Note: This short film is in English.
site link: http://www.idfc.com/
Amole Gupte, the award winning writer of the 2007 Taare Zameen Par or Like Stars on Earth also aided IDFC Mutual Fund Limited, India’s leading integrated infrastructural financial player, in their latest initiative of educating youngsters about investing in the share market from an early age. A 30 minute short film directed by him was screened at my business administration faculty today. Mr. Hardik Acharya, who gave his kind approval to let me share this film on my blog, visited the faculty accompanied by two young employees to give a short seminar on the subject of investment.
Cheerful and funny by nature, Mr. Hardik conducted a lively session for the students; this is the forty fifth college where IDFC has conducted this seminar and so he seemed to share a good rapport throughout, except for the predictably condescending question ‘Is everybody there with me? Say ‘YES!’ which teachers are wont ask during seminars and lectures. Although there was not an elaborate Q & A session because of paucity of time, the short film helped many students realize just how important it is to plan about money from an earlier stage in life.
The short film is called ‘One Idiot‘, which is the nickname given to one character in the film who as expected, does not turn out to be an idiot after all. His actual name in the film is Bugs, and he is a friendly portly middle-aged man who is unfairly ridiculed by teenagers and neighbors for his unusually happy-go-lucky and bubbly personality. Teenagers residing in his area call him ‘idiot’ and ‘cockroach’ to his face and poke fun at him whenever he returns from the vegetable vendor. Not only is Bugs unfazed by their juvenile taunts, but he also manages to laugh it off and greet them with the same enthusiasm everyday. We learn more about Bugs later.
One of the teenagers taunting him wants to visit the David Guetta concert with his girlfriend but has no money. Fearing that he might lose his lady without buying the Rs. 3000 tickets for her, he begs his little brother to help him. The little bro’s role is most probably (since there’s no mention of the cast) played by the same kid who portrayed the boy who likes dressing up as a girl, in the 2013 film Bombay Talkies. Here too the character he plays (that is, if its the same actor) wise beyond his years; on seeing his brother’s female friend badmouthing Bugs, he goes up to her and slyly pokes fun at her figure. When his brother asks him to leave, the kid tells him that even he is more careful about money than his brother and doesn’t spend it recklessly for a highly demanding girlfriend.
The kid meets Bugs near the elevator and and is invited for lunch. Big bro on the other hand looks out for ways to get money for the concert. At the dining table, little bro offers to lend him sixty rupees that he earned that day from his cricket tournament but big bro refuses, finding the sum too insignificant to be of any help. Little bro reveals that he has at least six thousand rupees with him, and tells big bro not to underestimate him.
We then learn a bit about their family. While mum is busy making shopping plans on her phone most of the time, Dad is busy worrying about the growing debts. Mum is a bitch from the beginning, yet dad isn’t a saint either – he too is impulsive when it comes to his own purchases. When the cook serves lunch for the family, little kid wonders what’s on his plate, pulao or khichdi, or something altogether different. His mother’s response: ‘Just finish whatever’s on your plate’ or something like that.
Little kid hurries to Bugs’ house, where he is welcomed with open arms by Bug’s family. The kid gets to eat mouthwatering south indian food: avial, chutney and appam, at Bug’s home-sweet-home. Meanwhile, big bro sneaks into little bro’s bedroom and searches for the key to his piggy bank. After some desperate searching, he finds the key and greedily opens the piggy bank, only to find not cash but a letter inside.
Little bro confronts big bro after lunch (of course everything is lighthearted and humorous in tone) for stooping to such embarrassing levels of desperation. When big bro asks him where the money is, little bro tells him its in SIP. Big bro has a big question-mark on his face (just like I had on hearing the word) and asks him what SIP means. Little bro tells him that SIP stands for Systematic Investment Plan, and that he has managed to make around sixty two thousand by investing all his birthday money and cricket money into the plan. And guess who encouraged him to join the plan? Bugs, ‘The Idiot’.
The big reveal leads to further revelations; Bugs’ net worth is a startling hundred crore rupees. Now big bro and his friends do not look at Bugs in the same way. There is an extended scene where Bugs invites big bro and his mates and educates them on the importance of money and proper investment.
This initiative is worth a watch for throwing light on not just on the reckless spending habits of teenagers but also on the value of money in today’s world. The teenagers in the film have new-found respect for Bugs only when they know of his net worth. They are not impressed by his optimistic nature, because it sharply contrasts with their largely cynical outlook on life. This story tells us that there is a stress-free way of living life king size, when we can balance all our responsibilities well. The only criticism I have against this film is the song sung by Bugs at the end, which is saccharine to the point of idiocy.
One of the more ridiculous rules in college is that cell-phones and cameras are not allowed inside campus, so unfortunately I could not click any photos.