You must view Liar’s Dice, this Hindi road trip movie, on several different levels if you wish to enjoy/appreciate/make it to the end.
It is fascinating to watch a mother Kamala (Geetanjali Thapa), her 3-year old daughter Manya (Manya Gupta), and a pet goat travel from mountainous Chitkul in Northern India (Level 2 city – a better way to define the world as explained in the book, “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling – the concept of underdeveloped or Third World is outdated and leads to mis-perceptions) to Simla, India (a Level 3 economy) to New Delhi (Level 4, what the USA is) searching for her husband who was working in New Delhi but has been missing for 5-months. I included the concept of classifying cities from Level 1 – 4 based upon income as discussed in the book “Factfulness” as just one more way to appreciate this sometime hard to appreciate movie.
Along the trek they are helped by a man Nawazuddin (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a man that appears to have some secrets or problems but for some reason helps them. Sure, he is helping but he is never nice. Throughout the entire movie there is never a thank you, never a nicety, or a polite thing said. The dialogue is almost all commands, eat, walk, stay (kjaana kha lo – tahallo – rahana, in Hindi, the language spoken in the movie).
The settings from mountains to city are always changing since it is a road trip movie (walking, jeep, bus, train, bicycle cart) with a lot of scenes shot with a hand-held camera.
There is some tension waiting for things to explode, where is that husband? Long stretches of quiet.
When in New Delhi, the movie is set in the poorer areas of the city and the movie does not hide any of the homeless problems – I hope they over exaggerated the mean spirited people.
At the long-awaited, but abrupt ending the following was shown,
“This film is dedicated for the vast multitude of nameless people who are recognized only as a mere statistic…”
Then Liar’s Dice this Hindi movie, suddenly becomes a very sad movie showing the world to be a ruthless place for the poor – this woman is lost.