Cast: Imaad Shah, Ira Dubey, Barry John, Raaghav Chanana, Auritra Ghosh
Director: Agneya Singh
You might not be interested in the frustration, loneliness and anger felt by a rebel, but you can still empathise. You might not have stood up against authoritarian agencies, but you can always stand by those who do. You might not have dared to break the shackles of a comfortable middle class existence, but you can start off on a journey that promises to take you away from it. After all, the idea of being a rebel is unbelievably romantic.
Four Delhi friends set out on a road trip to the interiors of Himachal Pradesh, thinking the trip will fill the vacuum in their lives. They plan to find a rare drug called M Cream. Fig (Imaad Shah) and Maggie (Auritra Ghosh) are from affluent families and are non-conformists in a way. Niz (Raghav Chanana), a working class photographer, and Jay (Ira Dubey), an anti-establishment college student, join them. The farther they travel, the more they go inside their subconscious.
From a hash-selling hippie Vishnu Das (Barry John) to a group of carefree foreigners, they meet a string of usual suspects on the way, but the M Cream is nowhere to be seen. Or, are they still not high enough to realise the omnipresent ecstasy surrounding their existence?
Director Agneya Singh is ambitious like most debutants. He wants to present his side on so many things: Drugs, politics, literature, alcohol, love, sex, freedom and revolution. He mostly speaks through Shah’s Fig, a guy with a mop of hair and a love for poetry. He loves to quote authors and can differentiate between Vikram Seth, Rabindranath Tagore and Jimmy Hendrix. It’s been a while we saw a well read Indian youth on screen.
It’s delightful to hear Shah and Dubey’s conversations. They are so full of quotes and aimless counter questions. They don’t know what they want, but we know that we want to return to the University campus.
Once the nostalgia phase gets over, we are back to fight a battle that won’t produce any instant result, but will assure that we’re not alone. In the film, a French journalist-activist shows us what it takes to believe in a cause.
However, this happens only after a lot of trippy music and booze guzzling. A little nudity and some sex scenes too get their share. It’s fine if you don’t want a closure, or don’t want to be spoon-fed. But, it also affects the coherence of the plot. What can make it tricky is the point where you stop identifying with these youngsters.
Watch: Trailer of Immad Shah, Ira Dubey’s M Cream
It’s not so surreal that you need to recall Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiotics. It talks like a cool guy, but lacks the gravity of an objective commentator.
M Cream is a raw voice of an energetic director. And, nothing can sum it up better than this Mahatma Gandhi quote: Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at twitter/@nawabjha)