“I love gandagi!”, exclaims the bald villain, ending the explanation to why he wants everybody – young and old – to spit all around. The superhero has to show up to save his sighing girlfriend, if not to protect the world from becoming a spittoon. And when he does come flying, he wins the battle against the baddie’s henchmen but gets knocked out of his senses by a wink from the girl.
Supermen Of Malegaon is an amazing documentary that not only takes you through the making of Malegaon Ka Superman, but also gives you a clear look into the lives and trials of a few gentlemen who make movies because their heart tells them to. The focus is on Nasir Shaikh, who was baffled when he realized that Hollywood and Bollywood movies are not made by one person and involve the efforts of several people. So he put together a team and delegated work and made a few hit films for Mollywood, Malegaon’s own film industry. Akram, the spitting baddie, is also the editor, the singer, the songwriter and the narrator of the movie.
Most Malegaon males work in power looms, earning as little as 400 rupees a week, but on their day off, the men forget their problems as cinema takes them to another world, a kingdom in which they’re the kings. The women of Malegoan, though, aren’t allowed to work. Nasir Shaikh realized early on that comedy is not only more likable than but also outlives drama and action, and began making parodies of successful Hindi films. Malegaon Ke Sholay, for example, has bandits on bicycles making an unsuccessful attempt to hijack a Volvo.
For Malegaon Ka Superman, Shaikh opted for Shafique Shaikh, the weakest and meekest young man in Malegaon. Barely filling up the Superman costume with an M (for Malegaon) emblazoned across the chest area, Shafique was the right choice to play a superhero who suffers from asthma because of air pollution.
Faiza Ahmed Khan’s documentary is a bittersweet film which captures funny moments that occur on the movie sets and Nasir Sheikh (and his crew’s) passion for film-making and their dedication to the craft. That a superhero film, even if it’s a parody, can be made on a budget of 50,000 rupees, adds to the fun of watching the team members work on the special effects after Superman has danced with his heroine, been pulled out of the water by the boys he went in to rescue from drowning, and been manhandled by unit members.
Supermen Of Malegaon will inspire aspiring filmmakers who think they need a big production house and several hands and a mega budget to make a film. The rest of us will be dying to watch Malegaon Ka Superman.