Archive

Monthly Archives: March 2009

Why does the contemporary youth of India love Dev.D?

In Notting Hill (1999) Julia Roberts asks Hugh Grant “What is it about men and nudity, huh?” .Well…there is hardly any relation between ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Dev.D. ‘Why does the contemporary youth of India love Dev.D? It’s an easy and tough question, depends how we perceive it.

The novel which made ‘Dilip Kumar’ a big hero and has shown ‘Akkineni Nageshwara Rao’ an illustrious career, supported ‘Shah Rukh Khan’s’ rejuvenation, is now helping Abhay Deol and Independent Cinema of India. The film starts with a beautiful scene between young Dev and Paro where we are provided with a hint for their characters. Dev (The Dude) leaves for London for his studies but still maintains his love with Paro (Chhamak Challo). Anurag Kashyap doesn’t waste any time in conveying his idea on ‘Devdas’, in the first few minutes of the film itself we are shown Dev asking Paro ‘Do you touch yourself?’ and after that we are again looking at an unusual scene in which Paro faces some trouble getting her photo scanned which she at last sends it to Dev and Dev says “Paro mein a raha hoon”.

The scene in which Paro takes a mattress into a sugarcane field in the early morning so that she can have a good time with Dev, but Dev refuses and we see how her hopes and dreams are shattered and later she shows her frustration on the water pump symbolically, this is one of the best scenes in the film and many might see it with a obvious angle but for me it shows the true love of Paro towards Dev and at what level she has imagined Dev all these years.

The character of ‘Chanda’ is totally different when compared toother films on ‘Devdas’. It’s a character which cannot be easily digested by everyone. A College girl turned into a prostitute with a sad background attached to it. This Chanda is an ultra modern prostitute where she has sex chat on phone with her linguistic skills, rides a bike; the brothel house accepts credit cards and some of the visitors even carry the HIV test results. 

We see neon lights, Vodka, smoke, bizarre paintings, etc…; Anurag Kashyap breaks all the stereo types’ rules of Bollywood and makes his own film without compromising on many issues. The characters in the film are well written, one may or may not attach themselves with the characters but the way they have been treated is compelling. Amit Trivedi soundtrack and background music is amazing, the composition of every song is different and makes us sing while it’s being played in the film. We even see three balladers dancing in the club for the song ‘O Pardesi’ which is one of my favorite song it starts with the strings of Veena (or Sitar??).

The first half makes a very good impression because of its characters and its unimaginable imagination of Anurag Kashyap. The second half of the film is slightly deviated and could not make a perfect contact with me. It looks like its flirting with its logic and emotions without seriously thinking of evolving out of itself from the first half. The second half lacks the basic eccentricity of the first half but it does not totally disappoint me. The clairvoyance of the viewer gets a beating when Paro visits the room of Dev, if I am not wrong everyone might be thinking of something to happen but eventually turns out to be the other way. The most charming scene of the film for me is when Dev says to Chanda ‘I Love you too you know’ and Chanda says ‘You are such a slut’.

Anurag Kashyap makes Dev.D a special film with in its own limits. The treatment of characters by Anurag Kashyap is filled with honesty. I did not find any compromise formulae for the treatment of characters. Every character has the right to do anything on the screen. The audacity of Anurag Kashyap can be seen very clearly with his wildest and tricky imagination which pulls us into the state of continuous ponder.The film is narrated with the help of songs which is untypical in Bollywood, actually the songs fast forward the film up to 10 minutes. I would remember Dev.D for Anurag Kashyap’s honesty and audacity.

Dev.D is loved by many people, but Gulzar sir gives his point of view about why Dev.D is liked by many of us.How many of us really like or love Dev.D for that reason is an interesting question.

I came to know about the Spanish Film Festival through THE HINDU.I was excited and planned to watch every film but due to some reasons I missed couple of films. The films I could manage to watch were “13 Roses”, “Fermat’s Room”, “The Seven Billiards” and “The Oxford Murders”. As I being a big fan of ‘Pedro Almodovar ‘and ‘Guillermo del Toro’ I have good interest and respect for Spanish films.

13 Roses
Original title: Las 13 Rosas
13 Roses is a different film based on the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Civil Waris used as a background and basis for different Spanish films like Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and ‘The Devils Backbone’ etc… But ’13 Roses’ is a unique film which honestly deals with the Spanish Civil War. The film is about the 13 women who are arrested for being rebels of the Spanish Military Rule.

The first hour of the film is very good; the director shows the essence of a revolt within the younger generation, the different plans, meetings, love, investigations, interrogations, etc…. There are some very good moments in the later part of the film like the ones where the catholic guard sympathy with the women, the letter of a mother to her child saying that ‘She was always right’, A father eventually says that he loves his daughter etc..

