Richard Linklater’s influences weigh much — if not heavily — on Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi [DZ]: Particularly, the fantastic BOYHOOD. And the connection is not felt as much cinematically as it is thematically, i.e., the crests and troughs of childhood and their role in shaping one’s adult life. The one startling connection between the two is parenting as viewed through the eyes of children. In BOYHOOD, Mason hears his mom talk to her boyfriend about how parenting leaves little scope for her as a single-mom to pursue her ‘life’ or her interests; in DZ, Alia [Kaira] as a 6 year old over-hears her mother telling her Dad that it’s impossible to take Alia with them to a foreign country due to financial pressures. This forms a marker of an incident in Alia’s life and her subsequent handling of relationships with men in her life.
Archive for the the good Category
***May contain spoilers***
Back from Shivaay. To put it clearly the movie is disappointing for the build up. The movie starts with Ajay Devgn(an badly created VFX sequence) jumping from mountain peak to bottom with someone calling out his name. Continue reading
Mild Spoilers –
AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL [ADHM] is one of the worst, wannabe movies coming out of the Johar stable; and that’s not because the film in totality is bad per se, but because of the disastrous attempts at surrogate-wedding of depth with glamor. All his ‘K’ films and the faux-attempt at capturing xenophobia through MNIK can be considered classics – in terms of cinematic grammar only, by the way – when compared to ADHM.
**May contain spoilers**
What if Tina hasn’t died at the start of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? What if Anjali hadn’t grown her hair and started wearing sarees? And what if one day Rahul had to assess which ultimately meant more to him, his friendship with Anjali or his love for Tina? Two decades after his directorial debut, Karan Johar’s cinema has finally come of age. The gloss and glamour remain in copious amounts but we now have a film about the adult world (if not entirely populated by “adults”). John is unlikely to ever produce great cinema, and the sentiments of this movie far outweigh its cinematic qualities…but that’s not always a bad thing.
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.
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.
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.