Hawa Bodol review – Analysing dreams!

hawa-BadalAs I mentioned in the preview that Hawa Bodol will certainly evoke some unsung strings of friendship, the movie actually offered some more gastronomy to chew upon. In this limited space of expression, I would rather put some light on how this entirely comic drama actually spoke about split personality of a normal human character. How a stable, retrained house husband becomes a hooligan in the company of his old school friend and how an unruly, struggling rock-star yarns to settle down in his life and cater a family with a sweet wife and a child. It was more about realizing dreams and it was more about realizing that dreams are often misleading!

hawabodol1 hawabodol Let’s speak about human emotions and some basic genre on which human emotions actually roam about. It’s like that orbit on which this planet revolves around the sun. The basic human that he is and some other personalities that influence him make those different emotional orbital positions, although incase of human beings, we are usually trained to occupy the normal positions as fast as possible!

hawabodol2 hawa-bodol-630-march-25Was that difficult? If no, Hawa Bodol was that simple and if you have any questions about the statement above, you should watch Hawa Bodol at least once.. Oh! I forgot to mention it was a terrible laugh-a-thon throughout the movie and the span was hardly realized baring some middle B-plots of the movie. Coming back to the movie, director Parambrata Chatterjee was spot on with his message. He wanted this film to have that light hearted approach and speak some of the unsaid whims and fancies of every heart. The characters in the movie played by Rudranil Ghosh and the director himself will definitely touch the hearts of everyone. They were hardly comprehended as acting professionals. You will be happier to believe them as real characters creating nuisance all the way.

hawa-bodolAnindya Bose as the script-writer generated a powerful storyline along with catchy one-liners that are still on the air. Some of the conversation among the two old friends played by Rudranil and Parambrata were so hilarious that I missed some of the following dialogues. The women leads, Raima Sen and Neha Panda enacted their roles with precision. Although, Raima had a very little scope to display her acting skills, Neha tried her best to convince her critics. The music by Indradip Dasgupta along with some harmonious playback singing by Sunidhi Chauhan, Arijit Singh, Sahana Bajpayee, Mohan Kannan, Saptarshi Mukherjee and Vishal Dadlani was aptly timed and were innocently refreshing. Cameos from other actors including Kaushik Ganguly, Komolika, Dwijen Bandyapadhay and others were added flavors of the movie not to forget the kid-star Kabir who enacted the mischievous son of Parambrata!

hawa badalDescribing the storyline of Hawa Bodol in terms of explaining complex emotions of human beings would be the right review I thought. How wonderful it would have been if each one of us had the liability to flaunt our inner desires and not compromise small scale happiness on the name of relationships! Well, it will be a topic to debate upon. However, I was mesmerized with the thought that this movie actually spoke about mental health. It spoke about well being of an individual amidst all professional and emotional turmoil. Jeet and Raj, bonded with a friendship that describes their childhood exchanged their lives to break free. Breaking free from the shackles that keep them away from being that perfect happy human being they longs to be. Amusing in terms of a movie plot, yet so relevant to the situation of every odd human being who goes to the hotel and wishes to order something ordered from the next table! I mean metaphors in all aspects unless I was too hard to comprehend!

from the director's POV
from the director’s POV

In a nutshell, Hawa Bodol was a movie that tried to describe the hidden urge of a soul to be free. Free from worries that actually shouldn’t have been there, free from routines that hurt your cozy mind, free from rules that strangulate your otherwise simple life and bring in worldly concerns that ideally replace happiness and peace of mind. Having said that, the change of personality in Rudranil and Parambrata as they step into each others’ characters are predominantly entertaining. Inspired from a Hollywood comedy, “Change Up”, Hawa Bodol was indigenously Indian and very much Bengali for all the above reasons and may be more. All credits to the cast and crew of Hawa Bodol and a big congratulation to Parambrata Chattopadhay for his second film (after Jio KAKA) and definitely for evolving into this serious and sensible director that this nation badly needs!

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture as the change of seasons and the onset of spring in terms of real and reel casts its spells on the city of joy.. Echoing the laughter(s)!

My rating: 8.5/10

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Hawa Badol – Expecting blooming friendship…

After a long while it feels great to occupy a cozy chair at one of those theaters in Kolkata and watch a Bengali feature film that will surely offer some food for thought. Oh! I forgot to mention that the second directorial venture of one of the most sensible cinematic professionals of Tollywood (Kolkata’s film industry popularly called As.), Parambrata Chatterjee’s “Hawa Badol” is set to hit the screens today (22nd March, 2013).

A story primarily speaking about bonds of friendship and childhood companionship have already been narrated so many times by so many film makers. However, this flick from ParamBrata is surely going to touch the hearts of care –free residents of this metropolitan city. The city bound hectic activities of a so called established expert and some unrecognized efforts of a creative guy super impose their truths and philosophies of life. They battle their differences and embrace their equalities to fabricate something that they longed for. What came in between then?

hawa-Badal

Hawa Badol, starring Rudranil Ghosh, Raima Sen, Neha Panda and the Director himself along with cameos from established actors from the industry will surely tickle your humor bones along with depicting some renewed crisis that the present generation faces every day. The bread and butter of this career centric generation do lack the time to stand and stare if I have to quote W.H.Davies, and apparently that differentiates success and happiness in the real world. The trailer of the movie along with the music tracks truly reminds me about some happier times and I hope the story does the same thing.

