TOY STORY 4 : A Heart Tugging Tale of Existentialism

When a twenty five year old animation franchise feels as fresh, lovable and heart warming even in its fourth outing that is here after nine long years since the last Toy Story, you don’t get surprised at all. After all, it is a happy family of cute, vibrant, dynamic, helpful and extremely matured bunch of toys who only want to feel loved at all times, and want the same for the kid they belong to. Their’s is a magical world where they are far more humane than the humans around them, and thrive by the emotions of togetherness, loyalty, wanting to make the world a wonderful place for the kids, and themselves. They also live with the biggest fears of obsolensce – of not being loved any more, of becoming a rejected lost toy, or of their datedness making them less relevant and desirable with time as they get passed over to new kids or new toys come and join the universe. But even in these most trying times and a struggle for existentialism, they still stick on to their wholesome goodness, united and loyal, to make this world a better place – to infinity and beyond!

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A MONSOON DATE : An Emotional Ride

Tanuja Chandra‘s new 20 minute short film A Monsoon Date is a thought provoking portrayal of a tensed and yet confident woman fighting the demons of her life and searching for acceptance for who she is. Written by Ghazal Dhaliwal, the film traces a rain drenched monsoon evening of Mumbai, where the protagonist Konkona Sen Sharma is on her way for a date with a man she has met about a month back.

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VINCI DA : A Thriller without Thrills

Vinci Da – Quick Take…

So I finally watched Vinci Da on Prime Video and thought it was one of the weakest films of Srijit Mukherji in 2018-19. It is a thriller without any thrill, and is predictable from start to end.

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Feluda : 50 Years of RAY’s Detective – A nostalgic trip

Let me begin by stating that for a generation of Bengalis, Feluda is not just a detective or the first childhood hero. Feluda is a much larger emotion. He is you growing up through your childhood, Topshe is you making Feluda an integral part of that childhood. And through the world of Feluda, somehow the genius who created this icon became far more accessible to you even during your growing up years, when some of his other work was more complex and aspirational for the young mind. For many like me, Feluda (who in a way impersonated the maker himself) was our first introduction to the magical world of Satyajit Ray.

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CHERNOBYL : Choking Saga of Horror

What is the cost of lies? Lies to cover-up the worst nuclear disaster ever in human history? What is the human value equivalent of that loss? Well the official Soviet numbers are still pegged at 31! The actual number for an incident that happened more than three decades ago could be anything between 4,000 to 96,000 and still counting! And yes, no one bothered to keep any track of that! Three decades on, some 2,600 square miles of area was evacuated deemed contaminated by the nuclear meltdown. And 300,000 of those temporarily moved residents have still not moved back, because the after effects of contamination are still active and will remain so for many more decades.

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TEEN AUR AADHA : Memoirs of a Room


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.

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KOTA FACTORY : The Grey Dreams

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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.

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JYESHTHOPUTRO : Melancholic Musings of Life

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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!

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Bharat – Official Trailer

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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.

MUSIC TEACHER Review : Echoes from the Past

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.

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