Ganesh Talkies – A Commercially parallel film!

First impression: Anjan Dutt must be terribly pissed off with the recent trend in the industry that felicitates 100 Crore club members and he decided to make Ganesh Talkies. Well my second impression was logically reasoned and emotionally verified. Hope you will have a patient read…

Probably, this will be a critical appreciation of the movie – Ganesh Talkies. With all the speculations going on in the market and a huge section of the crowd trying to defend the veteran director, I would like to take a route upstream. It was June 24th, 2011 when his national award-winning movie, “Ranjana Ami ar Asbona” was released. Two years from then 21st June saw the release of Ganesh Talkies, a commercial film as proclaimed by the director himself.

GT-img

In a country, where film making is either business or art, the idea was to blend both of them and present something entertaining. A film not only dedicated to the class, but also for the mass. Ganesh Talkies, the recent motion picture by Anjan Dutt was a potboiler with many distinguishable characters that you can relate to. The story was simple, lucid and heartwarming for the young and the young-at-heart audience who would admire the actor, director, singer and song writer for all his credibility throughout the years. It gathered momentum from some wonderful performances by the actors and subtle skill from the director. A candid narration added some adequate flavor to the story telling and one has to admit that the film truly celebrated friendship and nostalgia like many other movies of Dutt. He had the courage to state some unsaid verses in his symbolic honest mannerism and you can easily find him and his ideologies in every scene of the movie. However, did Ganesh Talkies prove the quality and excitements that it created or did it surpass the expectation of the audiences far and wide?

Theory:  We are subjected to a very innovative style of cinema. A film where we have a typical hero and a heroine, however, the story is more about two people from two different strata of the society who were school friends and presently the parents of the protagonists. Now, how would you like the audience to react? A section of the crowd who wished to see some masala story with the major characters hardly got anything to take away and a section of the crowd, who inevitably watches a Dutt film found the item song unjust, untimely and extremely unpleasant to match with the nostalgia and the under-dog love story celebration. The screenplay lacked clarity at various points.

They say the market is a pyramid and to generate revenue you have to attack the base. So, our director did the same. However, with his intellect and perception of world cinema, he could not do away with the subtle features of film making that bagged him the much coveted national award. Here, he unknowingly disturbs the niche audience as well as the alluring new market.

Anti-Theory: We already have a dozen of directors in Bengal and may be hundreds of them in India who cannot think of a film without an item number. May be, they start writing the story after a catchy item number is finalized. Sincerely, the “jhal legeche” number was not bad at all, the depiction and use of the song shatters the entire gravity of the film, to be honest. Trusting the veteran film maker with his tastes and modernized approach, I felt that even the climax was too co-incidental. Raima Sen hardly had a screen presence and Chandan Roy Sanyal was seemingly uncomfortable in the first half of the film.

Even then, I won’t say the characters were excellent, but they were very real. However, it might be a choice for the audience to accept or argue.The alternate love story, the grey promoters in the city, the ageless friendship, selfless love and the captivating local goons fighting for power were equally emotional and hilarious from time to time. Anyone would rate Ganesh Talkies ahead of a lot of films released in recent times for coherent reasons.

Ganesh-Talkies-Bangali-Movie

Story in a nutshell: Pashupati (Biswajit) and Pravin (Rajesh) are childhood friends. Pashupati is planning to marry off his daughter Saban (Raima) to an NRI. But Saban is secretly in love with Arjun (Chandan), Pravin’s son. What happens when both families come to know of their concealed romance? The parallel stories revolve around a lack-lusture single screen theatre named “Ganesh talkies” and some enterprising promoters trying to convert it into a multiplex. A cross -cultural love story with all ingredients to tickle the idiosyncratic relationship of bengalis and marwaris which remains the USP of Ganesh Talkies.

GT-image
Suggesting “Jhaal Legeche”

Music and the rest: Unlike other Anjan Dutt movies, music of Ganesh Talkies didn’t turn out to be a memorable record to cherish for a long time. Although, I keep humming the “Na Jaane milo ge Kahan” number now and then, the item song, was definitely an itching experience which persisted even after the “happy” ending of the film. The lyrics of the songs are appreciated by one and all. The camera movements and editing were average baring a few signature scenes that can only be seen in an Anjan Dutt movie. However, as announced by the director himself, it would be unjust to expect anything “extra” from Ganesh Talkies for the same reason that would restrict me to write something about Khoka 420.

To wrap up, Ganesh Talkies is a film that should not be quantified with success pertaining to numbers but hearts won and broken. If this was the maiden attempt of Dutt gambling a different genre of films which is sadly known as commercial cinema in India, I must congratulate the Anjan Dutt for his efforts. The unification of viable (read commercial) films and parallel film making was certainly difficult to achieve and the director, like always breaks off the shackles to deliver something for the audience to chew upon. For those who have seen the movie, I would expect a constructive debate and those who are yet to watch Ganesh Talkies, make sure you don’t miss the transformed Dutt.