As far as the success of the Hawa Badol, the movie is concerned, I am personally very hopeful about the outcome of the movie. The best films produced last year had nothing in common apart from the fact that they had something innovative in them. Some stories that were never told or some known stories told in a way, like never before.

As I head towards the premier of the movie, I would like the audience to decipher this candid movie from the bottom of their heart that genuinely is a new generation flick celebrating friendship in an era of i-phones!

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture till I come back and rest a while after the intense Hawa Badol…

Kai Po Che – coated with friendship and soaked in Love!

kai-po-cheThe Jailer signed the release papers in the detention center and his friend was waiting to welcome him to the new but geriatric world of “innocent” people. A very veteran and common start for a movie from the makers of Rock-on! However, like me, most of the audience was not ready to judge the book by its cover.  Kai Po Che by director Abhishek Kapoor is a sensible entertainer contrasting the likes of Zila Gaziabad and mindless films like them. Based on Chetan Bhagat’s best-selling novel 3 Mistakes of my Life, the movie has evoked certain basic human traits which have actually appealed to a huge number of audiences, teenagers being predominantly huge in the track.

Kai_Po_Che-1Friendship, love and drama are some of the major Indian cinematic elements, which if missed will make the film a sure flop show! Verisimilitude was the catch line of the movie Kai Po Che. Raj Kumar Yadav, Sushant Singh Rajput and debutant Omkar Shastri played Govind, Ishan and Omi respectively. Three best friends, with very different perspective of life yet glued in the bond of friendship portrayed the unsaid essence of companionship. The film and the novel, both are characterised on a very Indian, rather Gujrati background which eventually let the audience connect to the theme of the reel very easily. The Bhuj earthquakes, Hindu-Muslim riots, death of Ishan, were some of the major cinematic turns which made the movie spicy.

Overall, everything is there in Kai Po Che that a bollywood-movie audience can expect. High credits go to the cast and crew whose

Introducing cricket in friendship...
Introducing cricket in friendship…

dedication and endeavor was very evident throughout the movie. The sweet and complete love story between student and the teacher must have been enjoyed by one and all. So do not let this semester go without watching Kai Po Che or else it would be just another mistake of your life! A relief from the general mindless movies produced in India! Hope our audiences stop yawning!!!

My Rating: 8/10.

– Reviewed by Shreya Goswami.

Pen-Guest Author @mymotionpicture.

 

How I perceived Calcutta 71 – A tribute to Mrinal Sen!

At 90, The director had recently got an invitation from a leading private bank offering him money to make films. “Money is not a problem for me. The bank said we could fund projects worth upwards of Rs 5 crore. I told them I can make six films with Rs 5 crore,” Sen said.

mymotionpicture

A young man completes his degree in Physics from Scottish Church College, Calcutta and then becomes a journalist. Political backdrops and unseen personal clashes drive him out of the city and compel him to be a medical representative and medicine seller in an unknown land. He comes back to his city to take up a job of a sound technician in Calcutta and then the story begins. The journey through which Mr. Mrinal Sen took us, the film lovers of India, instigated and regularly echoed his struggles and frustrations about the fake and senseless culture of Indian cinema.

He believed in the art and realized its mass appeal. He wanted to tell stories in a different way. He tried to cause worries and also supplied means to tackle them. India has wasted many years after his efforts were fizzing off. He is 90 years old now and his dreams are…

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Logically Disputing Stories – A tribute to Ritwik Ghatak!

Logically Disputing Stories…

mymotionpicture

     An accolade or a tribute to the great film maker and one of the pioneers of Indian parallel cinema, Mr. Ritwik Ghatak seems like a forced act to me right now. I do not know, for how many nights he stayed awake and for how many days he starved out of frustration, although I know how his works gives me a vision. I know how terrible my future will be if I do not take lessons from him. Very irrelevant at this point! However, I urge for a patient read…

Born to a family with poets and play-writers around him, Ghatak grew up watching the sufferings of common men as they migrated to the newer Bengal. His cinemas based on the city outskirts like “Meghe Dhaka Tara” or “Subararekha” spoke a lot about the refugees and the ill-treatment they received from their own realm…

View original post 853 more words

Dutta vs. Dutta – A story celebrating Life, Love and Music!

Some thoughts get reciprocated before expressing and some wait for their entire life…

mymotionpicture

It is difficult to assess a film in India. It is even more difficult to assess a good movie in India. I am writing this with the hope that whoever reads this, understands life.

Indian movies get released in theaters and then after a while DVDs hit the market. I watched Dutta vs. Dutta thrice in the last few days and realized some of the key factors that differentiate a well made film from something that we call commercial movies. I call them senseless though!

Should I do an assessment then? I am not a film scholar, although I religiously love films. So, what I would like to portray in this “What I wrote” section is Life as it seems to us and to the man who made Dutta vs. Dutta. Yes, I am talking about the national award-winning director Mr. Anjan Dutt. He has depicted life…

View original post 800 more words

Logically Disputing Stories – A tribute to Ritwik Ghatak!

