WARNING: This is a RARE and BRILLIANT piece of cinema! Most of you, however, will not like it.
I Am compiles four short films into one, each with its own protagonist and based in its own city. In the process, it highlights several problems plaguing the Indian society today. The director takes very bold steps in order to address issues such as discrimination against homosexuals and sexual abuse faced by children, amongst others.
The film is quite exquisite with some brilliant performances by each and every actor although Juhi Chawla looked slightly out-of-place. Abhimanyu Singh, especially, deserves a special mention for bringing out the character of a Mumbai policeman so realistically.
The background score has been well composed, keeping in mind the changing story line of the movie. Also, the songs are beautiful and have a soulful melancholy attached to them, an uncommon feature in Bollywood nowadays.
What is quite amazing is that the movie gives a social commentary without any biases or does not preach anything to the audience. It just shows the issues as they stand. Though none of the stories are connected, the viewer doesn’t feel uncomfortable merely because of the excellent scripting, simple yet effective cinematography, and crisp editing.
Right from My Brother Nikhil, Onir has always been exploring uncharted territory, and with I Am he just moves a step forward. But what is slightly disturbing, is the measures which he has taken to portray the reality of Indian society today. I am really apprehensive about some of the bold scenes, as I don’t think too many of the viewers would feel comfortable watching them, or relating to them. Because of which, it might just not do wonders at the box office. However, that is the hypocrisy of the Indian audience, and the film maker can’t really be blamed for being courageous and refreshing.
Interesting trivia about the film: the funds for the film were raised through crowd-sourcing. Onir, along with actor, Sanjay Suri raised the money for this movie by asking for donations on Facebook.
This is definitely not a movie for the masses. But, if you are a connoisseur of alternate cinema, or art cinema as it is commonly referred to, then this should definitely be on your list of “must-watch movies”