Our Day 1 report of the ongoing Mumbai Film Festival is here. And this post has reports of Day 2, 3, 4.
All Is Lost – Robert Redford has no name in the film. He is called “Our Man”. And we hardly know much about our man. He is stuck at the sea and struggling to survive. A one-man show, the film begins with a voice-over, and then has no dialogues except one “Help”. Not your usual fare, needs patience, and at 77, Redford shows he can still be the tour de force. The sea and survival never rarely looked so real and scary. This isn’t your pocorn-ish Life Of Pi.
Locke – Tom Hardy is our man here. He is stuck at the driving seat. A experimental affair in which he loses his wife, family, job in just 2 hours as he faces a personal crisis. Everything happens on the phone. Good fun.
Qissa – Strange, fascinating and ghostly tale. A detailed post here on this gender-bending and genre-bending film. One of the most exciting films at the fest. Must Watch.
Liar’s Dice – Set in difficult weather and tough terrain, Kamala (Geentajali Thapa) is looking for her missing husband. From moutains to plains, from Delhi to a single-bed room in a shady hotel, her companion is a selfish and untrustworthy stranger Nawazuddin (Siddiqui). A stark, grim and almost unsentimental portrayal of urban migration. Has a charming kid too. Looking forward to Geethu Mohandas’s next.
Before Midnight – Linklater ends the third installment in the best possible way. A rare achievement where the third one is better than the second, and the second one was better that the first installment. He burns down every notion of ideal love and relationship that he sets in the first two parts. Linklater, Hawke, Delpy – it’s hard to believe that they actually “wrote” this film, and they were “acting’ the parts. You mean Hawke and Delpy are not a couple yet? That has to be the biggest cinematic lie ever told. Must Watch.
The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) – Easily the best film of the fest. Smart, charming and entertaining. Of vacuous people amidst art, culture, history, and beauty of Rome. Decadence was never so poetic, caustic, beautiful and surreal at the same time. Or as friend described it “debauched shot of caviar existentialism”. Once you are out of the theatre, can bet that you are going to quote the lines non-stop. And if you could not figure out why the tourist dies in the opening scene, go here. MUST MUST WATCH.
Fandry – It’s Beasts Of The Maharashtrian Wild. The pains of growing up, of dreaming about the girl from upper caste, trying to get fair skin, and buy a pair of jeans. About a family of pig catchers who are considered untouchable in the village, and of adolescent days. The harsh reality might seem like poverty porn, but a line from The Great Beauty came to my mind – you can’t talk about poverty, you have to live it. A daring film where the entire film seems to be set-up for the powerful last 20 minutes.
Mood Indigo – Gondry in top form with his insane ideas and visual madness on screen. The amount of creativity he has packed in one film, most don’t achieve in their entire filmography. My favourite game is what-prop-do-you-want-from-Mood-Indigo? Scientists should seriously pursue this one. I am booking the crawling alarm clock. Must Watch.
Mamay Umeng – Pure vegetative porn. The 84 year old man wakes up, eats, walks, stares and sleeps. Only exciting thing in his life is skinny dipping. Long shots without any camera movement. There’s so much thehraav in every shot, i get lost in such vegetative porn films and get philosophical. That’s why i went for it even when i knew what exactly i was getting into.
The Immigrant – Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix – two great actors and just a boring dead film. Avoid.
The Past – Farhadi is still going strong after bagging the Oscar for The Separation. It’s not a clear knock out like his last one, but still a strong film with all the usual Farhadi elements. A relationship drama which becomes a thriller, and as you get lost in the maze trying to find out the real culprit, he slowly peels his story, one layer at a time. Terrific opening credit and haunting closing shot. It’s worth the price. Must Watch.
Sulemani Keeda – Of versova, by versova, for versova. The bonafide Versova indie that doesn’t look like bhindi-indies. Honest, charming and funny, it’s best when it sticks to Versova tales, the romantic track is neatly done but am generally bored of boy-meets-girl-blah-blah-blah. Liquor in plastic glass, flat owner’s son asking for rent, kabootarkhana, no money for screenwriters, another Kapoor struggling for break – it gets some of the small details so bang on. So Versova-ities, do watch this one. Well acted and directed, a good CV for debutant Amit Masurkar to pitch a bigger film. More about the film here.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour – The explicit sex scenes in the film were so long that you could fall asleep while watching. And the moaning sounds were so loud, you could go deaf. Strangely, these sex scenes were the only scenes which seemed out of the place in this terrific coming of age tale of intimate first love, heart break and loneliness. And that impossible task of getting over it. To get all those emotions right without any background score, quite an achievement. Long takes, all conversations in close ups, and director in no hurry to wrap up things, this is uncompromising individualistic stamp of filmmaking which doesn’t mind going to the extreme. I guess that’s the reason why Spielberg and the jury members decided to hand Cannes Palm d’Or to it. Here’s the video where he explains. Adèle Exarchopoulos is a complete show stealer and owns the film. Remember, orgasm precedes essence. And sex and snot before Sartare. Must Watch.
– cilema snob
(ps – Kartik Krishnan managed to catch many more movies than us. But his internet is down, or so he claims. So please pray for his internet connection. We will get more posts)