The Return of Dev Benegal

For many of us growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, English, August had a lot of firsts. Indian actors speaking in English aside, the way we could peek inside the head of Agastya Sen visually was quite a heady experience. And, of course, Tanvi Azmi. Ok, we will come back to that one. But the point here is Dev Benegal. A filmmaker who changed the perception that Indian actors could act in an English film, talk in their English accent and yet portray the emotions convincingly. The Ivory Merchant films were there but they would always mix the Indian characters with foreign ones. Not Dev.

He followed up the terrific English, August with another very watchable film Split Wide Open which had some great moments besides Laila Roauss. That was in 1999. For the next full decade Dev didn't make anything. Yes imdb says he made a documentary called Shabana but that hardly counts in a feature film filmography. And now the man is back with Road, Movie, exactly 10 years after Split Wide Open. The film is being shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. It stars Abhay Deol (two thumbs way up to this actor who is clearly showing the way ahead for every other Bollywood star/actor), Tannishtha Chatterjee (Brick Lane) and Satish Kaushik.

If the trailer is anything to go by, this would be a cracker of a film. And I am not the only guy impressed here. At the Cannes film market, where Bollywood biggies like Kites and My Name Is Khan struggled to find a buyer, the leading global sales agent Fortissimo Films picked up the distribution rights of Road, Movie. Let me know what you thought of this one. Enjoy!

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