New Delhi: Bollywood has stirred and doused hopes of countless people in the country wanting to try their luck in acting. Google’s latest digital film touches upon the subject albeit with an unlikely protagonist—a 60-something father of a young man.
The film is a heartwarming story about a son who sets out on a journey to make his father’s Bollywood dream come true. Uploaded on the company’s official YouTube channel on 16 June it has already garnered more than 1.8 million views.
The Hero—The Bollywood story, created by Google’s creative agency Lowe Lintas, opens with a dinner-table conversation between a mother (Gujarati actor Morali Desai) and son (Masaan fame Vicky Kaushal). The son, who has a job in Mumbai, asks his parents to join him there considering his father (Marathi theatre actor Nandu Madhav) had retired from his job at a cinema theatre in the hill town they live in. The mother tells him that his father would never agree to go to Mumbai, a city he went to 40 years ago to become an actor. He even landed a role in a film that was to be shot near Bangalore. However, his Bollywood dream was shattered by his father ( the son’s grandfather) who brought him back to their home town in the hills where he became a manager in a cinema hall.
Touched by the story, the young man uses Google to search for the film that was shot near Bangalore 40 years ago and discovers both its name (Sholay) and the shoot location, Ramanagara. He then quietly plans a holiday with his father and takes him to Sholay’s shoot location.
What follows is some serious father-son bonding time as they travel together reliving several iconic films at their shoot locations in different parts of the country, with the help of Google of course. All through the journey, the son is shooting a video of his father enacting the film scenes at these locations. At the end, he plays this video at the cinema hall where his father worked and tells him that he’s finally become a Bollywood hero. An overwhelmed father finally gives in to his son’s request to move to the city of dreams.
While the film is not a Father’s Day campaign, it was released just in time for the occasion (19 June) and is winning hearts online. According to the company, the film is a part of Google India’s larger initiative where Google Search now gives local cinema enthusiasts an easy way to discover and explore everything they want to know about their favourite movies, stars, music, dialogues, actors and more.
“Google has a long history of building products for India, and we wanted to make sure that when these millions of Indian cinema fans pick up their phone and ask Google about their favourite films, actors or songs, they get a delightful, local experience,” said Google India’s marketing head Sapna Chadha.
Talking about the concept, Arun Iyer, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas, the agency that has created it, said that one in every ten searches in Google India happens on a movie which is why it chose Bollywood as the theme for the film.
“We wanted to convey to the audience what Google can do if they are interested in cinema. This story inspires so many people in the country. The core thought being how previous generation had to let go of their dreams probably because they did not have access to technology,” he said.
The film has been directed by Chrome Pictures’s Amit Sharma who has been credited for creating the earlier Google Reunion film as well.
Prathap Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer at the agency Bang in the Middle, dubs the film a beautiful plausible story—something which every son would want to do for his father.
“It’s timed to release just before Father’s Day, and I am sure every son would feel a twinge in the chest,” he said. He added that in the story set in the heart of middle-class India, most of what was made possible was because of technology and Google.
“Something like this couldn’t have been done earlier using traditional methods. You’d have eventually connected the dots, but after much struggle, poring over books and making a lot of phone calls. But the ability to attempt these kinds of real-life narratives are possible because of new-age technology. This is the way ahead for Google—giving ordinary people the power to achieve much. I loved how mobile phone technology came into play in making screening of the film possible,” he added.