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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 



IFFI 52, 023: Comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable, with Sweet Biryani

IFFI 52, 023: Comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable, with Sweet Biryani

“There is a famous quote, which says, ‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.’ I think this film will disturb those comfortable people of the society who gets comfort through caste, class and other authoritative parameters. This is what K. Jeyachandra Hashmi, director of Indian Panorama non-feature film, Sweet Biryani, said at a Press Conference held on the sidelines of 52nd IFFI in Goa.

Addressing the press, Hashmi said that the story is about a food delivery guy ‘Marimuthu’ and his experiences on a single day. He travels with a lot of food packages to deliver, meets a family which doesn’t have food to eat, but he is helpless to feed them. This is the irony projected in the film. 

“In India having luxurious food for many is a basic thing and, for many, food itself is a luxury. I wanted to bring these two contrasting ideas to my film”, he said.

He added that the film also highlights the challenges the delivery boy faces, which the customers hardly note and sympathise with. “After making this film I have learnt to respect food and wait patiently without losing my temper, when the delivery of food gets late. That’s the change that the film has brought in me, and that’s the success of the film”, he added. 

Talking about his style of film-making, the director said that the creators are not judges and they should only address the issue. “I have only shown my story as I conceived it. I have not given any solution. That is up to the audience”, he added.

Responding to a query on his idea behind the title, Hashmi said that Marimuthu the protagonist, in the climax, seeing the high-handed behaviour of a customer towards him, delivers the Biryani ordered by the rude customer to a different person. This single incident changes his mind and rubs off all his humiliation and frustration. “The spicy Biryani brought asmile to Marimuthu and I hope it will also bring smile to the viewers”, he said.

Sarithiran, who played the role of Marimuthu, and Gowtham G.A., editor of the film also shared their experiences on this occasion. Sarithiran, on special request of the audience, rocked the floor, with widely the appreciated signature walk of Marimuthu in Sweet Biryani.

About the director and producer: K. Jeyachandra Hashmi has been making short films from 2009. He was an associate director with the National Film Award-winning director Seenu Ramasamy. His award-winning films include Mouna Mozhi, Aram, Kalavu, and To-Let.

About the film: Marimuthu, a law student, delivers food to support his family. He enjoys riding the bike all day and listening to songs while on the road. When a group of men asks him to deliver their order to a changed location, Marimuthu first resists, but then delivers them the food. But the group treats him with disrespect due to his unconventional walk and his background, and refuse to pay him for the food. Marimuthu’s emotional ride back home after the incident forms the crux of the film. The cast includes Balaji Venugopal, Sumathi, Deepan, Nivya, Ahamabro and Theleepan.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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