"Why do women fake orgasm," asks the unapologetically parochial and chauvinistic social worker in the talent contest round in The President is Coming. Because, he says, laughing uproariously, ?they think we care?.
It's this sort of politically incorrect humour that propels this crackling English-language satire, written by Anuvab Pal who earlier gave us Loins of Punjab.
In 2006, President Bush visited India. One of the things on his agenda was shaking hands with a young Indian who represented the new shining India. Around these facts, Pal weaves a fiction about how this young Indian was selected.
Six finalists compete with each other, desperate to shake Bush junior's hand. Each one has his own reasons: The Gujarati stock broker wants to influence share prices; the South Bombay Paris Hilton-wannabe just wants to meet someone famous; the anglicized accent trainer, who was deported from America, and now runs speak Easy, wants to return; and the Bengali novelist, author of Some Yellow Mangoes and 12 Broken Dreams a novel about an Assamese tribal midget community, has ambitious plans that I cannot reveal here.
Of course President traffics in stereotypes but it puts them to good use. The film is an equal-opportunity offender taking potshots at everyone and everything, from our obsession with all things American to President Bush to Khaadi-clad NGO workers.
The President is Coming started life has a play and there are stretches in which it come off as labored and stagey. But given the film's miniscule budget and its oversized ambitions, debutant director Kunal Roy Kapur and his cast and crew have pulled off a worthy experiment.
The President is Coming is furiously funny. I recommend that you see it.