Archive for the the good Category
[I will sadly be missing it this year, given my relocation to New York around October-end — Qalandar]
Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)
EXCERPT: “…Long-time festival director Srinivasan Narayanan has been replaced by journalist and author Anupama Chopra, and she has a new team of selectors and programmers. The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, under whose aegis the festival has been held all these years, is now headed by Kiran Rao instead of Shyam Benegal. Even the name of the event is different, in deference to Reliance Jio, the new principal sponsor: it now goes under the awkward banner of Jio MAMI.
The festival will be held in Mumbai from October 29 to November 5, Continue reading
A friend came over and picked this out of my DVD collection. I hadn’t seen it since it first released in the late 90s, and I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the film still is. Urmila-RGV was a great combo in those days and I pretty much enjoyed every film they did together at that time. And Manoj Bajpai here is splendid.
After Kaun we needed something light so my friend recommended this, and it was a blast. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so much. The simple story about a wannabe singer, played by the fantastic Vinay Pathak is a must-watch.
In 1955, a visit to the cinema was a rare experience for us, something the adults in our family severely frowned upon. Pather Panchali, however, was an exception. The anticipation had built up weeks before the film was finally released. Our joint family household was abuzz with excited speculation about the film and its maker. Here at last was a film good enough for our children.
I remember watching the film with my cousins, rapt with attention, feeling distraught when Durga was being thrashed, shocked by the naughty things she got up to, and somewhat envious of her free spirit. All the while, not having a clue that three years on, I would be on that big screen in front of me and others would be watching me. That was 60 years ago, the years seem to have gone by so quickly.
I quite liked Phantom and am not sure what all the negativity is about. The BEST thing about it is it doesn’t have SALMAN KHAN [or actually any star; I mention Salman since Kabir works with him]. It then gives the makers some leeway into THINKING about other aspects of movie-making. With a below-average actor but a humongous star like Salman Khan, there is always the bait of ‘circling’ around the star. With Saif, there is none of the challenges! He is neither an above-average actor nor – obviously – a star. So Saif’s Daniyal Khan passes off quite well within the parameters of Phantom. It gels quite well with the basic plot – fetch an internet/face-book/twitter-dead Indian Army soldier cursed to anonymity and get him to join an outlandish plot – on paper at least – of bringing covert justice to the perpetrators of attacks on Bombay [there is a smart scene where even a terrorist like Hafeez Saeed’s character is shown twitter-feeding his rally! And in contrast, you have just one internet piece on a disgraced Indian soldier (quite liked the throw-back to Amitabh’s disgraced character in KAALA PATTHAR though). [By the way, this fellow with a moniker of ‘Harris’ Saeed is supposed to be some Professor in the eyes of ISI – you can quite well imagine where he got his ‘Professor’-ship from.]
Finally saw Bahubali… after almost everyone I know knew of everyone who’d seen it. One runs a risk of having been overhyped with an event film such as this. Not so with Bahubali, I am glad to note. It is a beast of a film that shatters and soars over any and all expectations and then some more.
Would have preferred seeing it in the original Telugu/Tamil version though. For despite the fact that the Hindi dub is done well, one can sense the loss of nuances, especially given that there are multiple caste and class representations which would come with its own dialects and variants… something that is lost in the Hindi translation which opts for a curiously non-vernacular Hindi.
I haven’t written for quite some time, and I haven’t written much worth the while.
The trigger was random really. A random viewing of Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday; that masterly adaptation of S. Hussain Zaidi’s sprawling documentation of the 1993 Mumbai blasts and the events surrounding and leading up to it. As with Kashyap’s other early works, the film struggled its way to a theatrical release, securing a delayed one almost 5 years after it was made; by which time most had downloaded the film and its sting rendered neutered. The film was finally cleared to be released by the Supreme Court of India after the verdict in the ’93 blasts case was delivered by the TADA court in 2007. It has since been broadcast on satellite television quite a few times, with the same indifference that had characterized its eventual theatrical release.