Archive for the the good Category

An Jo on Fandry

Posted in the good on October 15, 2016 by Satyam


One of the most harrowing sequences/climaxes I have seen in a seemingly ‘off-beat’ film is in Nagraj Popatrao Mangule’s FANDRY [The Pig]. It jolts you to the core regarding the presence/curse of untouchability still prevalent in the remotest villages of India: This is a movie that is Maharashtra-centric and shot near the Ahmednagar area and hence, shakes one’s core more thanks to the irony of the efforts of BR Ambedkar and/or Savitribai Phule.
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Saket on MS Dhoni

Posted in the good on October 5, 2016 by Satyam

some thoughts (might contain spoilers)

The most haunting moment in M S Dhoni: The Untold Story arrives around the interval mark, when a dispirited Dhoni is shown sitting on a bench at the Kharagpur train station, ruing his run of bad luck. Things don’t seem to be going to plan and even though he has secured a safe job, his dream of progressing further, in cricket, seems to have hit a roadblock. Seemingly out of nowhere, comes a ghost train and one of its carriages stops right in front of him. The door opens, and as if by magic, he starts hearing chants of Dhoni…Dhoni…Dhoni coming from inside the empty compartment. After a brief delay, the train starts to drift away but by this time Dhoni has made up his mind – it’s time for him to take the plunge into the unknown (Dhoni is, after all, famous for making such instinctive calls). He hops onto the train, quits his job and decides to concentrate fully on his cricket. It’s like the blue pill/red pill moment in The Matrix and it works like a charm. It’s also a carefully crafted masala moment that later on completes this film.
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An Jo on MS Dhoni

Posted in the good on October 5, 2016 by Satyam

The opening scene from MS Dhoni: The Untold Story is one of the better masala-laden, goose-bump inducing scenes I have witnessed in recent times after the one in HAIDER where Irrfan Khan makes his entry on-screen right before the interval. Dhoni isn’t watching his team batting in the 2011 world-cup final from the stands; he is watching it alone, ON a television set – a remarkable scene that conveys his focusing power. He wants to sit alone and absorb the proceedings. This is a logical conclusion then to the scenes where he is shown asking his girl-friend/s not to call him during a 5 day test-match since his priorities could be challenged. He then goes up to Gary Kirsten, whom the audience doesn’t see, and flatly tells him that he is promoting himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh, since it is Muttiah who’s bowling: And he walks with such an air of determination and confidence that demonstrates what ‘leading from the front’ is all about; what leadership is all about; what basking in pressure-cooker situations is all about; what meeting the expectations of a 1.25 crore sea of humanity is all about. Helmer Neeraj Pandey captures the ‘essence’ of Dhoni as only imagined by us in that singularly striking scene.
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Saket on Nil Battey Sannata

Posted in the good on September 21, 2016 by Satyam

(Mild Spoilers inside)

From the onset, Nil Battey Sannata picks a less travelled route in Hindi Cinema. In a patriarchal society like India, and within a male-dominated Bollywood, the movie focusses its attention on a mother-daughter story. There is a bigger, more empowering message in the film and its import is so heavy that we tend to lose track of this small detail – there just aren’t too many Hindi films exploring this particular relationship. One can find father-son movies in Bollywood or even father-daughter ones, but try searching for a mother-daughter film and one immediately draws a blank. It’s a crying shame, really, and I for one am quite happy to finally see a film explore this beautiful familial bonding in a nice, thoughtful manner.
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An Jo on Pink