I felt that most of the second half is slightly disconnected from the audience but in the end it’s a good film with honesty and dignity.

Fermat’s Room
Original title: La Habitación de Fermat
Fermat’s Room is one the best thriller’s I have seen in the recent past. The film is about four mathematicians who are trapped in a room, the room shrinks with time and how they come out from the room.

The plot of the film looks simple to hear but the way in which the director takes the film forward is amazing. As the four mathematicians are trapped in the room which shrinks with time, to stop the room from shrinking is to solve the puzzles given to them by an anonymous person through the PDA. Most of the puzzles are familiar to us and the story gets more complicated as the film proceeds. Even though the director is confined to a single room for most part of the film he manages us to drag us to the edge of our seats, he makes us feel that we are in that room and encountering that situation and we get engaged in every frame of the film.

Fermat’s Room is filled with instant energy which does not allow the viewer to even relax for a second. There are few things which are left out in the film but Fermat’s Room is nothing less than a perfect thriller as it has best combination of suspense, thrill and energy.

The Seven Billiards
Original Title: Siete mesas de billar francés
When I heard the title of the film for the first time I expected it to be a sports film but eventually turn out to be film which I am unable to fit in any genre. Gracia Querejeta’s ‘The Seven Billiards’ is an excellent film for those who like watching films which come straight from the heart of a filmmaker.

‘The Seven Billiards’ is mainly about women and their lives. Angela played by Maribel Verdú has lost her father and at the same time she breaks up with her husband and then decides to re-open the ‘Billiards Parlour’ which was owned by her father. Charo played by Blanca Portillo used to live with Angela’s father and has some problems in her life which she can’t ignore them. For me ‘The Seven Billiards’ was a comedy film as almost every dialogue is filled with humor.

The characters of this film are perfect and we can hardly find these types of characters in any other film. The son of ‘Angela’ is a character which will be remembered for many days, the character is filled with humor, emotion and innocence. I could not stop laughing when he used to ask Charo ‘Did you kill him?’ .The scene in which ‘Charo’ and ‘Angela’ have dinner which was pre arranged by Angela’s father after his death on the occasion of Charo’s birthday is amazing. The One-Eyed Man character and his confrontation with the painter and almost every character in the film is filled with originality. The film can be seen as a melodramatic one as it combines all the elements of human emotion connecting it to every character.

If anyone does not laugh or even smile while watching this film I can confirm that even Nitrous oxide (Laughing Gas) cannot make them laugh.

The Oxford Murders

‘The Oxford Murders’ is a mystery film which deals with the sequence of murders. The film stars Elijah Wood, John Hurt and Leonor Watling. The film is directed by ‘Álex de la Iglesia’.

“There is nothing like Absolute Reality.”

Martin (Elijah Wood) is a student who wants Arthur Seldom (John Hurt) as his supervisor at the Oxford University and he stays in an old women’s house who is first murdered and the first one in the sequence of murders. Accidentally Arthur Seldom and Martin get involved in this murder mystery and continue to solve this mystery with the help of their mathematical knowledge as one murder is linked to the other with a mathematical symbol. The film sometimes takes itself so seriously that the audience gets disconnected with the plot and wants to jump to the next scene. Leonor Watling character provides some distraction and some relief. The best shot scene is the one which takes just before/after the murder where the camera continuously moves from one end to other and includes all the pivotal characters.

‘The Oxford Murders ‘ could have been a much better film but it loses itself in its plot and logic but finally makes a good impression on the audience.

“FAKE is Absolute Reality.”

The films which were screened were good and i enjoyed the Spanish Film Festival and eagerly waiting for the next year.

Originally published on Passionforcinema.com

Whenever i watch a movie with my friends in a DVD player,laptop or in a PC something intresting comes for us to discuss as we have the liberty to pause while watching the movie,the discussions which we have range from casual conversations to high degree altercations.Sometimes i wonder,how many interjections and perceptions can be drawn from a single movie.

Yesterday i was watching a Telugu film BOMMARILLU with some of my friends and one of them was a Bengali who hardly speaks telugu,after watching he said that to me “the best film i have seen in the recent past”.BOMMARILLU without any doubt breaks the boundary of language .In this article i am not writing a review of BOMMARILLU instead i am trying to point some unfortunate side effects of the film.Curiosity in me asked to search articles on BOMMARILLU in PFC and surprisingly i did not find any article and my thought of writing an article on BOMMARILLU started to take a shape.BOMMARILLU lovers may hate this article,if you guys feel that you might be offended then DO NOT PROCEED.

Every telugu guy and girl LOVE BOMMARILLU and its very much possible that most of the parents HATE BOMMARILLU for obvious reasons.The heart and core of BOMMARILLU is the relationship between a father and his son played Prakash Raj (Aravind) and Siddharth Narayan (Siddu) respectively,Genelia D’Souza (Hasini) plays the love interest of Siddu.

