Eeb Allay Ooo! premiered on 18th February 2021 on Netflix. Directed by Prateek Vats in his directorial debut, the movie stars Shardul Bharadwaj, Mahender Nath, Nutan Sinha, Shashi Bhushan, Nitin Goel, and Naina Sareen. The film premiered at the 2019 Pingyao International Film Festival. Additionally, in 2020, the film was selected for the 70th Berlin International Film Festival and was screened as part of the We Are One: A Global Film Festival. The film was released theatrically in India on 18 December 2020.
A Journey Within A Journey
Eeb Allay Ooo! revolves around the life of a young migrant from Bihar in New Delhi named Anjani Prasad (Shardul Bharadwaj) who lives with his sister in the ghettoes. Anjani is a dreamer and aims to do work that brings him money and a good lifestyle but as he continues his search for work, he is asked to do a rather surprising government job i.e., scaring monkeys away from the buildings in Lutyens’ Delhi as they wreak havoc in big houses and offices. A novice at his work with a fear of monkeys, Anjani seeks shelter under a veteran Mahinder.
Mahinder tries to teach him voices and tricks to drive these monkeys off (wherein Anjani fails). These two develop a heartfelt bond over time. Even after his mistrust of the inferior existence of his work, he is able to partake in his work’s absurdity and find new ideas to succeed in it. But none of Anjani’s efforts appeals to the managers who are pleased with the way things have been done forever – endangering lives. Vanquished and appalled, he returns at the end of each day to the tiny hovel of his pregnant sister, where his rage and resentment are washed away for displaying the outward signs of a privileged pride in a poor household.
Eeb Allay Ooo! might not make any exact sense when you first see it but through its absurdist approach, the film offers a lot of metaphors (usually draped in monkeys) in everyday situations establishing the idea of grief but not exactly saying it out on the surface. There is friction between the themes of religion and blind faith which brings harm, class, and caste. Anjani never completely admits that this is what he is expected to do, and Bhardwaj, by his performance, never stops clanging the cage that society has confined him to. He knows he doesn’t belong here. Eeb Allay Ooo! is not just well thought but well-executed too.
“Monkeys, being evolutionarily so close to us, became perfect vehicles for satire. They are unpredictable, mischievous, and potentially violent and aggressive. The canvas of Delhi as a migrant city, and also a power center, provided us the base for looking at what they are, and within that, we hoped to transcend beyond their factual existence.“ – Prateek Vats
In his directorial debut, Vats brings forth a protagonist that is driven to the periphery by the ferocious and painful intensity of unequal growth and social upheaval, all the while realizing that he is not all that distinguished from his foes. The film, at various places, might seem similar to something you have seen around you but the film gains its success in not presenting its ideas with unprecedented grandeur but with spectacular performances by its cast. The film is mostly set on long, empty roads in the heart of Delhi with monkeys everywhere and there are no soundscores too which makes it a success.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Eeb Allay Ooo! is a social satire that uses simple metaphors to depict the plight of people, corruption, superstition, and more. The film truly is a masterpiece with every element in it added with perfection.
Eeb Allay Ooo! is now streaming on Netflix.
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