In Bollywood where nothing sells like excess, it is quite easy for the big sharks to swallow the little fish. While we’ve all be focusing on the Bharats and the Kabir Singhs, here comes a small film with a big relevant message.
Campus bullying. It’s not always about ragging, says director Vandana Kataria in the trailer of Noblemen. It shows the bullying brigade (every educational institution has it, the privileged bade-baap-ka-bidga-aulaad types) to be more than just a seasonal nuisance. Here, they have a bigger plan. They want to stop the bright young protagonist from playing the lead in a stage performance of Shakespeare’s The Merchant Of Venice. Why? Because no one does it better than the campus bully.
It’s a slim but sturdy premise that is shown to grow in the trailer along with the characters who occupy a real space. The boarding school in Noblemen looks like an actual school for a change. After seeing the kind of outlandish educational institutions that Bollywood’s biggest movie makers Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar created in Mohabbatein and Student Of The Year it is refreshing to see a school that doesn’t try too hard to look cool.
It’s also heartening to see Kunal Kapoor back in the movies, this time as a drama teacher balancing the finer aspects of The Merchant Of Venice with an education system that accepts and acknowledges bullying as a way of attaining maturity for students.
The trailer of Noblemen shows some sassy young talent. The main protagonist is played by Haji Ali who, 13 years ago played Aamir Khan and Kajol’s son in Fanaa .The natural-born scene-stealer who gave Mr Perfectionist and Ms Spontaneity a run for their collective money, is joined by a cast that seems much at ease in front of the camera.
Director Vandana Kataria has served as an art director in several notable films by Dibakar Bannerjee. It’s been a while since we had a notable film by a woman director. I mean, the last really memorable film from that that ilk was Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick under My Burqa. Maybe it’s time again.
Watch the trailer for Noblemen here: