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Stumble

A complicated but compelling story about a family that is trying hard to survive in these times of recession and the dotcoms' boom going bust.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2003 16:33 IST
PTI

Director/Story/Screenplay: Prakash Belawadi
Cast: Anant Nag, Suhasini, Ashok Mandanna, Mukhyamantri Chandru,
Pallavi Dattu
English/140 minutes/Colour/2002

Darshan Khosla (DK) is the director of Mont Piton (India) Technolgies (MPI), a software company. MPI is now deep in the red having gone down with the dotcom bust. But DK, ever ready to jump on the bandwagon, now wants to start a call center.

He needs new staff for this new line of business and goes about laying off his loyal old employees without compunction. In the process, he does not even baulk at manipulating his friend and co-director in charge of technology, Prashant Hegde.

But he needs the software that Hegde’s team is developing for the call center. So DK, with the active support of his socialite wife Indu, hatches a plot to get rid of Hegde and his team while retaining the software.

Hegde’s core team comprising Aditya, Subbu, Vasu, Sengupta and Madhu, is broken up with the layoffs. But DK is cunning enough to retain innocent Aditya and a conniving Sengupta so that the software project gets completed in time to show off to his UK client Mike Selling, who promises the business only if the software is ready.

In particular, Madhu’s layoff comes as a shock to the boys and Hegde. Seriously so to Madhu’s family. Madhu’s father, Anand Rao, a former senior bank official, blames timid Madhu herself for the layoff, humiliating her for her inability to retain the job.

Rao is a frustrated man who had opted for voluntary retirement from service. His frustration stems from his present state of uselessness, compounded too by the fact that he has lost all his savings over foolish investments in a fraudulent mutual fund company during the stock boom.

In contrast with his contempt for Madhu, Rao tends to idolize his son, Uday, who is also a software engineer in the US. Rao’s hardworking and competent wife Nandini is naturally suspicious of quick money schemes and has therefore continued to work in her own bank job.

It is she who holds the family and its sanity together. Now DK and ‘Mother of the Year’ contestant Indu set out to impress potential client Mike by fraudulently hiking up the share value of MPI with the connivance of politician Divakar, who is also the chairman of Pragathi Cooperative Bank.

Divakar funds the purchase of MPI shares through a Mauritius-based crook and a Mumbai stockbroker. The elaborate plan also includes a dinner meeting with the chief minister, arranged through Divakar’s interventions.

But the plot goes awry with crazy exposes, diabolical double-crosses, a rapid denouement all leading up to a feel-good finale.

CREDITS
Producer: 2Streams Media
Cinematography: Clay Kelton
Editor: Jesu Dominic & Shyam Nanjundiah
Art: Sashidhar Adapa
Music: Praveen D. Rao
Sound: Suresh Kathuria

First Published: Oct 11, 2003 01:35 IST