Some said he was unstoppable!
Some said he was unstoppable!
Reflecting on an Indian postal stamp!
Reflecting on an Indian postal stamp!

     An accolade or a tribute to the great film maker and one of the pioneers of Indian parallel cinema, Mr. Ritwik Ghatak seems like a forced act to me right now. I do not know, for how many nights he stayed awake and for how many days he starved out of frustration, although I know how his works gives me a vision. I know how terrible my future will be if I do not take lessons from him. Very irrelevant at this point! However, I urge for a patient read…

Born to a family with poets and play-writers around him, Ghatak grew up watching the sufferings of common men as they migrated to the newer Bengal. His cinemas based on the city outskirts like “Meghe Dhaka Tara” or “Subararekha” spoke a lot about the refugees and the ill-treatment they received from their own realm mates after our country got the so-called independence. The decision of Ghatak, being a part of the film making fraternity was quite indispensable as far as his growing up and his education was concerned.

Ritwik Ghatak -Logically disputing stories!
Ritwik Ghatak -Logically disputing stories!
Ritwik Ghatak - Nagarik
Ritwik Ghatak – Nagarik

From “Nagarik” (1952) to his last film “Jukti Tokko Goppo” (1974), Ghatak was more of a social commentator who believed in the aesthetic feature of film making. In one of his quotes he said, “Film making is not a form of art, it has forms.” He was more inspired by the sufferings of innocent souls and he wanted to portray life with his films. He celebrated grief like no one in this world. His works as a script writer, director, producer, actor, singer and film author would always metaphorically describe some of the major concerns of our plagued society. Sadly, we still live with some of those social evils and pathetically we inculcated each and every habit to live with them proving our logical abilities. This article is going wayward, I know. However, the kinds of message conveyed by Ghatak during his life time were hardly reciprocated. So, let us fasten our thoughts to cinema and pay him a tribute for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.

Satyajit Ray once said, “For him, Hollywood might not have existed at all” I would still wonder, what exactly the thought was that made him say so. Often while watching a Ghatak movie, I would relate some of my emotions and self-speak, “time basically is so CONSTANT…” The untimely demise of the great man deprived us from better analytics on film making and true characterization. His films hardly had typical Heroes or lead roles. One of his pupils commented, “The heroes and heroines of Ritwik’s films, while their energies are sapped by a society which can sustain no growth, have inner resources that seem to assert themselves. […] He was extremely disenchanted with those of his colleagues who wanted to maintain a false unity and was not, implicitly, pained enough by the splintering of every form of social and cultural values and movement. It is these factors that make Ritwik’s films a vitally generative force for the young. He does not hide behind a medieval or a dead past or a decorative Indianess…Very few of his contemporaries have avoided these pitfalls whether they work in the cinema and the other arts, or in the theoretical and cultural sphere. It is as if they were ashamed of being themselves, today, with their true history.

Poster of Ajantrik...
Poster of Ajantrik…

I have always believed that any form of art has two paths for a potential learner or a practitioner, either you follow history or you define your own path. Ghatak was the pioneer of establishing the thought that film making was his signature language. He interpreted a screenplay with “never seen before” treatments and wished to introduce some new-fangled means to capture motion picture. His efforts in introducing a different and distorted musical forms as background scores, and his experimental form of cinema does hardly reflect in any commercial film maker’s work in times after Ghatak. The parallel or alternate cinema movement in India experienced the trio-preamble of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak as they lead from the front. As described earlier in my blog, Indian film is growing towards debris of senseless Indian cinema apart from a few silver linings behind the black clouds of commercialization, 100 crore clubs and box office illusions!

A still from Meghe Dhaka Tara.
A still from Meghe Dhaka Tara.
The man with the camera that spoke about life.
The man with the camera that spoke about life.

The Indian film Industry was always synonymous to the films produced in Bombay (now Mumbai) and the regional industries were fatigued with similar theater portrayals and poor commercial cinemas with melodramatic stories and baseless song sequences. The trio Ghatak, Sen and Ray gave Indians something more to chew upon. The films made by these film makers are still acclaimed as text materials for film students and even their millionth view have some special delicacies for your mind. However, their efforts and plea to our countrymen are distant echoes. Ghatak died before puking blood for many months! I believe, it was not alcohol and its consequences but the disillusion brought into his life due to the unfathomable pain of being this ill-treated visionary of this country.

Bengal was and is always ahead of the country whenever a discussion on films and other forms of art commence and audiences in Bengal get respect as authors and speakers deliver something that meaningful which hardly gets a resonance in any other part of the country. This is where we are and we are here because Ghatak and his contemporary film makers gave us that recognition! Although an afterthought, a tribute to Ray and a tribute to Mrinal Sen were nothing but an image of what I want to convey here in this homage article to one of the most incredible film makers of this country. My article could hardly reflect his enormous contribution towards Indian cinema, so, for something more meaningful that actually depicts his work I would like you all to go through this.

