Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Joel Simon & Vaibhav Kumaresh "Horn OK Please"

“Horn OK Please” is a meticulously observed tale of the travails of a taxi driver in India. It’s no kind of life raising a son at the same time as attempting to save enough for a taxi of your own as well as paying the greedy owner for the hire of the cab. Pity the poor taxi driver having to brave the traffic chaos of a busy Indian city and ferry a very disparate population around. There are some highly comic vignettes in the eight minutes or so journey. I liked the high tipping (however unwittingly) American tourist, the horde of school pupils, the moaning old lady and felt just as uncomfortable as the driver when the cab waited for the lights to change. Of course when the cash pile begins to build up towards the end of the day then the cab driver can begin to dream - not a good thing to do on a busy road. There is quite a large production crew behind the movie, directed by Joel Simon who handled the direction with Vaibhav Kumaresh at Flickerpix Studios in Belfast. The Anglo-Indian collaboration was funded in part by the British Council in 2006. It is plain to see the collaborative fruits, for so vivid a depiction of Indian life, albeit satirised mercilessly here, could not have been produced were it not for the involvement of those who know India so well. Belgian born Joel set up the animation and puppet company in 1999. The music is by Brian Irvine and adds much to the film. The movie may be watched directly from the company’s website and they have placed it on YouTube.

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