Here's why you must not miss 'The Lift Boy', Jonathan Augustin's debut feature film

A new independent film, The Lift Boy, by debutant, Jonathan Augustin, looks at the ups and downs of life
A still from the film
A still from the film

How exciting can a lift man’s life be? We would say all he has to do is press buttons all day. But one look at the trailer of the upcoming feature film The Lift Boy, and you discover there is something more to look forward to. Produced and directed by Jonathan Augustin, a debutant filmmaker, the film is a coming-of-age story of a 24-year-old vagabond. Moment of epiphany The film that releases today has received a positive response at festivals in Mumbai where it was screened in the later half of 2018.

Talking about why he chose to make a film on a character who seems inconsequential in our urban, modern-day lives, Jonathan says, “There’s a lift boy in each one of us. But I got this idea when I went to watch a film at a mall.” Jonathan who was working as a television professional back then (in 2015) recollects how the boy in-charge of the elevator was yelled at for no mistake of his. “The boy had tears in his eyes and replied with just one sentence to the man who had screamed at him, saying, ‘Sir, main sirf button dabata hoon (Sir, I only press the buttons).’ That was an epiphany for me and I decided to make a film on a lift boy.”

Feel good factor
If you think this will be one of those independent films that will tear up the audience and leave them disappointed, the filmmaker interjects, “This is a happy film and people will walk out feeling good.” The story is about Raju who has to fill in for his father who works as a lift man at a posh apartment complex in Mumbai. An engineering student, Raju hasn’t been able to clear his exams for the fifth time. So when his father has a heart attack he has no choice but to work. There he meets the landlady, Mrs D’Souza, an artist, and Princess Kapoor, an aspiring actress. The story captures Raju’s journey from denial to acceptance. “All the characters in the film are inspired by people I have encountered in real life,” says Jonathan. The other interesting aspect of the film is how the filmmaker got Nevada-based music composer, Ryan Clark, on board. Jonathan says, “Ryan saw our film’s page on IMDb and wrote to me saying he would like to compose music for the film. Then we got talking and things worked out.”

The 27-year-old director is looking forward to a successful run of his film that’s about one-hour-and-forty-seven minutes long. When asked about his future projects, Jonathan reveals, “I am working on a film titled The Ward Boy. It is a high-concept horror film set in a hill station.”

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