Eeb Allay Ooo! is a 2019 Indian film, directed by Prateek Vats, in his directorial debut, and written by Shubham. The film revolves around a young migrant in New Delhi, who scores the unusual government job of keeping monkeys away from public buildings, and focuses on his ensuing struggles and disillusionment with the work. The title is somewhat onomatopoeiac, as it derives from the three distinct sounds used by an experienced monkey chaser in the film to scare away the rhesus macaques.
Anjani hails from a migrant family originally from Bihar and lives with his pregnant sister and brother-in-law on the outskirts of Delhi. He is a newbie in the capital’s monkey repeller squad, who is stationed outside government buildings Rail Bhavan, Vigyan Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan – so that the sarkari babus (government officers) can work undisturbed, but he can’t harm the monkeys. One time he is locked inside a cage by a group of contractual workers, which was being set up for trapping monkeys by holding bananas for them inside it. As the film progresses he realizes he is not capable of making the sounds as effectively as this colleague Mahender (who serves as his mentor in this job) to keep the monkeys away as desired. His brother-in-law works as a security guard. The pay is modest, and a possible increment of Rs 1,000 means a lot for the family. But that comes with a catch, for he’ll have to own a gun – a condition that distresses his pregnant wife. To cover up for his ineffectiveness in doing the job, he uses a slingshot to injure a monkey and another time he dresses up as a langur to scare off the monkey both of which are deemed illegal in the state and are a human rights violation. While the first of these misdeeds almost makes him lose the job, the other provokes the contractor to fire him from the job. Anjani starts navigating the city, asking people for jobs; hanging placards, listing his name and phone number, in front of houses; falling in love with a woman; exploring a softer side of the city with her in this otherwise bleak and uninspiring environment. Mahender provides him some comfort by making him work with him but himself dies one day after he accidentally kills a monkey which leads to him being mob lynched by a violent crowd who see Hanuman as their God. The film ends with Anjani joining a religious Hindu procession and exploring the moments of mischief and curiosity, of sincerity and despair and desperation which shows the tragedy of migrant workers who are ostracized and expected to work as machines and evaporate into the air with their existence remaining unknown in this vast human civilisation.
Shardul Bharadwaj as Anjani Prasad
Mahender Nath as Mahender
Nutan Sinha as Anjani’s sister
Shashi Bhushan as Anjani’s brother-in-law
Nitin Goel as Narayan/Contractor
Naina Sareen as Kumudh
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