Movie Review: Greater Elephant
Very few indie films manage to stay 'independent' and yet get a release in our country. In this context (or contest), Greater Elephant scores a huge one.
Dir: Srinivas Sunderrajan
Cast: Hussain Dalal, Naveen Kaushik, Shreyas Pandit, Saunskruti, Rajiv Mishra
The very essence of the genre it belongs to is evident throughout the film. There’s no pretense to be something which it isn’t. And that has to be the reason why it merits attention.
Directed by Srinivas Sunderrajan (who earlier made The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project), the film is primarily about a mahout’s search for his elephant. Or is it? In the ensuing journey, he catches up with things he believes in as well as those he doesn’t. Every character he comes across is a point of reference to the world he lives in. Each one of them becomes a part of his travel although they are not necessarily looking for what he has lost. All his encounters are unintentionally humourous.
The film — like any other good film should — poses questions without answering them. Who is God? Why are we corrupt? Where are we going?... and so on. The elephant could represent anything as long as it is not just an elephant.
Clearly made with the lowest possible budget, the screenplay makes all the difference. Most of the dialogues are clichéd though and there are moments that induces void. If it weren’t for the performances, the whole idea would have deflated. Surprisingly, the stage-like act worked in the script’s favour.
Hussain Dalal’s vulnerable portrayal of the calm mahout is heartwarming while Naveen Kaushik (last seen in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year) plays the perfect foil to religious angle. As the latter’s wife, Saunskruti does a decent job of being in command. Rajiv Mishra plays a comical Dracula. However, amongst the cast, Shreyas Pandit takes the cake for his inch-precise portrayal of a promotion-hungry constable.
Srinivas carries the film in a coherent manner and leaves you confounded at the end. It’s an admirable beginning for a rather young director.