Lead hero is Vishnu, a young man yearning to be free to travel and escape family business. An old truck comes as a means of escaping from a hopeless situation. He embarks on a journey across the desert to the sea. Crossing the rough terrain he realizes he’s not driving just and old, battered truck, but an old touring cinema. On the road he picks up three peculiar travelers and together with them goes in search of water and carnival. Their journey becomes dangerous when several corrupted and notorious bad guys intercept them. The key to their freedom is an eccentric collection of old films and two very old film projectors situated in the back of the truck. A “1001 Nights” situation unravels as they’re forced to screen films with their lives depending solely on whether their captors like them or not, in which case their predicament becomes even more serious.
Dev Benegal’s directorial debut “English, August” from 1994 was considered a landmark of modern Indian cinematography and also influenced new generations of independent Indian film authors. His second feature film “Split Wide Open” from 1999 premiered at Venice Film Festival. Both his features won several international film awards and came as first Indian accomplishments which achieved cinematic success due to 20th Century Fox distribution network.
Dev Benegal’s work distinguishes itself as an expression of a modern Indian film that differs extensively from traditional Indian cinematography. The power of his achievements is in originality of his characters, humor and unique expression which combines Indian narrative with western genre.