Signing of from the desk of mymotionpicture till i find some more logically disputing stories to chew upon…

 

Top five Hindi movies of 2012

As the entire country celebrated 100 years of Indian Cinema, I joined the party on my discretion and I am happy to figure out some exceptional qualities reflecting lately in Indie movies. The fact that there will be senseless movies in India and “keep your minds at home” comedies is almost accepted country wide. However, the number of quality films produced in India does show a formidable change in trend. Nonetheless the change is positive as well.

Are we missing the rain dances then? Or should we watch more Kahaani-s (real stories) to ensure the establishment of superior motion picture activities in our country, known for its rich cultural values.

I would like to share the top five Bollywood movies according to my perception and the basic reasons why these endeavors should be highlighted. The director of an exceptional movie does play an important role in bringing out life from a story. My list of top five Hindi movies -2012 reflects movies that did justice to the art of film making.

  1. Kahaani
Parambrata and Vidya Balan in Kahaani
Parambrata and Vidya Balan in Kahaani

Genre: Thriller.

Released on: 9th March, 2012.

Writer-Director Sujoy Ghosh took the entire country by surprise along with a handful of Bengali theater actors and one Vidya Balan at the very beginning of the last year. The promising story and an uncanny ending marked the establishment of a new age thriller movie where the audiences were left awe-struck. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (as Khan), Parambrata Chatterjee (as Satyaki/Rana), Saswata Chatterjee (as Bob Biswas) and Vidya Bagchi (deliberately as Vidya Balan) took the story to a different level. Sincerely waiting for Kahaani-2.

USP: Kolkata, Durga puja, Vidya Balan and Bob Biswas!

  1. Vicky Donor
Ayushmaan and Yami in Vicky Donor!
Ayushmaan and Yami in Vicky Donor!

Genre: Comedy/Romance

Released on: 20th April, 2012.

Director Shoojit Sircar made this film with sleepless nights with the fear of rejection as first-time Producer John Abrahim backed him up with muscular enthusiasm. However, the youth section of the society welcomed this fresh story with open hands. The story of a man who serves the society by donating sperms is not on air very often! Ayushmann Khurrana’s chemistry with the doctor Anu Kapoor and his love interest Yami Gupta tickles the right emotions at the right time. The freshness of the story and the approach of the film maker along with the music and crisp dialogues make Vicky Donor worth watching!

USP: Ayushmann Khurrana-the Singer, Anu Kapoor and the music!

  1. Gangs of Wasseypur
A still from the movie...
A still from the movie…

Genre: Action/Crime

Released on: 2nd August 2012.

The story set in the remote village of Wasseypur stands out from most of the action crime thrillers of the year and earned compliments from even the best of film critics of the country. The director, Anurag Kashyap with his candid story telling talent and actors like Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadda and Nawazuddin Siddiqui turned the dice to convert a good cinema into an exceptional piece of film art! Dialogues with rural accent mixed with unmatched cameos from the actor uplifted the story of a gang to an entirely different level.

USP: Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Cinematography.

  1. Barfi
Ranbir in a still from the movie
Ranbir in a still from the movie

Genre: Drama/ Comedy.

Released on: 14th September.

What adjective would best describe a movie like Barfi? I have no idea! Anurag Basu sewed the movie with pearls from his heart and strings from his brain to an utmost level where perfection was not very far. Ranbir Kapoor doing is Chaplin tribute role, Priyanka Chopra (as Jhilmil) acting as an autistic girl and Ileana D’Cruz (as Shruti) portraying a Bong housewife excelled. All the characters were perfectly placed and the movie also saw the last act from veteran actor Haradhan Bannerjee (as Daju). Barfi certainly celebrated love and life and rightly represented India in the Oscars! Or did we have better movies?

USP: Music by Pritam, Acting by Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Anurag’s visual metaphors!

  1. Talaash
Amir and Kareena in a still from Talaash!
Amir and Kareena in a still from Talaash!

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Released on: 30th November.

Reema Kagti’s Talaash is a genuine mystery thriller that took me by surprise. There were instances that still make me feel how good a movie Talaash was. The more than one time watch of the movie also divulged some of the social commentary that the director conveyed in this movie. Amir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee were spectacular in this movie as were the other actors including Nawazuddin Siddiqui (as Tehmur). The crisp dialogues, mesmerizing music and astonishing cinematography certainly help the standard of the movie. The stand out performance of the entire team to create something so uncanny yet so real made me enlist Talaash over a few other movies!

USP: Kareena Kapoor, Amir Khan, opening (montage) of the movie with the song, “Muskaan Jhooti Hai”.

Epilogue:

I enjoyed the last year as some quality movies like Shanghai, Paan Singh Tomar, Chittagong and English Vinglish hit the theaters helping audiences to munch upon something better than over-priced pop corns and obesity catalyzing cold drinks! Although these movies never did business as lucrative as Khiladi 786, Housefull 2 or like any of those typical masala movies, they made an honest effort to uplift the stinking standard of Indian mainstream movies where commercialization is nothing but an excuse to make mindless films! Now do we understand what is still wrong with Indian Cinema?

Signing off from the desk of my-motion-picture till a quality picture gets resonating reflection!

P.S: Links are useful read, go to the top and follow the relevant ones if you wish!