The character ‘Siddu’ looks slightly complicated when we observe it meticulously but trying to understand the directors point of view is very important,Siddu is provided with all the resources but at the cost of his fathers taste.As we see in the film that every decision,even the decision of his marriage is taken by his father.and as Siddu does not have the freedom of expression he is obviously not happy happy with his father but he does not hate his father because Siddu is aware of the fact that even though he is not allowed to chose anything in his life but his father is trying to give him the best without considering his son’s opinions.Apart from the fear which he has towards his father,Siddu has the audacity in him to tell his father about his girl friend and eventually makes her stay in his house for one week and Siddu is concious that he is engaged to another girl.Siddu could have eloped with Hasini but he didn’t because he has some amount of confidence somewhere in his heart and some RESPECT towards his father.

The character ‘Hasini’ which is loved and adored by almost everyone who have seen BOMMARILLU and it is not as simple as it seems to be. Hasini is a Happy-go-Lucky girl and likes to mingle with everyone.The greatest ingredient which Hasini possess is Innocence which has been wonderfully played by Genelia D’Souza.When Hasini comes to know that Siddu is engaged to another women she does not accept him directly but instead she has her own doubts in her mind about Siddu and when she is aware of the fact that Siddu is not accepting her as she used to be in the later part of the film she very explicitly and painfully rejects Siddu , Hasini is not only innocent but an Intelligent girl too and takes the right decisions at the right time.Innocence does not strictly mean that its the hybrid of childish and cool nature.Hasini is not a DUMB girl in BOMMARILLU ,but a girl who likes to her herself who does not want to be a artificial girl.

Both ‘Hasini’ and ‘Siddu’ respect their fathers and are very aware and concious of the situations.

UNFORTUNATE SIDE EFFECTS of BOMMARILLU :

Side Effects on BOYS:
# Eight out of Ten (8 out of 10) guys say that their father is like Prakash Raj (Aravind) which i don’t think its true.
# If a guy is not provided with a bike he tells his friends that his father is like Prakash Raj (Aravind).
# If a father asks his son to join a job rather than studying M.S in U.S.A he accuses him to be BOMMARILLU father without even thinking of the financial situation.

Side Effects on GIRLS:
# Most of the girls after watching BOMMARILLU are trying to wear the same type of costumes,bands,etc… like Hasini , which makes me feel ‘how can these girls have such a bad dressing sense’.
# Some girls who hardly used to talk have started talking a lot.Sometimes i wonder ‘What the hell is she talking?’
# Some girls are trying to exude innocence which they don’t have and they make fool of themselves.
# ‘Hasini’ likes to be natural and hates to be artificial,but most of the girls are leaving their natural presence and are trying to be artificial by emulating ‘Hasini’.Whenever i see such a women i feel that ‘Why is she making a JACKASS of herself’?.

Even after almost 1000 days of its release,the film BOMMARILLU makes me feel that it is released yesterday .Many say that script is the real hero for a successful film,in BOMMARILLU apart from the wonderful script we feel the freshness in the narration and direction.The honesty in the film is also an important aspect as it touches all the emotional structures of a family and an individual without any compromise formula.After BOMMARILLU got released in telugu it was made in Tamil,Bengali and Oriya due to my convictions i did not watch any of the other versions and i am now eagerly waiting to watch it as ‘It’s My Life’ starring ‘Harman Baweja’ and ‘Genelia D’Souza’.

Originally Published on Passionforcinema.com

Does a man’s philosophical perspective change with time?Does a man’s convictions change with time?Does a man’s view towards a piece of art change with time?.. for all the above questions my answer would be YES because few days ago i watched Shyam Benegal’s BHUMIKA for the second time,the first time i watched it was a couple of years ago when i was in my third year of engineering when i was watching it for the second time i could not resist myself from viewing every scene with a microscopic eye.The first time was a good watch with the sense of feelings of diversion from the mainstream cinema,a wonderful and screenplay,remarkable performances and good direction.The second time was a little different ,the shots and scenes are like bubbles in a hot water which just come for few moments and vanish before the other ones are ready to come .

BHUMIKA is a story about a film actress who undergoes through various stages and various situations in her life which have been challenging throughout her life.The untypical narration of the film which moves to and fro with the flashbacks and the present and the thought provoking screenplay makes BHUMIKA a masterpiece.Instead of writing the plot and my views on it i would rather go by few moments,resemblance, symbolism and characters of the film that made me feel BHUMIKA a distinct film of the 1970’s-1990’s era.

