Eega (India)

I could be wrong about how this all came about, but after seeing Eega I've been picturing the inception moment that led to the film. My imagining involves a bunch of friends shooting the shit - alcoholic beverages or other mind altering substances may or may not have been involved. It's got to be a bunch of folks talking about film, and maybe they were imagining creative stagings of revenge fantasies. Someone might have been reminiscing about the multi lifetime love story Dead Again. Maybe things got philosophical / religious and what people came back as in your next life and why became the topic. From this rich stew of religion and love stories and perhaps a bit of Tarantino sprang a crazy, crazy idea - a guy returns from the dead as a housefly to avenge his death and be reunited with his pre-destined love. Oh, and don't forget to leave room for Bollywood's signature musical interludes. Sounds completely nuts - but in a striking victory for fans of high concept everywhere the creators of Eega (Fly) have managed to near perfectly thread the needle resulting in a supremely fun and satisfying genre bending flick. Kudos to them and huge thanks to the people behind programming it at Fantastic Fest this year.

Bindu is a micro-artist by night and member of a NGO by day. Over the past several years she'd noted with appreciation the flirtatious of neighbor Nani across the way. Slowly being won over - her interest and eventual love for him is growing. Unknown to them a huge obstacle by way of Sudeep lurks just over the horizon. He's a rich, womanizer scumbag with serious anger/jealousy control issues. After becoming obsessed with Bindu he thinks he's making progress until realizing she only has eyes for Nani. Outraged he kidnaps his competition and proceeds to beat him mercilessly. When Nani realizes why he's being attacked he threatens to kill Sudeep should he touch Bindu. That takes things up another notch and Nani ends up dead at Sudeep's hand (technically his foot). In most films that would be the end of things. But Eega is just getting started.

Long story short - a reincarnated Nani retains his love of Bindu even as he loses his human form. Leading him to do anything and everything a fly can do to enact vengeance. As it turns out a lowly housefly can be a powerful enemy - especially if the powers of the universe are on his side. What follows is an affecting love story as he reconnects with Bindu coupled with a relatively bloodthirsty revenge story. He's not just back to hamper Sudeep's plans and get him to see the errors of his ways. Nani's back for biblical justice. He's on earth to end Sudeep - plain and simple.

By now you've got to be wondering "great idea, but how does one execute on that?" Short answer, extremely well realized computer graphics. Nani is back as a fly, one with depth, character and slick integration into the live action world of the other characters. We've come a long way in the 25 years since Roger Rabbit. I'm sure if you look closely enough the boundaries of film and CGI will be notable. But it's not easy - more importantly, I almost guarantee you'll be having way too much fun to look.

All three leads deliver performances well matched to the material. Righteous outrage, delightful chemistry, and evil but borderline mustache twirling cheesy villainy are all delivered. Leading to a wonderfully breathtaking pre-intermission sequence. By the time we get to a murderous  montage sequence or the creation of the most dangerous Mojito of all time all you'll do is enjoy the ride. To which colorful nighttime musical dance sequences are just a delightful bonus.

If I can say one thing with confidence about films coming out of Fantastic Fest - you're unlikely to see a better reincarnated as a fly revenge/love story regardless how many times your soul returns to this mortal coil. I'm off now to take a look at what else the co-directors of Eega have been up to. Eega truly deserves to be seen widely. Keep an eye out and jump on the opportunity when it presents itself.

1 comment:

Cathy G said...

OK, this looks intriguing. Hope it comes to the Seattle area at some point. Thanks!