 

Top five Bengali films -2012

Some of us thought we will not make it to 2013. Some of us were hopeful enough to plan and fabricate new proposals for the fresh year. I was watching movies all the year round. (*Laughs!)

For the audience in Bengal who express their happiness and sorrows in a language which is the second sweetest in the world, the last year was quite eventful in terms of quality motion picture production. The audience of the state and the film industry is yielding money in good work and that is the happier part of the story. I would like to feature top five Bengali movies of 2012 in this presentation from my-motion-picture.

1)      Hemlock Society

Die if you want.. please don't promote...
Die if you want.. please don’t promote…

 Genre: Drama

Released on: 22nd June, 2012.

A very different story line where the protagonist runs an institute training aspiring candidate to execute their right to euthanasia! Writer/Director Srijit Mukherjee in his third venture after Autograph (A tribute to Satyajit Ray ) and Baishey Shrabon teamed up with Parambrata Chatterjee, Koel Mallik, Rupa Ganguly, Dipankar Dey and some wonderful actors to tell this unconvincingly true story. If you managed to miss the show, make sure you watch this as you are still alive in 2013!

USP: unique story, crisp dialogue, music by Anupam Roy, Photography and Parambrata’s acting!

2)      Muktodhara

Nigel Akara exclusive still from Muktodhara
Nigel Akara exclusive still from Muktodhara

Genre: Drama

Released on: 3rd August, 2012.

The director duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee penned a screenplay that was inspired from one of the famous theater with the same name that featured Rituparna Sengupta and prison inmates including Nigel Akara, a real time convict. The film although remains a shadow of the real drama played on the stage, tells an inspirational story about rehabilitation of criminals and life after imprisonment.

USP: Music by Surajit Mukherjee and Joy Sarkar, distinctive story and Nigel Akara.

3)      Chitrangada

 A still from Chitrangada..
A still from Chitrangada..

Genre: Drama

Released on: 31st August.

Rituporno Ghosh takes a deep insight in one of the dance dramas of Rabindranath Tagore with the same title. The screenplay, direction and metaphorical description of time and psych in the movie were awesome. Actors like Anjan Dutt, Dipankar Dey, Raima Sen and Jishu Sengupta along with the director himself did justice to their characters. The crowning of a hearts wish would rather be the bottom line of the film.

USP: Crisp dialogue, subtle camera works depicting time, Anjan Dutt and spectacular story telling.

4)      Aboseshey

Abosheshey - a film by Aditi Roy
Abosheshey – a film by Aditi Roy

Genre: Drama

Released on: 21st September.

Debutant director Aditi Roy won my heart with her wonderful story telling technique. The story celebrates the love of a woman in true perspective. A son discovers his mother as a person after she passes away through her intimate acquaintances. The story itself rose to a new height as Rupa Ganguly did splendidly well to justify her character. Co-actors Ankur Khanna, Sen, Dipankar Dey and others were so well placed in the movie. This film demands poly-watch attention from every story lover of Bengal. How about naming the film differently, “Suchismita’s Diary!”?

USP: Tagore Songs by Rupa Ganguly, fabulous direction, apt time transition.

5)      Dutta vs. Dutta

A story celebrating life, love and music...
A story celebrating life, love and music…

Genre: Drama

Released on: 23rd November.

Veteran film maker, Anjan Dutt takes a magic wand to make an autobiographical drama and presented the audience a straight from the heart story. The celebration of life amidst all the worldly problems and victory of life remains the bottom line of the movie. The director stepped in the shoes of his father and introduced the very talented Ronodeep Basu as Dutta junior in the film. The story revolves in the city of Kolkata and brings in a lot of nostalgia along with the celebration of idiosyncratic Bengalis. Actors like Rupa Ganguly, Rita Koiral, Parno Mitra, Dipankar Dey, Kaushik Sen, Shankar Chakraborty, Srijit Mukherjee, Arpita Chatterjee and others were undoubtedly remarkable as the Director splendidly placed in the movie.

USP: Music by Neel Dutt, dialogues, profound story line and Anjan Dutt’s acting.

I wonder how much money these five films made, but I can guarantee love, happiness, music, sorrow, smiles, tears, anger, compassion, sensibility, hatred, life, death, friendship and everything that your heart yarns for in these movies.. Why watch senseless Indie movies!!!?????????????

There were genuine efforts by other film makers as well and Bengal is surging ahead in sensible film making as the city waits for more formidable stories and more honest efforts from directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, music directors and everyone who contributes in making a film and turning it into an art from a mere motion picture!

Signing off from the lens desk of my-motion-picture till you see all these five films and tell me if I was right… 🙂

 

Dutta vs. Dutta – A story celebrating Life, Love and Music!

Assess Mr. Dutt.
Assess Mr. Dutt.
Assess Mr. Dutt.
Assess Mr. Dutt.

It is difficult to assess a film in India. It is even more difficult to assess a good movie in India. I am writing this with the hope that whoever reads this, understands life.

Indian movies get released in theaters and then after a while DVDs hit the market. I watched Dutta vs. Dutta thrice in the last few days and realized some of the key factors that differentiate a well made film from something that we call commercial movies. I call them senseless though!

