Movie Review - Shreelancer

Attributes: Movie Reviews

It's a great time for the Indian cinema that the independent cinemas are resuscitated from the fringes to the prime time evening shows in multiplexes across metros. Thankfully enough Shreelancer has delivered its might.

Shreelancer is an urban legend of Shreepad the protagonist whose character arc evolves to Shakespearean scale by the end of the 100-minute film. Shreelancer reflects upon the latest fad of 'following our passion'. When Americans are losing their jobs to Asian workforce, what are the Indian youth up to? 

In Shreepad's case it is writing- copywriting- gag writing- advertising- basically freelancing and being the envy of every white collared 9-5 full timers. But, in a land of merits, people usually do not consider the differently talented to be worthy of his full share (Shreepad is never ever paid his dues in full for his projects). Our hero is broke to the ground and stuck like a blinking cursor. However, Shreelancer's plot never finds comfort in the regularities of a yawning freelancer. Our hero keeps getting back to his toilet seat and keeps tweeting quirky one-liners (that should easily pass the copy test for tantalizing t-shirt slogans) and then suddenly the story soon jet sets onto a roller-coaster ride of riddles.

The best part about Shreelancer is that you are never having a lot of expectations because at the back of your mind you know you are watching the story of a loser. But, thankfully Shreelaancer surprises. I won't be a spoilsport by revealing more, but I will definitely leave the breadcrumbs behind for you. Try connecting these three dots- Carpal Tunnel- Boycott Vote- Pink pants. Remember this too that, Shreepad has never seen the world so far except for Goa and his native place. He has no money to spend, and that equates to no job and no girlfriend. Oh yes, he has lost his mother and his father complains of a persisting water leakage in the house. And the best part he loses his best friend too; his cell phone.

The storytelling of Shreepad's journey is like witnessing a Facebook live video, your character does not know his journey, neither does the camera nor us. Sandeep Mohan does not fail to spark at all the right times. He brilliantly captures how Shreepad takes a selfie after losing his phone, and how he dreams of logging into his own facebook account and updating his ordeals so far in the day. It is unsuspectingly one of the best dream sequence Indian cinema will have in recent times.

The editing lacks pace and rhythm at places, the camera has an irritatingly breezy jerk which is more evident in the wide shots at the beginning of this film. The mixing of diegetic and non-diegetic sounds are absolute rollick to the ears. Sandeep does not waste a lot of time to establish cityscapes, he takes us close to hear the heartbeats of the city, be it through the trumpets of the north or the festive music of Karnataka. 

Dialogues drip of wit and humor and through subtleties, he brings out a lot. It is interesting how the doctor points particularly at the importance of Shripad's fingers, and how it is such a wicked way to point an important element in the story. Also, the comment of Sonu's wife regarding Shree's pink pants is reminiscent of Anurag Kashyap's smartness.

Shreelancer ends too soon with a utopian promise that every other ordinary Shreepad will succumb to! In other words, the ending could be way too better. But, when in the end you know that Shree's motto in life is now to travel all the 29 states of India before he is 30, you really really ENVY this Shreelancer.

I will rate it a sparkling 3 star out of five.

Reviewed by: Souvik Chakraborty

Tags: Movie Review - Shreelancer, Shreelancer, Hindi Movie Review, Bollywood Movie Review, CityShor, CityShor Bangalore

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