Archive for the the good Category

Salim on Kaatru Veliyidai

Posted in the good on April 19, 2017 by Satyam

Going to see a new Mani Rathnam movie, one feels unusually assured that they will be treated to a few hours of high-quality cinema. Given that we no longer live in the 1950s when Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt led a pack of highly esteemed film-makers regularly delivering decent cinema even in their weakest creations, Mani Sir stands relatively alone. Kaatru Veliyidai however is not easy viewing and both the characters as well as the world in which they lived are worlds apart from the director’s last offering, the delightful OK Kanmani. Staple Rathnam features such as Rahman in top-form and gasp-inducing cinematography by Ravi Varman however never let us forget that we are in the hands of a master who is able to optimally use these aspects of cinema regardless of the genre.
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Salim’s Viewing! (updated)

Posted in the good on April 18, 2017 by Satyam

One Yesterday
Really cool book in which the family members or close colleagues of people like Ray, Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Kishore Kumar, Faiz, Chughtai, Harivanshrai Bachchan etc write a few pages about them.

Ki and Ka
Such a crap film – and pointless too. Balki can and should do so much better than this.
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Scattered thoughts on Kaatru Veliyidai..

Posted in the good on April 14, 2017 by Satyam

[this will sound like a perverse joke but what follows actually originated as a set of thoughts on twitter..!]

Kaatru Veliyidai affirms once more what ought to be beyond debate by now. There isn’t anyone quite like Mani Ratnam in Indian commercial cinema even after all these years. I am not doing a review of any sort here, just offering scattered thoughts. Ratnam as a craftsman is still at the height of his powers. Barring Raavan(an) this might be his best film in that formalist sense in at least fifteen years or so. In some of the film’s best montages he even exhibits a kind of Kurosawa-like spontaneity, which is to say a whole series of dazzling shots ranging across different registers. Visually this film is a feast (though I wish Ratnam would not use FX even to the limited extent he does, much as in Raavan it shows and in a work of such stylistic finesse it jumps out even more). This includes of course his song videos. The Tango (also my favorite track on the album) is quite simply one of his masterpieces.
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Why I Have Nothing to Say on Dangal

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2017 by Qalandar



I more than enjoyed Dangal: it was fantastically well-made, uniformly well-acted, and pulled off the difficult feat of making wrestling interesting, even deeply engrossing – that’s creditable, when you consider that most sports movies rely on the built-in appeal of sports that are already popular, with great cultural resonance. Heck, to even make a sports film – i.e. a film in one of the most hackneyed genres – half decent, let alone excellent, is pretty darn impressive.

And yet, when I (more than once, and over a period of a few months) sat down to write a review of Dangal, I found I had nothing to say. Which might make this piece nothing more than a narcissistic exercise in my writer’s block, but I’d like to believe there’s more going on here. The “nothing” is symptomatic of a wider issue, namely that Dangal is a very impressive film – just not a very interesting one. Continue reading

The Soviet Union and Indian cinema

Posted in the good on February 16, 2017 by Satyam


“Many younger viewers found the physical types foregrounded in Indian films worthy models of emulation, whether it was trying to style their hair or dress in a fashion similar to their screen idol. Young Katia Marginovskaia considered film star Rekha to be the single most important recollection she had of an eighties film. ‘I remember vividly the colour of Rekha’s sari … apple green. In our grey lives, we literally happened into a fantasy world…. I had never seen anything like this.’”

for more follow the link…

Mani Kaul on Ritwik Ghatak’s Titas Ekti Nadir Naam

Posted in the good on February 7, 2017 by Satyam


“Traditionally there is the epic form, and in opposition, there is the dramatic form. When we speak of the dramatic form it is motivated towards a result, towards a goal. About ninety-nine percent of films, whether made by serious filmmakers or Hollywood, are actually dramatic films.

Dramatic films could be psychologically, sociologically determined, or just determined by a plot – let’s say a thriller. They could be comic or belong to any other genre. A dramatic film must proceed to an end. So the argument that it raises between characters, or in the plot itself, must be resolved, and then it heads towards kind of a convergence, a climax. Say the conflict between good and bad is resolved in the end.

The epic form is just the opposite, which means that the narrative is usually very thin, very spread out and at every stage that it develops, it tries to have wider perspectives. Not just concerning the characters but also about nature, history or ideas. These are not just a description of society, but visions of epochs that have gone by. So it cannot be just a simple movement, a narrative moving forward, but as the story is narrated, it must also embrace and spread out.”

for more follow the link..

An Jo on Raees

Posted in the good on February 4, 2017 by Satyam

I think reacting and writing is my therapy..some thoughts on RAEES..

— SPOILERS, MILD, or SPICY depending on your mood–

In one of the pre-release interviews of Dholakia, I had heard that RAEES floated as an idea for an indie film with a few Gujarati US investors who just wanted to make a film on prohibition in Gujarat in the ‘80s. Somewhere, he said, the film grew ‘organically’ into a big-budgeted film with SRK and Sidhwani entering the playground. And I heard this interview after I saw the full-on masala trailer of RAEES. It sounded intriguing, as well as ominous. I didn’t like Dholakia’s PARZANIA for ideological reasons but loved his focused-take on the subject through the mental trauma of a couple. LAMHAA, where he climbed two rungs-up toward commercialism, was a very uneven film and one could feel Dholakia’s uncertainty when it came to welding serious issues with commercial Hindi cinema with stars in their own small galaxies like Basu and Dutt. And then, he decides to leap-frog to one of the Khan triumvirate, Shah Rukh Khan, with a movie that began as an indie! You know, this is no longer the SRK from Mani Kaul’s Dostoevsky’s adaptation of THE IDIOT or even IN WHICH ANNIE GIVES IT TO THOSE ONES: Heck, this is no longer even the SRK form PAHELI: He is someone trying to break desperately into some crore-club. It’s an irony but I don’t know whom to call Dostoevsky’s idiot; Dholakia for trusting that his vision of an indie would remain unfettered with SRK as the hero in his film, or, SRK, for thinking that he would manage to make Dholakia give an ‘engaging’—I am not talking of massy here—film within the commercial diktats of Hindi cinema. Continue reading