Dutta- jr. - Played by Ronodeep Basu
Dutta- jr. – Played by Ronodeep Basu
Dutta Sr. - Played by Anjan Dutt.
Dutta Sr. – Played by Anjan Dutt.

Should I do an assessment then? I am not a film scholar, although I religiously love films. So, what I would like to portray in this “What I wrote” section is Life as it seems to us and to the man who made Dutta vs. Dutta. Yes, I am talking about the national award-winning director Mr. Anjan Dutt. He has depicted life in the true spirits of life for so many years now, not because he is getting paid. He believes in life that celebrates the fact that we are we and we are alive to see who we are!

I know things are getting complicated. It actually demands an extended discussion. However, let me limit my thoughts and words in the boundaries of cinema and art for the time being. There were movies that were self-explanatory, biographies or auto-biographies. This movie can fit in all those genres, and yet proclaims an organic signature of its own.

St. Pauls, Darjeeling!
St. Pauls, Darjeeling!

My first reaction after I saw the premier of the film in Priya Cinemas was, “Naah! Not up to the mark!” Although, I liked the movie, I thought it was hurried at some points. The story could have been done in two parts. I know I am sitting in this lousy place called India, where good work needs to be referred and endorsed and reckless exertions gets financial applause. I know how things are! Yet, I am proud of the man who had the balls to stand up and tell his own story in such a fearless disposition!

Srijit Mukherjee as Tony
Srijit Mukherjee as Tony

Believe me or not, if you understood life even for a day, you would say this is a real story! Fiction and reality go hand in hand, and as the saying goes, “Reality is stranger than fiction”, I would advocate everything shown in the movie and endorse every story told about every character that comprised Dutta vs. Dutta. No one in this world is a Hero, if he is not a hero in his own perspective. We all commit crimes, speak untrue versions of incidents, hurt our loved ones, fight for hasty egos, shout for something wrong, campaign violence, and dream about other women and wish to have all the happiness in our lives. We suffer defeat; we stand up, shrug our shoulders and start of all over again. What we don’t do is we don’t speak about our defeats in the same way we speak about our victories.

Dutta-bari..
Dutta-bari..

Art is a form that hardly requires a language.  Film art is even more international and Mr. Anjan Dutt, a true legend by all means depicted how a simple and an earthly story can reach a new altitude with the sheer intention of speaking what is true and natural. He told his own story. How he was brought up? Who and What were his inspiration? What odds did he come across? How he experienced love? What made him Mr. Anjan Dutt, the person he is now!

Kaushik Sen and Anjan Dutt in a still from the movie!
Kaushik Sen and Anjan Dutt in a still from the movie!

Let me speak on behalf of the man, “Yes! My mother was alcoholic, yet she was a wonderful musician. Yes! My father was unsuccessful, had artificial egos and had an extra-marital affair, yet he was valiant enough to save an innocent soul and suffer the wrath of an ill-maintained government norm. Yes! My uncle sued my father for a meager property, yet he took the responsibility of the entire family when times were not so happy. Yes! We all have short comings, like every family we too suffered, yet we defeated bad times with our own honest approach.”

Rupa Ganguly in Dutta vs. Dutta
Rupa Ganguly in Dutta vs. Dutta

The story grows in every one of us who fight the odds of life and chase a dream that sometimes become a mere mirage. We convince our defeating morals and come back with rejuvenated enthusiasm. The film celebrated Music; it certainly celebrated the aesthetic features of music. It tells me how dreams can be true even if the worst Tempest hits your heart! The film spoke about the power of music that encompasses a bullet or a gun!

I would like to dedicate this movie to the man himself, Mr. Dutt and to all those who get disillusioned everyday and yet has that lion’s heart to express what is true. The narration done by the Director was heartfelt. Throughout the movie, I could relate every song he wrote in his entire life, every word he spoke, every gesture he made and every smoke he exhaled in my knowledge. It seemed like every character in the movie spoke about the man he is now! To congratulate him for this brilliantly made movie, “It’s simply a Director’s movie” won’t be an understatement! Or should I look for a better phrase?

P.S.: I would like to congratulate the Producer of the movie, Mr. Purnendu Roy and Mrs. Neelakhi Roy for their courage in believing what Mr. Dutt wanted. Congratulations to the entire team of Dutta vs. Dutta. Everyone was spectacular!

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture, till I gather enough courage to pen down my thoughts..

 

How I perceived Calcutta 71 – A tribute to Mrinal Sen!

Beginning of an era! - Mrinal Sen in his early 20's.
Beginning of an era! – Mrinal Sen in his early 20’s.

A young man completes his degree in Physics from Scottish Church College, Calcutta and then becomes a journalist. Political backdrops and unseen personal clashes drive him out of the city and compel him to be a medical representative and medicine seller in an unknown land. He comes back to his city to take up a job of a sound technician in Calcutta and then the story begins. The journey through which Mr. Mrinal Sen took us, the film lovers of India, instigated and regularly echoed his struggles and frustrations about the fake and senseless culture of Indian cinema.

A still from the movie Mrigaya (1976)
A still from the movie Mrigaya (1976)
Sound - Camera- Action!
Sound – Camera- Action!

