A Touch of Sin – Starts off as Dombivali Fast/Falling Down, switches onto a multiple protagonist story film – with each protagonist encountering death in one way or another in his/her journey. First story is God Bless America set in a small hamlet in China, the second one ends in a crime which looks shockingly ‘normal’ & commonplace, third one is a journey of a woman working in a spa, and the last one is ‘coming of age’ story of a teenager struggling to make ends meet by working in factories. A little long and may be slightly meandering but this one quite surprised me. Super fun.
Jadoo – Somewhat OTT but funny desi comedy set in UK, this one should be watched among other things, to see that Ibu Hatela urf Harish Patel still got it, though he may have put on some weight. Was laughing at quite a few places. Formulaic, food porn, feel good family coming together at crisis masala cliche very well utilized by the director and yet there is a soul somewhere in place. Nice.
Locke – I know we are mentioning this film again but ‘t’s worth it. Tom Hardy. Driving a car. One night in London. Travelling from one end of town to another. All the time on phone. The premise sounds like a thriller but it is a superlatively shot human drama about a man trying to face his demons. Doesn’t get repetitive despite being a single ‘setup’ film. Wish we could see a hindi film like this but which actor is confident and daring enough to pull off something like this ? I wish subtitles were there because the Brit accent sometimes flew over my head. Now I want to see the writer-director’s Humming bird.
Salinger – A solid docu on the life and works of JD Salinger – Catcher in the Rye wala. Always felt the book was overrated but I want to read more stuff by him. He had 4-5 novel manuscripts ready/work in progress and yet he didn’t publish them untill he died. His eccentric relationship with fame & adulation, and the fact that in three cases of assassination (including the guy who killed John Lenon) the accused used his book to defend himself. Insightful.
Autumn Blood – this Australian thriller’s plot may seem like a B Grade rape-revenge film but I was very quickly hooked in from the opening sequence. In the 90 plus minutes of it’s duration, it has BARELY 5 MINUTES of dialogue (reminded me of Amit Kumar’s terrific Bypass). The excellent sound design and BGM is used in addition to visual storytelling and what a feat this is to pull it off. Hats off!
The Keeper of Lost Causes – Scandinavia, Police procedural, old boy, mood piece, creepy and intense, investigative thriller. Everything perfect except may be the slightly filmy end.
Short Term 12 – THE FILM OF MFF for me. Hands down. In the same ballpark as The Class. Nothing to nit pick. Nothing to write. WATCH IT NOW. Shed a tear or two in few scenes. What a depiction of a love relationship! And the teenagers are so good.
Heli – family getting caught up in extra judicial military forces ka atyachar. Quite liked it. I don’t know if this happens in Mexico, but it surely does in Kashmir & Dantewada.
For Those In Peril – this redemption tale set in the gloomy scotland (wish there were subtitles) lost me somewhere in the middle. And the bizzare ending just left me confounded. Koi samjha do kya hua.
Tonnerre – another doomed relationship film. Lovely. The lead is so good and ‘paavam’ (bechara). Was pleasantly surprised by the ending.
My Dog Killer – what an opening sequence. A tough guy training his dog, called by his dad for help. Stark, minimal, gritty, family social drama, this film left me wondering all the time where the hell this is going to go. And the dark ending nailed it for me. Don’t go by the title of the film!
A Long and Happy Life – a farmowner’s struggles to balance the shifting equations between his farmer community and the city council. Must start watching more Russian films after this one.
Kaphal (Wild Berries) – a sweet little funny children’s film set in the plush garwal, what a cinematic delight this one was. The kids(normally irritating in most hindi films) were so lovable, they carried the film on their shoulders. Ably supported by Subrat Dutta (Talaash), Pubali Sanyal (did she play Boti’s wife in Maqbool?) and cilemasnob‘s favorite under utilised Sunita Rajwar – who has a monologue and she rocks! Another movie which made me cry a couple of times. The audience loved it. Take a bow Batul Mukhtiar!
Good Morning Karachi – Slumdog Millionare meets Madhur Bhandarkar in Karachi. Was really disappointed. So were the fans of Khamosh Paani. Heard an editor friend laughing throughout at the unintentional hilarity at times.
Katiyabaaz – a very intresting film. Mazedaar. Somewhere between a documentary and a Dibakar Bannerjee-ish at times feature, this one digs into the power supply problems, a local hero (Loha Singh is the new Sagairaj!), the unpopular IAS Ritu Maheshwari – MD of Kanpur Electricity Board, the dwingling kaarkhanas of the industrial city, Indian ocean’s music and the superb background score. Lovely. Hats off to the full team. More power to apni Alice & apna Varun 🙂
Killer Toon – a web comic designer’s comic sketches potrayl of deaths, are carried out with precision of a serial killer. How? Why? Who? Is the designer responsible? What are the cops going to do about it? Who is that kid on the road? This excellent premise laden film begins with a arresting opening sequence and the horror-thriller tone is set. The repeated flashbacks and seamless transition to & from animation to reality itself is worth seeing this film – the chills down your spine while watching this one in a dark theater notwithstanding.
And an entire film can be made out the funeral business wala. What a character and what a performance by the actor (albeit in a role spanning less than half of the film). Would love to see that alternate film.
The Past – Asghar Farhadi’s superlative follow up ‘sequel’ of sorts to his brilliant A Seperation. This dysfunctional family drama is set in a almost Ramin Bahrani’s version of Paris, with characters bickering, coming to terms, confessing. It doesn’t get more ‘real’ than this and yet the situations are so dramatic. The lead from Seperation & Prophet nail it in this one, and the wife deserves all the accolades. Long takes, minimalist camerawork, terrific performances from the cast – Farhadi’s signature everywhere. I have been informed marriage-separation is the director’s favorite genre. He seems at home in this film with an objective eye on every one. The train sequence with the father son choked me up. And I loved Fohad – the little kid. MUST MUST WATCH.