The President is Coming is an English film and the first ever ‘Mockumentary’ about new India. It is a comedy about young India’s ambitions and aspirations. With a style that is very tongue in cheek, the film takes a look at President George Bush’ visit to India in 2006 where he wanted to shake hands with one young Indian under the age of 30.
Originally a play, written by Anuvab Pal and directed by Kunaal Roy Kapoor, this film is a humourous take on India Shining. It features 6 different characters who reflect the classic new India undergoing a gruesome contest to become the lucky winner to shake the President’s hand.
Set against the US president’s visit to India, the film is a behind-the-scenes of the US consulate which has been given the arduous task of selecting one suitable young Indian who will shake hands with Dubya. Needless to say, this fortunate (read unfortunate) Indian will be the sole representative of India’s burgeoning youth population and will have to showcase the mantra of `India Shining-Rising-Rocking,’ all in a split second.
Enter, Shernaz Patel, the quirky, dominatrix PR agent who must select the chosen one with her assistant, the second-sexed Ritu Johnson (Shivani Tanksale). Enter too, the participants: an odd assortment of twenty-something Indians who have to pass a test of their physical and mental skills before they have their tryst with history.
And, it’s here the fun begins, as the wannabe Booker winner; Konkona Sen tries to outwit the rest with her snooty pseudo-intellectual airs. Of course, she’s no competition for the casteist-communal swadeshi MBA pass out, the Yankee-fied accent trainer, the bimbette desi Paris Hilton (Ira Dubey), the gay geek who wants a good wife and the earthy stock broker who believes money can buy everything, even a handshake!
The film has a raw look and lacks finesse when it comes to production values. But there is a delightful tongue-in-cheek tenor running through it, which makes you overlook the unpolished feel and the loose editing. While George Bush himself is reduced to a bunch of raucous snores and a disembodied flick of the hand, India’s famous Gen Xer’s are themselves a bunch of nerds who think Colin Powell is Nelson Madela and Osama is Bhagwan Rajneesh.