He believed in the art and realized its mass appeal. He wanted to tell stories in a different way. He tried to cause worries and also supplied means to tackle them. India has wasted many years after his efforts were fizzing off. He is 90 years old now and his dreams are still dreams in terms of implementation and honesty in the approach which beautified his films. The entire film fraternity saw three dominating film makers at that point as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen complemented each other with their strong story line and candid cinematography.

A still from a Mrinal Sen's film.
A still from a Mrinal Sen’s film.
A still from Khandahar.
A still from Khandahar.

I personally believe that a even simple story can reach the hearts and minds of the audience with sheer brilliance of effective story telling technique. Mrinal Sen colonized this idea and he had this in-born talent of insightful story telling. With technicians and machines that are obsolete and out of practice in the modern film industry, he made some of the best films that Indians ever experienced.

Mrinal Sen, disillusioned by the inflexible and unjust rules of the world and specially his country had the guts to comment on some of the most sensitive issues of the 60’s, 70, and 80’s. His films in the 90’s and one in 2002 also had a social commentary to ensure food for his thoughts. He was a rebel as far as film making is concerned. The film industry broke some of the traditional shackles as he introduced his formula of new age films.

As he watches the proceedings...
As he watches the proceedings…

Sen’s works were inspired by a lot of unseen people and associations. His love for theater and drama might be the primary cause for shifting his interest from physics to films. Similarly, his respect for the doctrines of Karl Marx made him direct the Kolkata trilogy in the early 70’s. Interview (1971), Calcutta 71 (1972) and Padatik (The Guerilla Fighter, 1973) speaks about romantic and idiosyncratic Bengalis who fought for civil independence in their own land. He depicted emotions of a large section of our society who are deprived every day.  The Naxalite movement was enclosed and celebrated with correct mindset and apt verbiage.

Poster
Poster
A still from Calcutta 71
A still from Calcutta 71

Humor was also an integral part of Mrinal Sen’s films and classy humor should be the term to define his witty depiction of scenes. He used visual metaphors and efficient ironical dialogues to establish his thoughts. He commented on a number of political events of that time and also displayed the pains and anguish of his hapless inmates due to the reckless and selfish political system of our country. From being a petty medical representative to be a film maker respected by the entire nation, Mrinal Sen’s journey witnessed 27 feature films, 14 short films and 5 documentaries.

My motion picture pays a humble tribute to Mrinal Sen for his lifetime achievements and efforts. He was a visionary who tried his best to reform the film industry, to enhance the creativity and film art, to negotiate unprofessionalism and establish honest intellectual approach towards films. His efforts didn’t go in vain but lacked proper support as sluggish film makers found means to promote their ideas about senseless cinemas and its profit quotients. The affluent educated society of the country still believes what Sen, Ray and Ghatak wanted to portray in their films, writings and interviews. However, the system has lost the zeal to implement new ideas.

Ghatak
Ghatak
Ray
Ray
Sen
Sen

The critics will be shouting and filthy business policies will be flourishing. Time goes by and Indian film industry including the regional film industries are still satisfied with box office returns. Film business schemes murders film art on a regular basis and deceive the illiterate common mass by showing rain scenes on the road, half-clad women in item numbers and sensual scenes of extra marital affairs.

As desperation and frustration creeps in my mind while I finish my reverence article for one of the pioneers of Real Indian movies, Mr. Mrinal Sen, someone tells me “Dabang 2” becomes a 100 crore member! (*sighs)

What is still wrong with Indian Cinema???

In a 1948 article entitled, “What is Wrong with Indian Films,” Ray criticized India’s movement away from art and towards either musicals or heavy mysticism:
The raw material of the cinema is life itself. It is incredible that a country which has inspired so much painting and music and poetry should fail to move the movie maker. He has only to keep his eyes open, and his ears. Let him do so.

The "Ray" of hope for Indian Cinema!
The “Ray” of hope for Indian Cinema!

After thousands of years of cultural ecstasy any individual will tend to believe that cinema, rather Indian cinema would reflect something of a corresponding breadth and depth. Unfortunately, in India, quite the contrary is true, especially after the explosion of trade affairs associated with the art of film making and a development of entertainment industry known as “Bollywood”. It is quite evident that the low tastes of people are governed by the media and their perspectives in terms of box-office collections. However, is this really a reflective excuse to go completely brain-dead? It’s like a plague of spiritual dullness that is inculcated in our minds. And the effort was quite deliberate to keep the common man under control.

Even after 64 years of that article of which the extract mentioned above is a part; Indian cinema is still an amateur form of art that never gets proper recognition and decree in terms of international standards. What is still wrong with Indian cinema? It is so sad to re-visit Ray’s ideas and still mention that Indian movies are on the same creative line and the development was merely technological curbing the quality of intellect in Indian movies. Barring a few personal efforts the entire scenario of film making is still dependent on baseless stories and dance sequences with 50 odd people dressed up in the same attire, dancing with the same steps. FCUK.. How pathetic!

What is still wrong in Indian Cinema?
What is still wrong in Indian Cinema?

However, the great Japanese author Akira Kurosowa once remarked, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.

