‘The President Is Coming’ is witty, entertaining fare (IANS Movie Review - Rating:***)

January 11th, 2009 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “The President Is Coming”; Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Shernaz Patel, Namit Das, Ira Dubey, Vivek Gomber, Satchit Puranik, Imran Rasheed, Shivani Tanksale, Anand Tiwari; Director: Kunaal Roy Kapoor; Rating: ***In his directorial debut, “The President Is Coming”, Kunaal Roy Kapoor has hit the bull’s eye. The movie, a satirical comedy to show India’s obsession with America, perfectly blends criticism with wit and leaves you in splits.

“The President is Coming” isn’t so much about the US President George W. Bush, it’s about what he represents in the minds of people in India. The movie can be termed as a perfect farewell to Bush, who is serving his last few days in the White House.

For most Indians, going to America is a solution to all their problems and Kapoor has beautifully presented it in the film.

Kapoor has made the film with the same cast that he used for the theatrical version - debutante Ira Dubey, Namit Das, Anand Tiwari, Satchik Puranik and Vivek Gomber and their excellent performances make the film worth the watch.

Konkona Sen Sharma is the new addition in the cast and her portrayal of a snooty Bengali writer who tries to outfox other contestants will win her much applause.

Made in English, the film is for a niche audience, but is a must watch for all irrespective of whether they love or hate America.

The film revolves around the US president’s visit to India and a PR agency’s hunt for a suitable Indian who will shake hands with him.

Shernaz Patel, an eccentric PR agent, has to do the difficult task of choosing a suitable young Indian to shake hands with the US president. She shortlists six people from different walks of life with the help of her dim-witted assistant Ritu Johnson (Shivani Tanksale) whom she tries to intimidate all the time.

The fun begins when six people — Maya (Konkona), an IIM graduate and staunch desi social worker Ajay Karlekar (Satchit Puranik), accent trainer Rohit Seth (Vivek Gomber), business tycoon’s spoiled brat with scandalous past Archana Kapoor (Ira Dubey), IIT graduate and a homosexual nerd Ramesh. S (Namit Das) and stock-broker Kapil Dev (Anand Tiwari) — come under one roof in the US consulate.

As part of its tongue-in-cheek humour, the “The President Is Coming” begins stating that “the film claims to be a fake documentaryā€¯ and builds the situation in such a funny manner as if it actually happened.

The film lacks glitz and gloss, but the script seems to be in place, the dialogues are witty, the editing is also perfect, and most importantly the director never meanders from his main theme. All this makes “The President Is Coming” an enjoyable watch.

Kudos to Kapoor for coming up with such an entertaining film, which marks a good start this year for Bollywood.

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