Movie Name: Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga
Directed by: Srijit Mukherji
Starring: Pankaj Tripathi, Sayani Gupta, Neeraj Kabi, Akshay Kapoor
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Comedy
Release Date: 24 June, 2022
Running Time: – minutes
Inspired by the real events that took place in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve where people used to leave their elderly family members for tigers to prey on, and then claim compensation from the administration.
Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga is an upcoming Indian Hindi movie. The movie is directed by Srijit Mukherji and will feature Pankaj Tripathi, Neeraj Kabi and Sayani Gupta as lead characters.
Pankaj Tripathi and Sayani Gupta fight tigers, corrupt government officials.
Pankaj Tripathi is a simple village man who wants to save his ‘200 children’ and sacrifice himself to tigers so the government can give them money.
The first trailer of Srijit Mukherji’s new film, Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga, released online Friday morning. The film features Pankaj Tripathi, Neeraj Kabi and Sayani Gupta in lead roles. The trailer tells the story of a simple man, who battles both wild animals and administrative corruption at the same time.
The trailer portrays the story of Gangaram (played by Pankaj). Gangaram adopts the infamous tiger practice and wants to give up his life so that the families of his village will benefit from the government scheme promised to help the family of tiger attack victims. However, when he enters the forest, waiting for his death, he meets Jim (essayed by Neeraj Kabi, who is a poacher).
Said to be inspired by true events, the film focuses on the adverse effects of urbanization, man-animal conflict, and how poverty can lead to bizarre practices, pushing humans to the brink of des.
Talking about his new film, Srijit said in a press statement, “Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga has been a dream project for years. After I read about the real life incidents in 2017, I immediately wrote the story and registered it and was wanting to make it for the longest time. So finally after 5 years the dream comes true and we bring you the story of Gangaram on the big screen”
Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga is presented by Gulshan Kumar, T-Series Film and Reliance Entertainment, produced by Bhushan Kumar and Reliance Entertainment and production by Match Cut Productions Private Limited. It is all set to hit theaters on June 24.
Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga is Srijit’s second Hindi film after the 2017 period drama Begum Jaan that featured Vidya Balan as a brothel owner. In his earlier interactions with the media, the filmmaker had said that a real incident of “tragic practices” in villages bordering the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve inspired him to write the story of Sherdil The Pilibhit Saga.
“It takes great courage to sacrifice one’s life to save the family and my film revolves around this heroism with a focus on man & nature conflict. “This subject is really close to my heart and I hope it will ignite the same emotions with the audiences regarding various social issues in our society,” he had said.
Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga – Movie Trailer
Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga is a boring, overlong, tale of an eccentric with delusions of leadership, sighs Deepa Gahlot.
In India, if there is a government scheme for the poor, there has to be a scam attached to it.
Srijit Mukherji’s film Sherdil: The Pilibhit Saga grew out of real life incidents of elderly people from impoverished villages living by the wildlife reserve in Uttarakhand, being sent into the forest to be killed by tigers so that their families could claim compensation from the government.
The practice is appallingly macabre, ripe to be picked by a sympathetic film-maker, to either make The Ballad of Narayama (directed by Shohei Imamura, 1983) kind of elegiac tragedy, or a cruel, hard-hitting farce.
Mukherji manages neither — his film is just a boring, overlong tale of an eccentric with delusions of leadership.
Gangaram (Pankaj Tripathi) is the sarpanch of Jhundao village that needs government help because wild animals destroy their fields.
His encounter with a bureaucrat yields nothing but a list of forms to be filled and certificates to be acquired from other departments.
Gangaram is illiterate and ignorant — in this day and age, he has never encountered a cell phone or seen a computer.
For that matter, he does not even look like a starving villager, nor do his mother, wife (Sayani Gupta, dressed in rural chic, using the wrong all-purpose Bhojpuri-tinged dialect) and kids.
Gangaram comes across a poster offering a large sum of money for tiger kills, and decides to be a true leader and save his people by sacrificing himself.
He pretends he is dying of cancer, so that he can persuade his wife and friends to let him into the forest to be preyed on by a tiger.
What the film says is valid — decreasing forest cover brings wild animals too close to human habitat, leading to a crisis — but his script makes little sense.
Anyway, no man-eating tiger has attacked any Jhundao resident, and there are no other animals in sight around the village.
Strangely, Gangaram, who has grown up in the vicinity, is quite clueless about the forest and wanders around in awe like a kid in a zoo, with a song playing in the background.
The film reaches the no-redemption point, however, when he runs into a poacher, Jim Ahmed (Neeraj Kabi), named, as he explains, after the legendary hunter-turned-conservationist Jim Corbett; the long graying dreadlocks get no accompanying anecdote.
Ahmed is an expert tracker, so Gangaram extracts a promise that if they come across a tiger, Jim will let it kill him first, before shooting it, and then send up a flare to inform his village of his death.
The Gangaram-Jim friendship throws up gems about how religions and their diet restrictions do not matter much when everything is eventually excreted; this when they are squatting in the forest, and taking a crap with accompanying sound effects.
The director’s idea of humour is way below juvenile.
The absurdities pile up and the film goes on long after the message has been delivered and underlined several times.
The forest (north Bengal standing in for Uttarakhand) is beautifully shot (Tiyash Sen), which is the only commendable thing about this film.