Two Great Film Director Satyajit Ray and Akira Kurosawa at the 1982 Venice Film Festival in Italy!
Two Great Film Director Satyajit Ray and Akira Kurosawa at the 1982 Venice Film Festival in Italy!

Even though Ray’s film was shot in B&W and in circumstances that were as impoverished as the world being portrayed in the film, the poetic concurrence of man to nature has hardly ever been done in a better way. There is actually very little plot to speak of, reminding one more of the improvised naturalness of De Sica’s Bicycle Thief than anything that had come before in Indian Cinema. The image and the sound are the real protagonists in this work of art. Once seen, who can ever forget those insects skitting along the surface of a pond, while the thrillingly precise accompaniment provided by the legendary Ravi Shankar finds just the right pulse of nature! Or Apu and Durga’s walk through a field of tall, white, willowy reeds as they discover a train outside their village. Or Durga’s ritual dance during the first monsoon rain. Or the terrifying night as the storm rips apart Durga’s room as she lies dying. Or the long-absent father’s approach to the crumbling house, the fallen Mango tree branch and the lone chewing cow. Each one of these images has infinitely more weight than the infinite factory of images supplied by Bollywood and most other cinemas of the country.

A still from Pather panchali - Satyajit Ray.
A still from Pather panchali – Satyajit Ray.
A still from Bicycle Thief!
A still from Bicycle Thief!

In addition, upon seeing DeSica’s The Bicycle Thief, Ray wrote in a 1951 essay, “The present blind worship of technique emphasizes the poverty of genuine inspiration among our directors,” Ray continued. “For a popular medium, the best kind of inspiration should derive from life and have its roots in it. No amount of technical polish can make up for artificiality of theme and dishonesty of treatment. The filmmaker must turn to life, to reality.” Mr. Ray also had the eye of a cinema poet and discovered an abundance of poetry in the reality of his mise-en-scene. Poetic justice was manifested with accurate camera angles and some pitch perfect vision. As if he could see the scenes he described on the script and could foresee them as a piece of art when they will reflect on a screen.

Quality suffers as quantity increases!
Quality suffers as quantity increases!

This article is not to assert the black sides of business quotients of the industry or to hamper the need of trade and economy but to lend a vision to all the upcoming film makers of this country. This is the time to make a mark and bring a change to the outlook of this profession. It is truly one of the most creative professions of the world and requires the creative efforts of many. So, why should we compromise the quality of the content of this form of art? Throughout the millennium, man has tried to enforce a standard of living that imitates a class just above their class. This has resulted in the death of real art and given senseless films a chance to make a mark on the box office and survive as a form of popular entertainment.

With due respect to all the film makers who sought inspiration from lives and made real life movies that depicted stories which connect to human emotions and expressions, Ray was perhaps the pioneer of cinema’s that had a vision.

A humble request to all who read this article: If you connect to my thoughts, propagate! Issued in public interest who love the art of film making or Cinema as a whole!

Looking back: “Development of authentic motion-picture criticism in India!

 

Talaash – Do watch it twice!

An honest thriller!
An honest thriller!

If you want to see an Indie Thriller that has everything.. Go and watch Talaash.. No words can adequately do justice to the enormous research, intensity and death-li-hood the entire story offers. This is one of the most well made Hindi films that I have watched in 2012. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I believe class entertainment needs acceptance and recognition from the mass. Those who prefer films with senseless ethics should scan their taste buds properly. (Sorry!)

Rani- in a still from the movie!
Rani- in a still from the movie!
Kareena - making acting easier!
Kareena – making acting easier!

I would not hesitate to compare the likes of Barfi, Kahani, Gangs of Wasseypur, Chittagong, Vicky Donor with Talaash, as these movies had a difference in their approach and gave the crowd a fresh vision. Honest thriller stories need an honest effort to make its mark. However, this movie did set a different standard of well made thrillers in India.

Amir - spectacular as Always.
Amir – spectacular as Always.

I am sure it would have been an entire horror movie, had it been treated by some other directors. The magic of this movie lies in the fact that it demands a more than one watch*. I believe, like many others who did not like the ending of the movie the team who wrote the climax also had the same difficulty. But, believe me or not it does strike all the chords of rationality and still evokes a sense of eeriness. However, this is not a Ghost-story!

Mr. Siddiqui as Tehnur in Talaash!
Mr. Siddiqui as Tehnur in Talaash!

Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee were absolutely fantastic as far as the female leads are concerned. Even the other actors who portrayed the sultry lives of prostitutes in Mumbai made a mark with their small cameos. Mr. Siddiqui is making it a habit of giving some speechless performances and Mr. Amir Khan is awesome as always. I really wish to congratulate him personally and tell him, “You Rock, Sir!”

Mr. Siddiqui again! Respect!
Mr. Siddiqui again! Respect!

The music of the film was seemingly engrossing and the entire team who sewed the story together did a wonderful job. Director Reema Kagti after her debut with Honey moon travels Pvt. Ltd truly owe a standing ovation. She had the guts to feature some of the unseen streets of Mumbai and also had the courage to tell the crowd that, yes, this can be possible. The story is supernatural and so I filmed it. Hats off, Ma’am!

The search....
The search….

My Rating: 8/10. * Watch it more that once.. I am sure you’ll find something different!