Posted in the good on September 18, 2016 by Satyam

Spoiler Alert: Mild spoilers ahead

One of the cleverest twists in the grammar of cinematic-craft is housed in the end credits of PINK. It is an extremely thoughtful depiction of causality that actually turns the definition of causality on its head! When any individual traverses through what the protagonists of this movie endure emotionally, ‘the principle that nothing can happen without being caused,’ starts sounding a little shaky. The end-credits reveal what actually ‘happened’ that triggered a chain of events causing emotional upheaval in the lives of three young ‘normal working-girls’ (as mentioned by one of the girls), and translated as ‘easy-going’ by society. By that time, however, a LOT has happened, and a stark question faces us: Is the actual ‘incident’ even really rendered important at this point in time? It is almost as if the film-maker is mocking the audience: Is this scene really important for you to see? Will you empathize more with the trauma that these women went through if you finally see the causal incident? After what you witnessed in the last 130 minutes, does this ‘fact’ really twitch your conscientious nerves with even more vigor? What is your sensitivity index? It is only if one sits through the end-credits that one realizes the truth behind this cinematic ‘trick.’
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A note on the Rio Olympics and India

Posted in the good with tags , , , , on August 19, 2016 by abzee

The no-good idiotic loudmouths of the Shobha De variety notwithstanding, and equally those ignorantly bemoaning the lack of medals… this has actually been one of the more improved outings for India at the Olympics and a harbinger of better times to come. The Indian delegation at Rio is its largest ever at Olympics, comprising of 117 athletes spread across various individual and team disciplines. This itself is a sign of a growing culture of sports, of greater interest and hope for improved infrastructure. And though we won 6 medals at the 2012 Olympics, our results this time are markedly better even if we may not have as many medals to show. This time around we have made a mark in events where one doesn’t even think of India participating in, let alone coming close to a medal by such close margins. The media has displayed its ignorance in these matters, and its desire to feed into the simplistic narrative of competitive sports and events such as the multilevelled Olympics as merely about the gold-silver-&-bronze, by not reporting or highlighting the many other achievements of the Indian contingent at Rio. This when we lap up 1-run victories over minnows like Bangladesh in cricket T20 internationals!
  • The women’s team in Archery comprising of Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi reached till the quarterfinals, and lost to 2nd ranked Russia.
  • Srikanth Kidambi in the men’s singles Badminton also went till the quarterfinals where he lost to 3rd seeded Lin Dan of China.
  • The 18 year old Aditi Ashok from Bengaluru is currently in the 8th position out of 60 players after 2 rounds in the women’s Golf event, with 2 more rounds left to go. She currently has a score of 6 under par, with the board leader just 4 shots away at 10 under par.
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The 40 most memorable Hindi film cameos

Posted in the good on August 5, 2016 by Satyam

thanks to Rocky..

Gulzar in ‘Griha Pravesh’ and ‘Raincoat’, 1979 & 2004

Gulzar did his most sustained piece of screen-acting in ‘Jallianwala Bagh’—in fact, it’s long enough to qualify as a supporting part. In its place, we’ll include the poet’s cameos—one silent, the other just his voice—in ‘Griha Pravesh’ and ‘Raincoat’. In the former, he appears as an appreciative listener during the ‘Logon Ke Ghar Main Rehta Hoon’ sequence —a mini-masterpiece of side glances. And in Rituparno Ghosh’s film, his voice recites the poem that forms part of the haunting ‘Piya Tora Kaisa Abhimaan’.

Frank Worrell in ‘Around The World’, 1967

Sir Frank Worrell was one of the great West Indian cricketers of his day, an elegant batsman and the nation’s first black captain. The Indian public at the time would have known that he donated blood after Nari Contractor was hit on the head in a 1961 match and taken to hospital. So it’s not that strange that Worrell would make a minute-long appearance in the Caribbean segment of ‘Around The World’, one of those globe-trotting films that came into vogue in the 1960s. A drunk Om Prakash introduces Worrell to Mehmood and proceeds to quiz him about Milkha Singh (“India’s fastest bowler”), Shammi Kapoor (“India’s greatest wicketkeeper”) and Mohammed Rafi (“India’s opening bat who’s always not out”). True to form, the cricketer handles this nonsense with equanimity. Sadly, he died away before the film released, which is why it opens with the intertitle “Dedicated to the loving memory of Sir Frank Worrell”.

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