Genie Awards 2009
San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival 2008
Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2008
Scottsdale International Film Festival 2008
Whistler Film Festival 2007
Director: Richie Mehta
Writer: Richie Mehta (screenplay), Shaun Mehta (screenplay), Shaun Mehta (short story “Amal: The Autorickshaw Wallah”), Rajesh Tailang (hindi dialogue)
Stars: Rupinder Nagra, Naseeruddin Shah, Seema Biswas, Koel Purie
Runtime: 101 min
Released: 08 Aug 2008
Synopsis: Autorickshaw driver Amal is content with the small, but vital, role he serves – driving customers around New Delhi as quickly and safely as possible. But his sense of duty is tested by an eccentric, aging billionaire, who, moved by Amal’s humility, bequeaths him his entire estate before passing away. With only one month to discover and claim the inheritance, Amal’s struggles with duty and wealth are threatened by all those around him – from a young injured beggar girl and a lovely store merchant, to the danger of the old man’s upper-caste friends and siblings, all seeking to claim their share of the riches.
New Delhi-based Amal Kumar lives a poor lifestyle along with his widowed mother, Radha, and drives a three-wheeled auto rickshaw for a living, fully aware that his livelihood is threatened by the soon-to-be commissioned Metro. He is kind, honest, compassionate and generous to a fault, even decides to sell his auto to pay for the surgery of a homeless girl, Priya, who stole from his passenger, Pooja Seth, and takes up a job in a post office. Amal does not know that he has been chosen to be the sole heir by a deceased eccentric millionaire, G.K. Jayaram, and also does not know that Jayaram’s children, as well as others, will leave no stone unturned to ensure that Amal does not get a single Paisa.
Amal, a multi-layered portrait of contemporary India, follows an auto-rickshaw driver in New Delhi (Amal [played by Rupinder Nagra]) who is content with his small, but vital role in life. One day he drives an eccentric billionaire (G.K. Jayaram [played by Naseeruddin Shah]) who, disguised as a vagabond, is searching the streets for the last morsel of humanity, and someone he can leave all his money to, and [Amal’s] life may change forever. Amal serves up a visual feast for audiences. Filmed on location in New Delhi, India, this modern day fable asks the important question of what success means to each individual and ultimately reveals that the poorest of men are sometimes the richest. -Short Synopsis from Amal’s Press Kit.
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