But before I review the film for you, let me very honestly start from the start. While on my way to the special screening of the film, I was pre-occupied with quite a few assumptions. And frankly, some of these assumptions were a bit cynical too.
- I assumed the film Sunsilk ReaI FM would actually be an advertisement stretched enough to call it a 'short film'.
- I assumed every few seconds the characters would break into paeans applauding the wonderful quality of each other's hair groomed with Sunsilk shampoo and conditioner.
- I assumed the film would blatantly suggest to the viewers how Sunsilk would help redeem their dull and lacklustre hair.
- And yes, I also assumed that post the film screening, the bloggers present would be asked to write a review glorifying Sunsilk and how it had the potential to turn your nothing-to-write-home-about hair into your crowning glory!
And now, as I write this, an amused smile plays on my lips. And it's laced with some guilt too. For none of my assumptions about the film came true. Sunsilk ReaI FM is neither an advertisement, nor a short film. There's no blatant product placement either. In fact it is a warm film about three friends who come together for a cause - and succeed in overcoming all the odds that come their way.
|Film written by Anurag Basu, directed by Akarsh Khurana|
Again before I review the film for you, here's a something on how the film came about. Sunsilk ReaI FM is the result of a tie-up between Hindustan Unilever Ltd and MTV Films, to present to the the viewers an eclectic mix of films based on brand philosophies of different HUL products. And first film in this series of special films is Sunsilk Real FM, written by acclaimed film maker Anurag Basu.
And now about the film!
The story of Sunsilk Real FM revolves around three friends who come together during a tough situation to overcome all odds and take a challenge head-on. Rhea, one of the protagonist is a young vibrant girl who's leading a happy-go-lucky life with two of her best friends. Rhea's father (played by veteran actor Benjamin Gilani) runs an FM station, where trouble has been brewing lately - while the revenue of the station is falling, the staff has been aggressively demanding a raise. The situation turns grim when a large chunk of the station staff quits and Rhea's father, unable to bear the unpleasant development suffers a heart attack. Under such trying circumstances Rhea takes it upon herself to run the radio station. She seeks help from her best pals who all come together and decide to give it all a good shot, despite their apparent clueless-ness about how stations work.
|Bloggers enjoying the special screening|
But of course running a radio station is no easy task and more so on a super special day - 15th August. As the new programming team figures out how to work the studio machines, they also have to contend with the onerous task of churning out unique content for the Independence Day Special that they plan to run throughout the day. And the unique idea strikes just in time - play songs from all the 28 states! Unique indeed, but plausible? And therein comes the moral of the story - where there's a will, there's a way!
|Let's take on the challenge!|
Everyone at the studio channelises their networks across the city to reach out to singers from different states - from Bihar to Chattissgarh to Kerala - they find them all! Facebook, twitter and the other social media platforms - they are all explored to source the singers, and indeed every single one of them comes carrying the earthy flavour of the state they belong to! In the end Mission Save the Radio Station is accomplished and how! Friends bond, old animosity is forgiven, the rouges tersely tackled and the good reputation of the station restored.
The 3 USPs of the film
It entertains -
Sunsilk Real FM kept me entertained throughout, and going by the laughter floating around in the screening whole, it was clear that everyone watching the movie was having a good time. The plot is fast-paced and the one situation smoothly gives way to the next one. And yes, there are jokes and poor jokes (yes!) galore in the movie! Plus the subtle and sometimes not so subtle hint of romance too kept us all in splits!
It inspires -
Sunsilk Real FM is an entertaining film, but it also carries a strong message - to never give up! The film inspires us all (and not just the women folk) to take all the challenges head-on and stand our ground! The happy-go-lucky Rhea does not buckle down when her fathers is hospitalised, rather she takes it upon herself to make her dad's radio station keep running. And in this, she uses all the resources she has at her disposal. And her determination also rubs off on the some of the staff who had earlier quit the station. They return and decide to give Rhea a helping hand.
It integrates -
Another big USP of the film is it's incredible music! The earthy folk/regional songs from across India! Where would one get to listen to the soulful strains of singers from Kashmir to Nagaland, from Rajasthan to Andhra Pradesh, all at one place. The music in the film is one big integrator! It's heart-warming to see all of India coming together under one big musical umbrella! As the songs from different states start appearing the audience too mentally starts putting together a list of the states yet to figure in the programme!
So while Sunsilk Real FM is definitely not a branding exercise, the film has beautifully and subtly incorporated the Sunsilk brand philosophy in its narrative. A very healthy amalgamation of creative content and commerce, indeed!
This film review has been written under the #SunsilkRealFMExperiences exclusive screening organised by Sunsilk in association with IndiBlogger. Looking forward to more of these special screenings of interesting and offbeat film projects.