A Note to the audience from the desk of mymotionpicture:  In India, creating, endorsing and selling something intellectually crisp and indigenous is becoming extremely difficult. As an audience, if you feel restless and frustrated with the decreasing quality of films, original music, plays etc, do have a look at the mirror and reason your choices when it comes to piracy, downloading, stupid south Indian remakes and everything that disturbs the culture and aesthetics of the city and the country. Look around and let the good film makers derive inspiration from deserving claps and proper recognition. It is truly an ominous sign if sensible film makers of our times tend to change their ways and succumb to shallow stories and superficial entertainment. May be a wake up call!

Advertisements

Mise-en-scène of Indian Cinema…

India's recent entry to the Oscars...
India’s recent entry to the Oscars…

Primarily, the articles on the completion of hundred years of Indian cinema reflected a collage of nostalgic incidents entwined with some bleak success stories of Indian cinema. The regional silver screens were predominantly under rated and commercial films that procured solid establishments in the hearts of the mass were glorified. I would like to site some unseen features of this huge industry and speak in favor of some of not so important parts of cinema.

mis-en-scene6 mis-en-scene5

Arranging a set where the actress leaves her attire before embracing her beloved; I know, no one cares about those candle lights that falls on the shoulders of the scantily dressed couples in the frame. They look alarmingly sensual. However, the sensual scenes or a romantic scene demands a lot of hard work as far as the composition is concerned. From the color of the walls to the positioning of that Monalisa painting on the wall, the director along with the supporting staffs spend a lot of time planning and making things that perfect. You may enjoy those drenched lips and their fading proximity, but that enjoyment insists the light man in the studio to re-create that ambiance every time the script demands for it. Well, it is not only about those cozy bed scenes that I will be talking about. I am interested to discuss all those scenes that require some special gambling of light and shadow.

mis-en-scene7 mis-en-scene8

Mis-en-scene is a French term that means the arrangement or framing a particular scene. The composition of a scene takes a number of things into account. The director controls over the things that appear prominently and not so prominently on the screen. The set designs, décor, props, costume, make-up are parts of the production design, whereas, cinematography includes lighting, camera position and movements. Acting by the characters in the frame is also a part of the mis-en-scene. From ancient times, Indian movies were typically upgraded versions of plays enacted on stages. Thus, the point of view of a director was mostly on the dialogue deliveries and the acting of the characters framed in the scene. However, with exposure to European movies and various film movements, the Indian cinema developed its own doctrine of mis-en-scene to depict the various visual metaphors. In my opinion, lighting does play a very important role in the composition. The intensity of light, direction and the quality have a profound effect on how an image is perceived. Light affects the way colors are rendered both in terms of hue and depth, and can focus attention on parts or elements in the scene according to its arrangement. So, now you might know why those glossy shoulder lines of your favorite Bollywood damsel shine!

mis-en-scene3

In scenes where the protagonist exchanges some heated dialogues with his darker counterpart, you will notice a huge difference in the camera angles. How time, space and the chapter of the story determines the camera position speaks so much about film making. Say, the desperado of the movie is a massive man with lots of political and physical power; we tend to look at him from a low angle. They look greater and graver. Consequently, the hero is shot from a high angle or eye-line camera position. That makes him look so humanly and natural. These features of the cinematography are general practices. However, there are a number of examples where innovative ideas are implemented and the mis-en-scene is composed poetically to describe the identity of the scene. Another contrivance is the use of shallow depth of field. This one sets the attention primarily on the subject on which the director wants to focus on. Sometimes placed afar and sometimes nearer to the lens of the camera the use of depth of field helps a lot in the composition of the scene and the process of storytelling.

mis-en-scene10

Imagine a scene from the films in the seventies or even earlier and the ones we watch now, some of the films from sensible film makers have developed by leaps and bounds and the ones that fall under the category of senseless movies have deteriorated like never before. Thus, it is quite imperative to underline the effects of these arrangements in the framing of a scene depicting love, empathy, anger, romance, grief or every other emotion on-screen. The film makers of the present industry are assisted by a number of trained technicians who offer their experience and practical wisdom in making those riveting scenes we enjoy every Friday! The mis-en-scene of Indian cinema will be incomplete without the contribution of all those names that scroll up after the movie. Your pop corns are exhausted, your cold drinks glasses are empty and you know who made the films. So, their names remain unnoticed. This article would rather demand a definite detailing of these people working behind the scenes. However, with the constraints of time and space, I would like to conclude with a huge thanks to the entire team of light man, cameraman, assistant directors, Foley artists, sound man and all those people who add so much life to those films. The films become that particular piece of art only because these people help in the mis-en-scene of the film.

mis-en-scene11 LIFE OF PI

Signing off from the desk of my-motion-picture till a heartfelt mis-en-scene captures that much-needed standing ovation…

Best Bengali movies of 2013 – First Quarter!

