Cast: Aadar Jain, Anya Singh, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Prince Parvinder Singh, Peter Muxxa Manuel, Mikahi Yawalkar, Anna Ador, Cyndy Khojol, Ram Kapoor
Director: Habib Faisal
‘Machung Lalang’ made history when he underwent a record breaking 54 years as an undertrial in the Indian prison and that one line statement becomes the fuel for this clueless and thankless prison inmate band baja drama that tries to hide it’s opportunism behind a cloak of judicial activism. The fact is the writing is terrible and fact-checks can tell you that almost every aspect of the prison system in India is being misrepresented here. Just one underlying theme – that it takes too long for justice to be delivered for it to mean anything for those who are being held unfairly and without conviction – has some bearing on the storyline but the manner in which the story plays out even that is lost in the song and dance of it.
Some undertrial inmates, selected after an audition (like on TV) of sorts- Sanju (Jain), Bindu (Anya), Tatyana (Ador), Musky (Parvinder), Ogu (Manuel), Rufi (Yawalkar) and Sange (Khojol), an African man, and a girl from the North East are part of the intial rag-tag outfit called upon to put up a music performance for a VIP guest on India’s freedom day.
Their Song ‘I am India’ gets televised and the entire nation is humming it. Seeing this as an opportunity to give his election efforts a boost, a local politician asks them to continue producing songs and uploading them on youtube- Did not understand that link up though because the songs had nothing to do with the particular gentleman’s election. Such confounding contrivances abound in this movie that plays on it’s series of songs in an effort to curry favour with a young audience.
Unfortunately, neither the song nor the production about the injustice of it all gets us involved in this hackneyed telling. This one’s more fantasy than reality. Everything looks put on –other than the young actors who deliver sincere and gritty performances in spite of the sketchy roles they are ladled with.