Shoojit Sircar is a man of quiet depth and restrained emotions. Even when he makes his lighter films, there is a unique elegance and classy charm attached to them, them studded with precious gem like moments, deeply layered subtlety, and an inexplicable repeat watch quality where you keep discovering a new something with every repeat watch. When the news first started flowing around that my most favourite hindi filmmaker of today’s times was going to make a biopic on Sardar Udham Singh and had the incredible Irrfan on his mind to play the titular role, it was naturally very exciting. While there were apprehensions about Shoojit also jumping into the biopic bandwagon, and also indulging in a genre that was outside his comfort zone, I also had the confidence that Shoojit, with his research , detailing, aesthetics and restraint, will lend the right amount of depth and gravitas to the forgotten story of this valiant revolutionary who took all his time but never lost focus on seeking justice on possibly the single most heinous crime and the darkest event of blood bath that marred India’s struggle for independence.Continue reading “SARDAR UDHAM : Say it like Shoojit Sircar”
For all those who have been following Little Things for 3 seasons now know that it is a series that traces the little things and sweet nothings that Dhruv and Kavya share, a committed couple who have been in love and in a live in relationship for about 6 years now. The progression of the series, just like their journey, has been a sweet and bumpy ride of mixed bag moments. At times we get to know them as a couple deeply in love who are far more committed and caring than possibly what they would have been if married. At other times they come across as unsettled, unsure, scared of commitments, and way too distracted with what their own personal problems are, sometimes pulling them away from each other. Add to it the challenges of a long distance relationship, the issues surfacing with unhappy jobs, bruised egos, and fear of losing each other over distance, and the journey becomes even more tentative but very relatable. In a way we moved along with the ups and downs of Dhruv and Kavya over multiple seasons, and where we were left at the end of Season 3 left enough curiosity in us and enough flame alive in them to see where Season 4 and their final journey takes them to.Continue reading “LITTLE THINGS Season 4 : Maine Socha Na Tha”
Amitabh Bachchan – The Biggest Superstar ever of Hindi Cinema is a statement that may not change anytime soon, and remains a fact even after he completed 50 glorious years in Hindi cinema some time back! The range of his body of work is incomparable, and he has been tremendous in everything that he has done from Action to Comedy to Drama to Extrovert to Introvert to you name it. But my favorite ones have been his serious understated types! Making his debut as the voice narrator in Mrinal Sen’s award winning Bhuvan Shome in 1969 and then with an on screen debut with Saat Hindustani in the same year, the Maestro has come a long way! The Dadasaheb Phalke honour, Padma Vibhushan, 4 national awards, 15 filmfare awards, 41 filmfare nominations and a host of innumerable other accolades and counting, his journey continues! May be his performance of the lifetime is yet to come!
Bhramam is a scene by scene remake of Andhadhun, minus the eye catching performances of Ayushmann Khurrana and Tabu, the scintillating music of Amit Trivedi, and the eclectic charm of Shriram Raghavan’s masterful direction!
Prithviraj, Mamta Mohandas and a Wild Boar are not a patch on the original show stealers, and even a ‘Drishyam’ joke falls flat while painting the make believe worlds of the blind-foldeds! In an attempt to notch up the commercial tonality of the film, KA Ravichandran lets go off the subtle, intelligent black comedy treatment of the original and makes way for a louder, banal comedy that’s rather uninspiring!
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2021 is possibly going to be remembered as one of the strongest years for Malayalam cinema. At three quarters of the year milestone, it may very well happen that if we sit down to list the top 10 or top 15 Best Indian Films of the year now, three quarters or at least half the spots will be occupied by Malayalam films. Two films that will most definitively occupy some of the top billings in those lists (alongside Joji and Malik) will be Sanu John Varughese‘s underrated quiet gem Aarkkariyam and the most recent addition to the Malayalam cine bouquet of 2021, Manu Ashokan‘s touching human drama Kaanekkaane. It is important to dive a little deeper into both these films together because there are some striking similarities and colliding dissimilarities between the two when looked through the unified lens.Continue reading “The Colliding Worlds of AARKKARIYAM and KAANEKKAANE”
Mon… Mon er bhetor mon…. Tar o gobhire mon…..
In Binisutoy : Without Strings, filmmaker Atanu Ghosh is interested in exploring these buried complexities of the lonely heart of two complicated individuals, and takes us on a journey along with them where we start identifying with their privileges, eccentricities, their crisis and their escape routes to win the tricky games of life.Continue reading “BINISUTOY : Without Strings – The Uncanny Loneliness of the Privileged Lives”
TURNING POINT: 9/11 and The War on Terror is a 5 part docu-series directed by Brian Knappenberger currently showing on Netflix and is a Must Watch. Tracing the entire journey from what led to 9/11 till the timeline of August 2021 when US Forces withdrew from Afghanistan with the country immediately falling to the Taliban regime, the series delves deep into the US War against Terror and where it went wrong with its approach of mixing Terrorism with Terror that led to giving unforeseen authority to the government for uncontrolled use of US brute force across countries and their people who had no apparent links with 9/11. The docu-series also keeps its spine upright and does not take any sides of Democrat vs. Republican and points unhinged fingers equally at the Bush, Obama, Trump or Biden administrations and where they all went wrong.Continue reading “TURNING POINT: 9/11 and The War on Terror – Is a Must Watch”
“Here’s to healing… In all its forms…”Continue reading “MODERN LOVE – Season 2 : Has 3 Beautiful Stories to Tell”
Rojin Thomas‘s new Malayalam movie ‘Home‘ can be brushed off as saccharin sweet and too emotionally manipulative to be considered as one of those feel good movies that we will go back to again and again and discover new things. Personally if I have to watch movies on dysfunctional families, I would watch a ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ or a ‘Kapoor and Sons’ any day over a ‘Home’, because the former films have relationship dynamics playing at multiple levels of depth and intrigue, and have characters arcs that are fuzzy and complex which gradually get delayered over time. Home is not that film.Continue reading “#HOME : And its Sugar Sweet Heart”
“Gulzar was a toddler of one when his mother, Sujaan Kaur, passed away. As there were no photographs of the lady to fall back upon, he does not even know what she looked like. That unseen face of a woman who brought him into the world is, in a very crucial way, probably the reason why the busy poet-filmmaker has never forgotten that otherwise little known, nondescript village which now lies on the Pakistani side of India’s northwestern border. It is a village that, in his mind, is associated with the mother whose visage he does not remember. So he clings on to whatever is remotely reminiscent of that tiny hamlet of his childhood.
His friends and associates often allude to his feminine disposition: it enables him to see relationships invariably from the standpoint of women. For a boy who attained manhood without the benison of maternal love, the feminist slant of his work is almost a dire necessity, an act of coming to terms with a chasm that has existed in the very center of his life ever since he can remember.“
– Excerpts from ECHOES and ELOQUENCES, The Life and Cinema of Gulzar – By Saibal ChatterjeeContinue reading “Dil Dhoondhta Hai : Gulzar, the Humanist Poet, and his Women of Strength”