‘The Lift Boy’ Movie
It is May 10th, 2020. In the midst of corona despair, I continue with my side hustle on weekends: watching, wondering and writing.
I just watched one such film on Netflix, about — a Lift Boy. Outstanding and Brilliant movie. Unassuming to say the least and here’s why? The movie has no raunchy dances, no loud violence and nudity, no super-hero stuff, no suspense, no melodrama. What does it have then? The movie is simple and sweet. Its like eating your childhood favorite toffee, you will just love it. The story reminds me of — what the lead character, in ‘Two States’ movie, had said — “I want to write a story, which is simple, without any message. Stories where there are no heroes, but the story itself is a hero”. The movie superbly captures the life of a lift man, who despite being a part of our daily lives, is still anonymous to us.
This story is like an autobiography of a lift boy, not in a narrative form, but almost so. In the movie, The Lift boy is an aspiring engineer, who repeatedly keeps flunking in one subject (engineering drawing). He was keen to pursue literature, but for his father’s wishes, he pursued engineering. He was keen to be called as an engineer, but for this father’s illness, he became a lift boy.
His convent education comes out aptly in his behavior — his numerous apologies and well-mannered replies, helps cover up for this laziness and lack of focus. Like any boy his age, he doesn’t realize when a girlfriend arrives in his life, yet as an audience you know from the first moment, that they will make a sweet couple.
But as much as sobered and nice, the lift boy may be; the wrinkles needed ironing out, from both — his uniform and his life. Enter the mentor — Mrs. D’souza, the landlord of the building, who teaches the Lift Boy important lessons, not only in his studies but also of life. The beautiful relation of tutor-student couldn’t be depicted better than this.
As mentioned at the beginning, the movie does not go overboard in being preachy, hence after the movie, you will not remember any dialogue. In fact, there comes a time in the movie, where the Lift Boy has the option to cheat in his test for Engineering Drawing. When he approaches his parents, his mentor — none of them debate on the morality part of it. At best his mentor reminds him of all the hard work, which will go wasted if he were to cheat.
This brings us to the most important part — How did a lazy, happy go lucky, lift boy turn into a hardworking engineering student? Of-course, the mentor played a decisive role. But more importantly, as his mentor highlighted — the Lift Boy was a symbol of hope. There was this ‘I shall be a hardworking successful’ man persona, which the mentor helped unlock.
The movie beautifully spoke in silence — at the beginning of the movie, we see a poster of ‘Rocky Balboa’ (symbol of courage and hope) in the Lift Boy’s home. At the end of the movie, we see the poster of ‘Lift boy’ (drawn by the mentor as a symbol of hope). And so, just a lift-boy, becomes the lift-boy, which is also the title of this movie.
Despite the simplicity, this film shares a thing or two with other great movies — Sacrifice of the hero, because the story itself is the hero. Similarly, here the passing away of mentor, will move you to the core — because by then the audience was screaming for her presence, but the story was not. Remember what Tony Stark had said “Part of the journey, is the end”.
Truly the movie is about life its simplicity, small surprises, relations and most importantly Hope — which has made us what we are, over the centuries. And we surely will not give up against a virus.