(sc) “The Original Copy” set in a rustic mode of view with its exceptional camera work and cinematography is definitely one of the most eye-opening and informative experiences that is brought forward through this documentary. A film review by Sudipto Chatterjee.
We always feel the redundancy in the traditional societal hierarchical structures. What was never felt for the behind the scene players came to the fore with this documentary. “The Original Copy” by the film maker duo Florian Heinzen-Ziob and Georg Heinzen opens with a quite effective portrayal of the painstaking effort for years of mastery and its corresponding execution with the different tools of painting and artistry. This sets the tone very effectively for the entire documentary henceforth and it simplifies the understanding on how people appreciate art and how artists work for the passion of the art even till date irrespective of any other materialistic desires.
How painful and passionate it is for an artist even to make a film banner knowing that it would go down in a week’s time! However, week-after-week, month-after-month and year-after-year, the artists make it not because of keeping their jobs secure but also to pursue the passion.
What comes out to the fore other than the central theme of the documentary quite subtly is the common man’s will and desire for an experience of the form of entertainment that an entire industry thrives on in India – the cinema from Bollywood. It does in partial go on to show how the multiplex culture is slowly killing the form of Bollywood films/ theatres as a beloved community entertainment place.
What really stands out in the movie is the determination and the tenacity of a female individual who stepped into the traditional male dominion of managing movie theatres and has been doing a good job for it. This goes on to show the changing societal structure that is breaking stereotypical postures against women in a pre-dominantly patriarchal society structure. The facets of a woman is also brought forward when the needs of all her employees are taken care of. A small take-away for the corporates here: When you take care of your employees, the employees take care of your balance sheet without much effort.
We also see another facet of the Indian Culture – secularism and tolerance: wherein people working in the theatre posters accept other’s faith and equally respect each other’s individuality for spiritual offerings. This is a display of yet another classic cultural quality of India that otherwise could not be when just spoken for it.
The documentary goes on to show the magic of professionalism with a human touch when the character of Sheikh Rehman, Mumbai’s last painter of film posters, is portrayed as the most passionate protagonist – both as the central actor and a dedicated teacher to preserve the art by teaching his disciples in a loving and decisive manner. The passion to perform his best in every single canvas, inspite of knowing the limited longevity of the canvas on display brings out the passion that drives the profession.
A symbolic act portraying that if one has passion for something, it does not take much to rise again from the ashes was aptly enacted when the canvas for a off-the show record is put off, scribbled and prepared for yet another adventure on the canvas by the painter Sheikh Rehman. It makes us appreciate the lack of opportunities for artists as well as different schools of artistry that make an impact to the society yet remains unnoticed.
Everything said and done, “What can be more joy in life than when your passion becomes your profession!”