Apparently in Hindi, “badmash” roughly translates into “naughty,” while “dishoom” is the onomatopoeic equivalent to “pow” or “bang.” This dose of cross-cultural understanding comes thanks to a new campaign for the (non-existent) job of America’s Prime Minister by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan. With a team spread from Berkeley to India, Badmash.tv‘s Kayur Patel, Sandeep Sood and Nimesh Patel have created the best animated, bi-partisan, internationalist critique of the American political process you might not have seen yet.
With a silky delivery mellowed by liberal doses of Johnny Walker Blue Label, Bachchan makes for a refreshingly candid candidate. Sure, there’s no such thing as a prime minister in the Constitution of the United States, but then parliamentary democracies don’t suffer under the weight of a strictly two-party system like America’s, hence I’m happy to welcome the change.
The candidate’s animated message is delivered in pure, unadulterated Flash, bringing me back to the good old days of glossy-free, low-bandwidth, animated motion pictures that’s so much more than “good enough.” But before I gave Bachchan my unqualified endorsement, I called up Sood. Turns out the team is in it to win. Eventually. “It’s a recurring thing,” Sood promised. “We’ll probably be around until 2012.”
Though Sood is located Northern California, partner Keyur Patel, co-founder of the Velocity Group and the Fuse Network, is based in India. And animator Nimash Patel has moved back to the subcontinent, specifically Pune, where he’s helping guide the visual style and pacing of the animation. The campaign is meant to appeal to natives and expats alike, but particularly NRIs — non-resident Indians.
Future plans include a title called Doubtsourcing, about the international employment trade. And if you think a nation’s founding document is going to stand between Amitabh Bachchan and his dreams, think again. “He’s not shutting up until the election,” Sood promised.