Archive for April 27, 2012

For small and regional films, social networking platforms can be quite a boon. If anything is good, one doesn’t need to worry about its audience. When people become your ambassador, you don’t need advertising or pr. I discovered the wonderful trailer of Bhooter Bhobishyot on FB and was instantly hooked. Have been following it since then and it’s finally getting a limited release in Mumbai today. So here’s a recco post on the film by Aniruddha Chatterjee. But first watch the trailer. Wish they had released it with subtitles.

Imagine this. Two ghosts, one a zamindar who got killed by the dacaits, and the other, a British officer who served in pre-independent India, are auditioning other ghosts to fill the zamindar’s abandoned mansion. This is because most old mansions and houses are demolished and turned to shopping malls and multiplexes by money hungry promoters and are ruining the culture and heritage of the city. So the ghosts all over the world, especially in Kolkata, are finding it very difficult to find a place to live in. Interestingly, even the ghosts are worried about their food, entertainment and security. The selections in the audition are made accordingly. This is the crux of debutant director Anik Dutta’s delicious bengali film Bhooter Bhobishyot.

Siraj-ud-Daulah’s trusted cook who gave his life in the Battle of Plassey, an Indian army officer who got killed during the Kargil war, an actress cum singing Kanan Devi-isque sensation of the 1940s who committed suicide after her producer boyfriend ditched her and married someone else, a Bangla rock band member who overdosed himself to death, a Bihari rickshaw puller who was killed due to reckless driving by a rich brat, a Hindu refugee from Bangladesh who was killed during partition, and a modern day city girl who jumped from her apartment terrace when her industrialist father refused to let her marry a Muslim boy – all of them get selected after the audition. The thread connecting all the ghosts is that they all died unusual deaths.

The ghosts sing, dance, romance, go to picnic, argue over hilsa and prawn, and when endangered, unite to fight against a promoter who wants to destroy Choudhury mansion and build a mall.

The script is unique and original, and is one of the most satisfying satirical comedies of late. The filmmaker takes a dig at everything that is Bengali – the intellectual filmmakers who only prefer Godard, Fellini and Ray, the pseudo communist rebel who thinks wearing Che Guevara t-shirt proves everything, the Dada and Didi of Bengali politics including the Rizwanur Rahman incident, and the everlasting fight between ghoti and bangal. It is refreshing to see usage of Spookbook, Facebook for ghosts, to find a suitable match for an item number.

Interestingly, the narrative is a tribute to Ray’s Hirak Rajar Deshe, as almost every character in the film speaks by rhyming their lines. The humour is subtle and situational. Literal and political references are plenty, and so it needs to be seen whether non-Bengalis find the humour appealing or not.

Another aspect that must be mentioned is the music. Raja Narayan Deb has created one of a kind soundtrack with influences from every genre possible – rock, pop, rabindra sangeet, jazz, folk or qawwali, and also from the different eras the characters belong to. (Click here to watch a terrific song medley from the film)

Also, it has excellent performances by the entire ensemble cast, but Sumit Samaddar as the Bangladeshi refugee and Swastika Mukherjee as Kadalibala, the actress cum singer of the black and white era, are the scene stealers.

Anik Dutta, the writer-director of the film is a renowned ad-filmmaker. This is his first feature film and for that he deserves every bit of accolade he is receiving for creating such an entertaining film.

Currently, the film is playing in theaters all over West Bengal. It’s getting a limited release in Mumbai on 27th April. Don’t miss it!

For more details, film’s Facebook page is here. For Bombay’s theatre listing, click here.

In the last few years Marathi cinema has done everything that Hindi cinema wasn’t doing. And most importantly, tackling subjects which are rooted. As they say, if we don’t tell our stories, who will? A good marathi film is not a surprise any more. The question is how good it is? Here’s a trailer of a new film called Pune 52. And it looks damn interesting.

To quote from the official release, Pune 52 is a noir thriller about a private detective living in Pune circa 1992, whose life undergoes a dramatic change when he takes up a case that is both dangerously complex and deeply personal.

Starring national award winning actor Girish Kulkarni, Sonali Kulkarni and Sai Tamhankar, Pune 52 is set to release by the end of 2012.

It’s produced by the makers of films such as Valu, Vihir, Deool and Harishchandrachi Factory and is the debut feature of writer/director Nikhil Mahajan.

Here’s a small note by the director on the making of the film..

Like most middle class Maharashtrian brahmin boys, I went to do engineering after std. 12th. Took me 2 years to realize that I suck at it and another 2 years to convince my parents that I have to get out of it. So I dropped out and went on to work at Ramu’s factory as a screenwriter on a project that never took off.

I then went to Sydney and graduated in Film and came back. Got a job with the Hinduja Group’s In Entertainment as a writer where I was writing Tamil superhero films for a living. As much as I enjoyed doing that, I had to write a film about someone who aspires to be a hero. So started writing Pune 52.

Girish was the first person I approached to act in the film. He had doubts because of the content, but still was game for it. They were still shooting Deool then. I went to around 40 producers who all turned it down because it was too adult for the conventional marathi audience’s taste. Eventually Umesh and Girish decided to produce it themselves. And luckily the script got selected at Primexchange at IFFI. Then there was no looking back.

Its being shot by Jeremy Reagan, my friend from Film School and is edited by Abhijeet Deshpande. Stars Girish Kulkarni and Sonali Kulkarni and has background score by Hyun Jung Shim ( who composed for Oldboy) The film has 2 songs, composed by Atif Afzal who has done the music of the soon to release Prague.

For more information, film’s FB page is here.