Ukranian filmmaker Dar Gai‘s (Daria Gaikalova) first Indian film (released for festivals in 2017, but finding its wider digital release only now in 2019 on Netflix) Teen aur Aadha has an interesting film premise when a house, more specifically a room, becomes a constant character across three different stories along its maturing timeline, with almost a common theme of central characters in each story wanting to break free off the confines of the same room. It becomes even more interesting when the each of the three stories are shot as continuous forty minutes long shots each without any cuts, as if trying to follow the arc of the protagonists up close.
The songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore have always been a lifeline of Bangla films. For decades, they have been the voice of soul in our films, and when at the turn of the century a decision was taken to allow experimentation with the arrangement in Tagore Songs, there was a fear that it would be a disaster as far as preserving the sanctity of these songs was concerned. Has it really been the case in the whole?
Yes, there has been a Oo lala added to a Pagla Hawa in some cases, but Rabindra Sangeet has stood firm with its soul and its form preserved for the most, a few modern rhythmic adaptations like Jagorane jaaye bibhabori have actually worked, and in most cases even the form has remained as pure as possible. How much ever our storytelling might have changed, our filmmakers still fall back to the ever reliable and the deepest emotions of Rabindra Sangeet even today, and rightfully so.
50 years ago, on May 8th 1969, Satyajit Ray‘s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne saw the light of the day…
Apu & Durga (Pather Panchali & Aparajito), Kajal (Apur Sansar), Ratan (Postmaster), Mrinmayee (Samapti), Mukul (Sonar Kella), Ruku (Jai Baba Felunath), Pikoo (Pikoo), Dingo (Shakha Proshakha), Satyaki (Agantuk), or the ‘Two’ kids…
Just these characters can continue reminding us for decades to come how brilliant a film maker the Maestro was… It takes a genius to get the best and most natural out of children in cinema, and He did it every single time with each one of them. The characters above have become legendary, not just with their writing, but also with the kind of performances these kids could deliver under the guidance of Ray..
It is not just an aesthetic differentiation that the new TVF original Kota Factory is possibly the first black and white Indian web series. Created by Saurabh Sharma, it uses the color scheme as the very handle to tell the world that the dreams of millions of students (and their parents) every year to crack IIT or equivalent is not all back and white, but a lot of grey in between. This well conceptualized show, that has been releasing one episode every week since the last three weeks exposes the dark shades of ambition vs. ability, and how the pressure often takes an irreconcilable toll on the young minds tainting them for life.
When a film casts the biggest superstar and the best actor of Bengali cinema of our generation pitted against each other in life and in performing arts, and head on acknowledges who is the better actor of the two and how that is often not enough for success; it makes a bold and highly self-aware statement about hard facts of life without being worried about any repercussions. Also, when a film’s story-line builds on the everyday mundaneness of daily lives, and thrives on its organic but predictable conflicts without trying to force-fit anything just for the sake of drama; one has to again applaud the fearlessness and the sure-footed awareness of the story-teller about his ability to touch lives without an attempt to manipulate emotions. Kaushik Ganguly and his profound new film Jyeshthoputro are brilliant examples of such confident and restrained poignancy!
“He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion…no, make that: he – he romanticized it all out of proportion. Yeah. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin.”
Uh, no let me start this over.
Bengali literature in all its richness has been a constant influence on the world of films, both for bengali and hindi films. While some of the adaptations like Devdas, Parineeta or Kabuliwala are more common and widely acknowledged, there are a host of films influenced by bengali literature that are not so commonly recalled. This includes films based on full scale novels, short stories, poems and more. Some of these films credit the source as the official adaptation, some of them do not. But the inspiration behind the story-line is not be be missed, especially when the authors behind the literary references are some of the most illustrious names of Bengali Literature ranging from Rabindranath Tagore to Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay to Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay to Ashapoorna Devi to Subodh Ghosh and more.
The official trailer of the next big release, Salman Khan starrer Bharat is out, and this could be a Masala film done right! Other than the initial phase of Bharat and his 60s avatar, the rest of the getups and personas seem to be on point, and Salman Khan holds on to the challenge. Katrina Kaif though steals the show with a great first impression as Madam Sir, her introduction scene of the trailer is particularly good. Ali Abbas Zafar may have got it right for the genre he wants to hit.
Bharat releases on June 5th as the big Eid release.
The new Netflix film Music Teacher reverberates with echoes from the past that scream about regrets, incompleteness, and pangs of unrequited love in its silences. Directed by Sarthak Dasgupta, and co-written by Dasgupta and Gaurav Sharma (dialogues), the film tells a visually lyrical story about how a failed music teacher confronts his demons from the past at every step, and is torn up internally by his realities of not getting anywhere in life while being bogged down by the astounding success of his own protege against her will, and losing her in the process.