MFF 2013 – What we saw [last 2 days]. VOTE for your favourite film

Posted: October 25, 2013 by moifightclub in cinema, Film Festival, film review, Indie, Movie Recco, movie reviews, Mumbai Film Festival, World Cinema
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As the festival got over last night, here comes our last post in the daily wrap-up series. Our earlier Mumbai Film Festival posts are here – Day 1, What was Leos Carax smoking, Anup Singh’s QissaDay – 2, 3, 4, and on Before Midnight.

And remember, we had put our bet on Qissa winning the top prize. Here’s the complete list of the winners. It got the second prize.

This one has notes by Kartik Krishnan and Varun Grover.


What’s Love Got To Do With It – An interesting documentary about arranged marriages, and matchmakers (ala that Savitri Bai tvc), men and women who had arranged & love marriages, candid wedding preparation & ceremonies, uncles & aunties performing embarrassingly at the party to Shammi Kapoor Rajesh Khanna romantic songs; nitpick – wish they had covered at least one middle/lower middle class couple’s marriage story.

Another House – An Old man suffering from Alzheimers, the now recovered alcoholic younger son, his musician girlfriend, and the selfish career oriented elder brother. Despite the fact that 60-70% of the action was set in an around the house, the film is visually appealing and the performance by the old man is reason enough to watch this one. I was just wondering as my friend said – What if the old man had been trolling his younger son ?

Vic+Flo Saw A Bear – A lesbian couple’s attempts to lead a reformed life. Could have been much better. Ati random tha. Do you think a flashback would have helped ?

Siddharth – a child is abducted. His father – a zip repairwala Rajesh Tailang (effective) attempts to find him and the toll it takes on the housewife (Tanistha Chatterjee) and their family. Well made and produced (did they actually get to shoot at Malviya Nagar Police Stn Int & Ext?) and deftly directed – this one touches upon a pretty relevant subject. Did you figure out who is the old man at the other end of the phone conversation in the end without reading the closing credits ? And that the kid is credited with 3 roles ?

The Rocket – Ahhh. It was raining ‘bachche as protagonist’ wali filmein this time. What a kickass performance by the boy and the girl. Thoda communism, thoda competition, thoda filmy climax but mazedaar film. Hats off for Uncle Purple and the grandma too. Though as a friend observed later that this Laos-Australian film is similar to the New Zealand film – Whale Rider. Kisi ne dekhi?

Ilo Ilo – Asfghar Farhadi jaisi film minus ‘thrill/mystery’ with some humor and social commentary, set in Singapore. Again, with a performance by the kid which will easily put anyone to shame, and some memorable sequences. MUST MUST WATCH.

Kartik Krishnan

Bekas : A modern-day, masala version of Turtles Can Fly. The most fun, light-hearted, uplifting film I saw at MFF this year. Two orphaned Kurdistan kids who want to go to America to meet Superman start on a donkey (with a BMW logo on its head) and face many adventures on the way. Irreverent, full of solid one-liners, super-smart filmy kids, and Iraqi folk music in BGM – this one is a must watch. Out #ykw already.

The Missing Picture : One of the most unusual, inventive documentaries i have seen ever. Very close to a literary graphic novel with its excellent poetic prose as narration over clay toys. With a monk-like calm, the narrator (director of the film), tells the story of how the oppressive Pol Pot regime went about making the leftist utopia in Cambodia. Solid, candid, detached kambal pitaayi of many leftist ideals through this very personal family story of the director. Reminded me of Art Spiegelman’s terrific novel ‘Maus’.

Son of Cain : This had an interesting premise – a father employs a chess player as a psychologist to help counsel his psycho, chess-lover son. But what followed was a passenger train derailing into a stampede caused by a cake-throwing match. Acting that screamed b-grade, plot twists that will make Abbas-Mustan’s white clothes red with shame, and characters (a pony-tailed ex-chess player who makes kids stand on a thin bar on one leg, to teach concentration) so whatthefuckfunny – it did end up being a so bad it’s good zone.

