Cinema Bandi is a small little sweet film that talks about a common mans aspiration to make a movie. Any conversation in India revolves around 3 main topics - Cinema, Cricket and Politics. That's how deep rooted Cinema is in our country. In some of the deepest rural interiors of India people might lack basic financial knowledge but will definitely have basic Cinema knowledge (not in terms of film making, but in terms of awareness).
Cinema Bandi talks about the story of one such rural interior of Andhra Pradesh where an auto driver gets hold of a high end camera as one of his customers forgets it. The rest of the story revolves around how he and his village go on to make a film. It's interesting how human mind tie aspirations and actions to objects. For example, you may not be actually hungry but if you see the image or YouTube ad of a delicious mouth watering cheese filled pepperoni Pizza there is a craving that starts and doesn't end until you have ordered one. If you notice closely, the cravings in most cases end after you have ordered the Pizza and not actually when you have eaten it. So, the important thing here is to take sufficient action that creates a delusion that the end objective has been achieved though it has not been. Cinema Bandi plays exactly on that, If the lead character wanted to make a movie why didn't he make it before itself with whatever was available. Instead, it is that high end camera that triggers an insatiable craving within to make a movie. Human confidence is boosted by the fact that we have an object that can enable us to achieve our end objective. All they have is just a camera, they lack the basic fundamental concepts like continuity, leave about a 3 act structure. But, the camera gives them the confidence. And this is not just one person, everyone who becomes a part of the movie ridicules the others in the beginning but begin to see it's possibility when they are shown the camera. It is the nativity of the region and its characters that lend a likeability to the movie. It is their innocence that makes you smile. Their simple solutions to complex problems that make you believe them. It is their unity that makes you trust that they can make the movie. Even though in the heart of hearts you know that they will not be able to make a movie, because its not easy. (I struggle for 7-10 days to get a 2 min short film made). But within us as audience there is a craving that has started and will not go away if we are not shown something that creates a delusion that they have achieved something. That's when the track of the young aspiring filmmaker comes into play. She edits the footage from her memory and displays the film onto a screen with a projector in an open air theatre kind of a setting. All characters are happy, amused and contented even though they did not make the film. But seeing this part of the movie is exactly like ordering the Pizza, the craving is gone even though you have not yet eaten the Pizza.
Kudos to the talented film making duo Raj and DK to trust and green light such ideas. Unlike the Tamil and Malayalam cinema, Telugu cinema is in the nascent stages of making stories deep rooted in our region. Movies like c/o Kancherapalam and Middle Class Melodies have proven that audiences will accept a story honestly told. You can watch Cinema Bandi on Netflix and you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more such reviews. Search for the profile Celluloid Tales and you will find us.