Written by Manisha Lakhe
Like Looking Into A Mirror
3 wandering stars
In the first five minutes if you don’t identify with Shree, then you have never freelanced, or know anyone who has, and then you have not lived. This movie was such a deja-vu, watching it was a personal experience! Clients who won’t pay, will pay in bits and pieces drive Shree to accept a wedding invite. The events that follow keep you involved with what happens to the lad. Shree may not look like Leo DiCaprio, but you like him and want him to win against this bad world.
‘I will have to go to the ATM, take some money now. Will pay later. ’
‘You forgot to put the phone number, client won’t pay, so we won’t pay you.’
If you have worked as a freelance person, then you would have heard these and many more excuses for not getting paid.
If you have ever worked, or attempted to work out of a coffee shop or shared work space, you would be grinning at Shree’s experience on the screen. People talking loudly, kids being allowed to run amok in the coffee shop, rude coffee shop attendants, and more. You’ve seen it all, and it is fun to watch it happen on screen to a chap who seems like such an everyman, you take an instant liking to him.
For someone like me, who has freelanced once upon a time, it was deja-vu. I nodded away in approval while watching Shree juggle calls from his father and clients and ad agency executives who won’t pay on time but want more work done…
Fed up of being treated as if working from a noisy coffee shop was some kind of freedom, Shree accepts a wedding invite to Punjab. His friend hands him over to his friends and goes off on a honeymoon. Shree is promised freelance work by the ‘friends’ and he goes to Manali!
Of course there’s alcohol and weed and he finds himself in the back of a truck further North.
His adventure makes you realise how quickly life can turn into an avalanche. But Shree in his funny pants (cheered silently by the audience) manages to survive. What I most loved was Shree’s ability to look at life through his camera lens and the fabulously written captions. That alone earns this film a standing ovation.
The film is raw, but the music makes up for any moments that make you think, let’s get a move on! The tying up of a strained relationship with his father is very nicely done. But the house looks too cramped to end up being what it becomes. Small niggly bits to a movie that put a smile on my face and kept it there.
P.S. Shree’s experience of waking up in a strange place reminded me of having tried home brewed alcohol in Uttarakhand once upon a time. We were robbed and woke up on a porch of some kind shepherd (covered with sheep blankets (ugh!). Cured me of alcohol for the longest time!