Professor Shanku O El Dorado : As Flat as it Can Get

It takes some special kind of talent to make a boring film out of Satyajit Ray‘s most exciting character, and that too when he is making his on screen debut. Prof. Trilokeshwar Shanku has been a brilliant enigma for many of us since the very childhood, we have only been amazed by his brilliance and his very special inventions, even his pet cat Newton is a work of science (or art?)! His adventures have had repeated reading value and has left us wowed every single time. But then Sandip Ray has some special powers when he can convert such a thrilling central character and his dazzling universe to a film that goes as flat as possible. That is the world that Sandip Ray creates with Professor Shanku o El Dorado.

Continue reading “Professor Shanku O El Dorado : As Flat as it Can Get”

Best Hindi Film Songs of 2019 – Ranked

PicsArt_12-18-01.04.45

As we are wrapping up 2019, it is time to look back at what films and music had to offer us this year. This is also the end of the decade, and we have already done a series of articles on the Best of the Decade. Today we shift focus of Best of the year and begin with Hindi Film Music to look at the Best Hindi Songs of the Year.

Continue reading “Best Hindi Film Songs of 2019 – Ranked”

Best Performances of the Decade in Bengali Films

PicsArt_12-16-02.56.22

As we have been looking at the Best of the Decade for some time now, we conclude the Decade Series today by looking at the Best Performances in Bengali Films over the last 10 years. The rest of the coverage on Best of the Decade is all available Here. We had specifically looked at the Best Bengali Films of the Decade, and it is obvious that many of them had some fascinating performances that made them so special. But there are also one off performances in some other films that didn’t make the cut as a film, but that took nothing away from a standout performance of the film. As the stories got more complex, the characters also evolved and provided a good scope for actors across age groups, genders and social arcs to shine. Such was the impact of certain films that they made space for more than one performance in the Best Of list or at least secured Honorable Mentions. There were actors who clearly dominated the list with two or sometimes even three performances securing their berths – no surprises there that Ritwick Chakraborty, Kaushik Ganguly, Prosenjit Chattopadhyay or Swastika Mukhopadhyay featured more than once.

Continue reading “Best Performances of the Decade in Bengali Films”

SURJO PRITHIBIR CHARDIKE GHORE : Stand With Your Sun

Surjo Prithibir Chardike Ghore may not be a perfect film, but it deserves to be watched.

How far will one go in his or her passion to stand by their conviction and the sense of right or wrong? Why is the battle for ideals only reduced to opportunistic escapism for some, who only hold on to things per their whims and convenience? Why is there such lack of appreciation for genuine passion and the courage to be different, even if it may not align with the most prevalant or popular?

Continue reading “SURJO PRITHIBIR CHARDIKE GHORE : Stand With Your Sun”

Best Bengali Films of the Decade – Ranked

PicsArt_12-06-01.52.10.jpg

The 2010s is coming to a close and we are in the process of compiling the Best of what cinema had to offer for us from 2010 – 2019. We have already done a few articles on Hindi Films, listing the best films, best performances and the best musical albums of the period. You can find all articles related to the Best of the Decade Here. Today we start the journey for Bengali films, and will recall the Best Bengali Films of the Decade.

Continue reading “Best Bengali Films of the Decade – Ranked”

Best Hindi Films of the Decade

PicsArt_12-03-01.36.54.jpg

This is our continuing retrospective series to look at the Best of the Decade, and today we will revisit the Best Hindi Films of the Decade. We have already looked at the Best Performances in Hindi Films by Female Actors and Male Actors respectively, and we also revisited what were the Best Hindi Film Music Albums during this period, all the listings triggering good discussions and healthy debates. As we sit down to list the Best Hindi Films of the decade, the task begins to go tougher.

Continue reading “Best Hindi Films of the Decade”

HOTEL MUMBAI : Humanity Under Attack

Hotel Mumbai, the cinematic dramatization of the horrific 26/11 attacks in Mumbai eleven years ago, by the Australian filmmaker Anthony Maras brings back chilling memories of one of the worst terrorist attacks ever anywhere in the world. The inhuman episodes of terror went on for three longs days and ended up with loss of human life of the worst kind and harrowing experience of the lucky survivors that will haunt them forever . While Maras briefly touches upon the initiation of the attacks at the VT station (to stitch in the Ajmal Kasab story point) and Leopold Cafe; his primary focus is to recreate the incidents that happened at Mumbai’s iconic Taj Palace hotel before, during and after the incident. This was ofcourse the site where the terror prolonged for the maximum amount of time, resulting in very high casualties.

Continue reading “HOTEL MUMBAI : Humanity Under Attack”

Best Performances of the Decade by Male Actors in Hindi Films

PicsArt_11-23-10.50.49.jpg

In our series for looking at the best of the decade, the current focus is on Performances in Hindi Films. We have already looked at The Best Performances by Female Actors for the Period 2010-2019 and it ended up being an extremely rich list of great performances. The task for arriving at the Best Performances by Male Actors was even tougher. As much as there is an increased focus on writing more and more strong female characters, it remains a fact that most of our stories in Indian cinema are still primarily centered around men and their complex worlds. Most of the storytellers are men, the demand of the box office is also skewed, and hence the art and commerce both ensure that the space and scope that the leading men have is enormous. The good news is that the potential and the depth of the craft of our fine actors even surpasses the opportunity size, and hence we have seen some tremendous performances delivered by the leading men over the last decade.

Continue reading “Best Performances of the Decade by Male Actors in Hindi Films”

Best Performances of the Decade by Female Actors in Hindi Films

PicsArt_11-21-04.08.09

As the passing decade from 2010 – 2019 evolved in pushing the boundaries for storytelling and the kind of subjects that could be handled, it widened the scope for actors across the board. The roles and the performances got more fearless, their character arcs had the scope to be more grey in nature, and there was a space for stronger and more powerful women to exist in those stories. And we got some wonderful performances from our leading ladies to shine through and through these characters.

Continue reading “Best Performances of the Decade by Female Actors in Hindi Films”

GHAWRE BAIRE AAJ : When Life loses out to Politics

Aparna Sen‘s contemporary take on the Tagore classic, that she has named Ghawre Baire Aaj is an unabashedly political film. So much so that I was almost wondering as I sat through the film, as to how difficult would have been the film’s certification process. So much so that much before Sen would have finally completed the film would she know that many would outright reject her film just because they don’t agree with the film’s politics. In a country that has never been this politically divided before, just that Ghawre Baire Aaj exists makes a strong enough statement. It takes a lot of courage to just be there. As a viewer, I just wished that the film was as flawless in its execution as clear it was on its intent, and didn’t compromise on the emotional quotient to meet its aggressive political ambition.

Continue reading “GHAWRE BAIRE AAJ : When Life loses out to Politics”