are – intelligent, sharp, smart, hard working, gentle, loving and beautiful people whom you love to cherish as your next door neighbor.
The film is nothing more than the world of a little motherless Parasi boy (Jahan Batiwala) living in suburban Mumbai housing colony who’s constantly dreaming about the greatest soccer star Zinedine Zidane, the Big Zizou and chatting with her late mom’s photograph. Taraporewala has narrated the story from the point of view of innocent, sweet little boy. I also like the character of sweet and smart little daughter (played by Iyanah Batiwala) of Boman Irani who’s crazy about having puppy in home. To give the film realistic natural feel, Director has used almost Parasi in casting all the characters and everyone has acted their parts so lively and naturally, whether it’s Boman Irani, Imaad Shah, Zenobia Shroff or Dilshad Patel. She has finely utilized almost all available Parasi celebrities of India like Cyrus Broacha, John Abraham, Shiamak Davar. Jahan and Iyanah Batiwala are real discovery to watch.
If the fun is intelligent and satiric with loads of quintessential Parasi humor, the struggling and confusing moments of the characters are intense and subtle. Watch the episodic spark of humor lies between the clashes of two community members. One is great community reformer purist, PLO (Parasi Liberation Organization) leader and the other is his arch-enemy and the editor of near to extinction Parasi Newspaper. There are so many moments of emotional upheaval- the directionless youth seeking their own identities, bonding between two brothers, ethical Pressman and his loving family. Without making much didactic fuss about current day community problems, Director- Screenplay writer Sooni Taraporewala has tackled the film with mature treatment and yet made her directorial points quite strongly.
Must Watch of the year.