While films of many debutantes turn out to be wasted efforts, neither meaningful nor entertaining, some of them do spring a surprise. Like Gubeer, which boasts of no big names and is helmed by debutant director Thilip with a fresh cast. Unconventional, daring and innovative in its concept and treatment, the film seems to have broken the rules that film makers normally adhere to while crafting a film. The film does not have a conventional plot, heroine, fights, dream songs and inane comedy. Like Parthiban’s recent release, this could well be tagged as ‘a film without a story’.
It’s about five buddies chilling out on a weekend night. As booze flows freely, various issues are discussed. There is no single thread of conversation as it happens on such sessions. From the state of the economy - national and global - it moves on to cinema - old and new, local and international; Hitler and Jews; Che Guevara; cricket versus other sports; emergence of Japan and China on the global scene; the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict; MGR-MR Radha conflict; and even ghost stories. And of course when it is a group of guys chilling out, one can expect some ribbing of female colleagues too. The dialogue and scenes have a realistic tone and a natural flow. The actors (all real life friends) are spontaneous and seem to be playing their natural selves.
How much of it was improvised and how much scripted is difficult to gauge. The camera (Santhosh Sriram) captures some candid shots, and in the fast flow of scenes and the performances, one almost forgets its presence. A mirror shot of the five in conversation is an interesting one.
Thilip who scripts, produces and directs, plays one of the leads too. Kudos to him for his very promising debut work.
It’s a film the now-generation can relate to. But the film does have its glitches. It seems cramped with too many issues, some seeming to be forced into the discussion. At times the talks take a preachy tone, like a lecture given to the uninitiated. The boys burst into impromptu songs and dances, but there seems to be one too many.
Editing could have been crisper towards the latter part and repeated shots removed. Creative, bold and experimental, Gubeer is worth a watch.