There is something very real about KATIYABAAZ, yet it is almost surreal. The cinematography is breathtaking in the sense that it knocks you off with its 'real life' filming minus the gloss of movie-making. You almost want to feel the dust and grime of the canvass that is being painted on screen. You want to touch and feel the characters and shake them to find out if they are actors or just common people filmed in the act of their daily life without pretense.
My guess is that there are just a handful of actors and the rest are people filmed during their real struggle to stay under lights. The filming not only elevates our country's standards but also elevates documentary film-making to another level, taking a very real subject and projecting it with all its ills.
Every character on screen brings his coarse self to the forefront. The real language of the jungle, borne out of frustration, is captured with its raw essence. The unscrupulousness of the common man (resorted to by 'what else to do' attitude), the 'perfect-timing' of the scheming politician and the manner in which the electricity board in Kanpur has to grapple with power crunch and its proper distribution is frighteningly disturbing. The speeches of Dr. Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi incorporated into the proceedings give it that touch of brilliance, befitting the attention that the filmmakers want to attract to arrest the issue of powerlessness in most of the states in India.CHECK OUT - Vikramaditya Motwane: KATIYABAAZ needs to be seen by a nice wide audience
Director duo of Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa underline the localized crisis in Kanpur. But the larger picture is the glaring energy poverty in India, where a third of the population is bereft of this basic need; the rest have to grapple with power-cuts. KAITYABAAZ is a powerful narrative which focuses on one of the world's fastest developing economies - India.
At the centre of the plot is Loha Singh an electrician living in Kanpur who has specialized in power theft. He runs illegal power connections from one neighbourhood to another so that homes and businesses can run normally. Loha is a much sought after man. What else can a city do which has no electricity for over 16 hours a day?
At the other end is Ritu Maheshwari, the first female Chief of the Kanpur Electricity Supply Company (KESCO). She has the onerous task of eliminating powerlessness and also disconnecting all illegal connections which costs the exchequer crores of rupees. There is also the local politician, Irfan Solanki, who knows a thing or two about 'timing' and how to politicize a situation just before elections.CHECK OUT: Five reasons why KATIYABAAZ should not be missed!
If the cinematography and the busy mood is a sure-fire winner, so are Loha Singh and Ritu Maheshwari. Watch out for these characters, a lesson in acting.
KATIYABAAZ is not for those who like their item songs and 'ceeti-eliciting' dialogues. It is for those who love their cinema shaken and stirred!