The film starts by shooting of a song which stars Usha (Smita Patil) and after the shooting she waits for her car but eventually Usha gets into Rajan’s (Anant Nag) car and after that we see a movie poster ‘Agni Pariksha’ being moved by some men which hints us at the life of Usha.The film title is used in many instances of the film.The next scene in which we see Keshav Darvi (Amol Palekar) and Usha arguing on some issue and we hear the dialouge from Usha

“Meri Kamayi ki zarrorat hai isi liye hain na?”.

After this dialogue i was expecting a slap from Keshav Darvi instead he lights a cigarette with a furious look and continues his dialogue.In the next scene Benegal at a time involves 4 characters Usha,Usha’s Daughter,Usha’s Mother and Keshav demonstrating encapsulation and capturing the emotions and feelings of all the characters within less time.If the previous mentioned scene was to be directed by a normal mainstream director he would have perhaps made Usha meet every character then show her emotions and then leave the house.

In the flashback which is in Black and White where Ushas mother beats Usha for being rude and after that to show the love between the Mother and Daughter he uses only one scene in which Usha comes towards her mother and sleeps beside her.Shyam Benegal infuses some humor and comedy too,the scene where Usha goes near her grandmother and test her breathe whether she is alive or dead.The scene in which the heroine of the film tells that she has been selected and leaves in her car the next scene is the car scene in which Usha leaves the house.

To show the relationship between Usha and Rajan Benegal uses very smart visuals like the shooting a sword fight scene in which Rajan refers to the character as Usha and the portrait of Rajan and Usha hanging on a wall,throughout the film we hardly find any desperate dialogues between the characters.The screenplay is built in such a way that the viewer unconsciously gets into the mood of the characters.

Sunil Verma (Naseeruddin Shah) and Usha (Smita Patil) :

Sunil Verma is the most distinctive role played by Naseeruddin Shah.Sunil Verma is a film director who does not believe in Emotional and Sentimental issues, he sees life as a job and nothing else.The most interesting dialogues come through Sunil Verma’s tongue,when he uses his daughters death as a excuse to not to play HOLI which actually uses it as a trick.He feels that Reincarnation,soul,etc… are bullshit.

“Apne is desh mein dimak se koi sochta nahin hain,Dil se sochte hai sab.”

“Haqeeqat ko nazar andaaz karna hum logo ki qasiyat hai Usse bhi mann nahi bahla to Aatma.Punar Janm ki baton se mann behlayenga”.

“Accident mein marna mujhe pasand nahin hai,mein maroonga to khud kushi karke,Aatma Hatya,lekin us waqt nahin jab mein gambhir and mayoos hoon,kushi aur itminaan ka lamha chunoonga”.

“Zindagi ke hakeeqat to tune hamesha rangeen chasmo se dekha hain”.

After talking all the above nonsense eventually he gives us a surprise leaving Usha in the state of dilemma.

Vinayak Kale (Amrish Puri) and Usha (Smita Patil):

The first encounter of Usha with Vinayak Kale (Amrish Puri) was a rough one in which Vinayak Kale exudes his disrespect towards actresses but later Usha is comfortable being a pampered mistress of Vinayak Kale.The character of Vinayak Kale is filled with masked evil.At the first meeting itself he tries to dominate Usha by showing his disrespect without any fear and later when they are on their way to Vinayak Kale’s palace he says

Vinayak Kale :Woh dekho mera Beta.
Usha:Tumhara Beta ??

Usha:Tumhe muje kabhi bataya nahin…

Vinayak Kale :Usha? Maine tumhe bataya nahin ya tumne mujse poocha nahin… ya ..yeh baat hi nahin nikli..yeh sab mumkin hain

…………….
……………..

abhi bhi waqt hain. agar tum wapas jana chahti ho to driver tume wapis drop kardega.

After stepping into the house of Vinayak Kale when she comes to know that she cant step outside the house and her life is confined to the palace she approaches for the help of Keshav.The scene in which Keshav comes with the police and takes Usha away from the palace,the scene is shot without any dialogues and the camera is placed at a crazy angle which hardly any other director would attempt to do it but it has a profound impact.

BHUMIKA has high technical values like the Cinematography, large part of the film is shot in Black and White, i have never seen such a wonderful Black and white Cinematography.The Screenplay is the greatest asset of the film which is written by Satyadev Dubey , Shyam Benegal and Girish Karnad for which they won the National Award,the screenplay is simple with some powerful expressions.There is a scene in which Smita Patil faces the Mirror which reminded me of a scene from Wim Wenders ‘Wings of Desire’,i am not trying to say that Wim Wenders copied from BHUMIKA,those are few hints which one could find from a directors work to guess that he is great director.

The above written stuff may be a little exaggerated to many readers but this is something really true which i have witnessed after i watched it for the second time.

Originally published on Passionforcinema.com