Pied Piper

A Film by Vivek Budakoti

Seen through the prism of Bertolt Brecht, Pied Piper is a satirical folklore of a simple laundryman, Chunnilal, who is rumoured to have acquired his beloved donkey’s brains in a freak accident. Charming millions with his asinine traits, Chunnilal soon rises to become the most popular hero of his time. Ill at ease by his non-conformist approach, suspicious establishment starts to fear his influence on society. A tale of a simple man’s tryst with his asinine conscience laced with wry humour, this film mirrors the current socio-political turmoil in Democratic India.

A lost donkey and Chunnilal, a simple laundryman, find each other on the banks of a river one fine day and become inseparable in no time.

Soon after, Chunnilal survives miraculously in a road accident and is rumoured to have acquired the donkey’s brain in a transplant surgery. Obsessed with his belief to have embodied donkey’s soul, Chunnilal starts to behave in an obstinate and asinine manner.

His stubborn behaviour irks IM Sarkaar, a political leader who is rallying for elections in Chunnilal’s village. The two have an interesting face off where Chunnilal’s wit helps him gain instant popularity among villagers and media alike. A series of bizarre incidents lead Chunnilal to be hailed as a spiritual leader. With millions in tow, Chunnilal becomes a phenomenon that the nation has not witnessed earlier.

Supporting a young and ambitious political candidate Rajkumar, Chunnilal walks regally in the corridors of power, with a huge and hysteric fan following, dancing to his tunes.

Ill at ease by his non-conformist approach, suspicious establishment starts to fear him and his influence on society. He must be stopped. Or better, he must be eliminated— at least from the public memory. The question remains, however, whether Chunnilal, the hero of a people, can altogether be erased from a collective consciousness?

Title : Pied Piper

Running time : 113 mins

Format of Exhibition : 35 mm, DCP, Blu ray and DVD

Aspect Ratio : 1: 2.35

Year of Production : 2013

Language : Hindi with English Subtitles

 

Production Company : MAGIC LANTERN PRODUCTIONS

“PIED PIPER is a parable, a socio-political allegory set in contemporary India. On one hand, like an apologue, it shows a deep friendship between man and donkey, on the other hand it mocks human race for hero worshipping, eternally waiting for answers to appear instead of finding them by simply applying intelligence. According to the film’s allegory, the donkey is as close as the common people or mob get to view intelligence.

Through a series of bizarre incidents we see the rise of Chunnilal, from a village idiot to a Demi God. He becomes our voice, our reasons, our aspirations and the entire nation starts following him like a religion. But isn’t it a dangerous sign when we blindly follow people, religion, philosophy without questioning them? Like the old German folklore “Pied Piper of Hamlin” what if our hero Chunnilal robs us of our wisdom in bargain with simple or may be futile solutions.”

- Vivek Budakoti

“An original idea, a path breaking narrative and a new approach sounded like a great recipe for independent cinema.  Add to it, the raw appeal of an absurd comedy. As the first film venture of our production house, Pied Piper was the perfect fit. Limited by a shoe string budget, we decided to shoot the film at real locations, with young and enthusiastic first timers in various departments. A mixed cast comprising of mostly debutant, a few theatre and veteran actors and only a handful of days for completing the pre-production, shoot and post production— the experience of producing this homemade film was exhilarating.

The end result was a finely crafted and competent film with a worldwide appeal and universal relevance of its subject and treatment. A proud moment indeed!”

- Rajita Sharma

Gallery

Key Cast

CHARACTER

Chunnilal

IM Sarkaar

Rajkumar

Chavi

Maina/Shraddha

Nirmala Chandra

Vinay

ACTOR

Rajpal Yadav

Vikram Kochhar

Abhishek Rawat

Meher Vij

Sampurna Lahiri

Angoori

Ranjan Sehgal

Key Crew

Director

Producers

Production Designer

Cinematographer

Story

Screenplay

Dialogues

Music Composer

Costume Designer

Casting Director

Executive Producer

Editor

Publicity & Poster Designer

Vivek Budakoti

Rajita Sharma, Vivek Budakoti

Jayant Deshmukh

Anil Singh

Vivek Budakoti, Rajita Sharma

Rajita Sharma, Vivek Budakoti and Farid Khan

Rajita Sharma

Paresh A Shah

Nivea Chhabra

Reema Gupta

Ajay Singh

Manish Manikpuri

Abhay Kamble