How are you movie watchers from the land of Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray? I hear, they cut cakes together now-a- days! Celebrated their birthdays recently!  The film industry of this part of the world is seeing some change. Some change for the good. I believe every time I am discussing something with someone from this good old place which was once called Calcutta (now known as Kolkata), the refinement of the thoughts always reflect cream and something else that raises the quality of the discussion. So, discussing movies has always been a pleasure! Movies critically analyzed and then pitched with mixed emotions and changed climaxes. I am sure you did this with your silver screen peer as well.

Experiment, Analysis, Conclusion...
Experiment, Analysis, Conclusion…

Bengali films, rather the new age Bengali films have really managed to make place in the hearts of urban Bengal. However, there are still senseless movies produced for the huge audience in the remote areas of the state. I would not chastise those producers and directors for capitalizing illiteracy; however, I would like to let them know, that we know as well. There is a very thin line between senseless and sensible in terms of creativity and here lies the question. For those who mint money with item numbers and rain dances, are they happy to serve their hunger with these or have completely murdered their urge for excellence in terms of creativity and inspiration!

Recently, I saw “Goynar Baksho by Aparna Sen and the national award winning movie “Shobdo” by Kaushik Ganguli. I loved them for entirely different reason, although I can only say that both of them (the directors) were brilliant in their approach. One explained contemporary commercial movies and the wide window it has to improve. The chances where one can improvise and make it an out and out entertainer without letting the audience know that its fiction. On the other hand, Shobdo was an attempt for which I should thank the producer first. I don’t know how Mr. Ganguli managed to gather enough courage and money to go and hunt for a dream film like this. I was overwhelmed with the editing, cinematography and specially the sound effect of Shobdo. It was rightly felicitated with the National award in Sound Design.

goynar baksho

Speaking more about Goynar Baksho, Aparna Sen adapted a story of Mr. Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay and brilliantly screened it with Mousumi Chatterjee excelling in her flick as the ghost Pishima protecting her closet of jewelries. Konkona Sen Sharma, Saswata Mukherjee, Paran Bandyapadhyay, Shrabanti and others did exceedingly well. The director used some apt visual imagery to portray the three generations attached with that particular box of jewelries. You can still watch the movie to know more about it.

Aparna-Sen

I was rather interested in describing a well made commercial film that can also fit into the genre of art films. If I am through to you, you can reciprocate with names like Hawa Bodol in Bengali or something like Barfi in Hindi. Aren’t they commercial films? They are thoroughly commercial ones. The ones with high box office risks, but the way they are presented brings this outlook of intelligent movies. The film makers who tend to reason the prospects of Masala movies can learn how to cook a quality recipe from film makers like Aparna Sen. She thanks her producer for realizing her long back dream script into a successful movie with a gesture indigenous to the crispy dialogues of Pishima!

Well, AnandaBajar Patrika – the eminent newspaper of Bengal rated Shobdo with an all time best of nine and a half on ten! Shobdo is acclaimed with a national award for sound and one for the best Bengali movie. Screened in various international film festivals and rated highly. Numerous reviews and many a wonderful words spent to describe this lifetime work of Kauhik Ganguli. How should I describe it now? A story about a Foley artist (Ritwick Chakroborty) who gets over-obsessed with the creativity involved in his work and fails to register normal human voices. He becomes engrossed in background sounds, precisely the free sounds in the nature. So, his wife (Raima Sen) becomes worried about this abnormal behavior and takes him to a psychiatrist (Churni Ganguly). She chases the case to its end and I would love to realize something what she actually discovers. Human beings like them are labeled abnormal, however, we the so called sane section of the society are more vulnerable. Anyways, go and watch the sound of Shobdo in case you missed it in the theater!

kaushik-ganguly shobdo-movie

Shobdo, is a film about a film technician or rather sound artist. We hardly wait in the theaters when the size of the font decreases. We hardly realize their contribution towards the movie. They don’t know about us and we don’t try to know about them. The film was special to me for many reasons. This was one of the major ones. It was wonderfully crafted barring a small section where Victor Bannerjee (respect) was probably over used. I was mesmerized with the acting skills of Raima Sen in this particular movie. The director was very particular about the continuity and rightly describes a splendid art film. Shobdo was articulately designed for the hearts of a niche crowd that applauds good work, rather exceptional work.

To wrap up a heart feeling discussion about two recent Bengali films, I would like to express my expectations and excitement for the entire year. I wish like the last year, I get to watch a flock of differently beautiful Bengali movies. Some of them are already waiting to hit the screens. Fingers crossed for “Ganesh Talkies” by Anjan Dutt.

Signing off from the desk of mymotionpicture till I find a SOUND jewelry Box to sponsor my movie…

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.