Varun Grover

And do VOTE for your favourite film. We have got two polls here. One is for the international films and the other one is for Indian films. You can vote for 2 films in both the polls.
If we have missed any film that should be included in the polls, do post in the comments.
  1. Ruchi says:

    ‘Locke’, ‘Before Midnight’, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’, ‘A Strange Little Cat’, ‘Bad Hair’, ‘Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer’ & hesitantly ‘Holy Motors’.

  2. smrutika panigrahi says:

    over all this was a very average MAMI throughout, there were nice films, but nothing that blew me away like last year (holy motors, the hunt, electric children, beasts of teh southern wild, twice upon a time, etc.and many more) blue is the warmenst colour was over hyped, the past was nice but not as good as farhadi previours work, la jaula de orro was slow, predictable and boring. and not to mention the terrible scheduling and organization (at leat in the first 2 days). but still, the week was enriching. hope next year is better,

  3. felinei says:

    Strange Little Cat was a masterpiece.Its heroine was like a modern day ingman bergmann face caught in a day of her busy life. The story was almost like those short stories which evoke more atmosphere and ambience than any plot. Its scenes were composed by some trained visual artist with a deep knowledge n flair for literary fiction. The block shots with almost similar lensing, and the weird framing develop a grammar so unlike what we are used to. The lack of camera movements but more movements of the actors inside and outside the frame develop a new cinema language.

    The acting of the animals,birds,moths,rodents and the whirring of the objects that fill up a house are the acheivement of this film.The inability of a single character to explain what they feel, were like the misspellings of the little girl. Almost like the director was trying to say that in such claustrophobic times and in such little space its impossible for a human to really touch another human. Its shows the importance of geometry and architecture, the need for space between humans. The day is almost eventless and almost explodes when a dancing bottle is filled with soda and its cap hits the light fuse. It is one of the most original piece of cinema that i have experienced in recent times with pitch perfect timing and almost like a stage where the mis-en-scene takes over the craft of film camera movement. The excellent sound design, the professional cinematography and compositions and such assured direction aided with realistic acting elevates the film which i feel is a little ahead of its time.

  4. felinei says:

    Dont know why people have complained so much about the lovemaking scenes of blue is the warmest color. Well here is my attempt to understand the need for them.

    “Blue is the coldest color”

    A film by Abdellatif Kechiche based on the graphic novel by Julie Maroh is a great study of a relationship between two humans belonging to the same sex, or rather any sex.

    The film starts with a young adele discovering her sexuality along with her love for language n literature.She hates plundering novels and loves to read long boring ones. She comes from a conservative family and likes to hang out with friends who approve of her sexual choices till she realises how hollow she feels in following the society way and not her own way. A random sight of a blue haired Emma (lea seydoux) becomes a part of her sexual fantasy and later her mind and body. A chance outing at a gay bar where she behaves like a curious person makes her meet up with the blue haired girl again. Emma unlike Adele, cause of her age and passion, doesnt like to wait for the the waters to be still. She takes onto Adele with the fervor of a romance that belongs to novels and poetry. She makes Adele throw caution to the wind and explore her own sexuality in a way that no man could make her feel till now. Adele finds herself attracted to Emma’s mind also. Emma reads philosophy of Sartre,is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s flowery paintings ( her blue hair might be an ode to japanese culture) and tries to make Adele also follow her literary passion. Adele has become her model for nude painting and maybe also someone she tries to understand through her own experience and learnings. She finds Adeles lack of interest in philosophy very disturbing knowing that she has a love for the language. Whereas Adele prefers not to read too much into Emma’s paintings, or reading or career choices.Emma prefers though that Adele atleast give a shot to the things that she is biased against. be it sartre, or a shell fish or oyster.
    Their relationship, after the intial sexual fire, has now subdued into a more calmer and gentler one.They have more social interactions and host dinners and parties where it seems like Adele has taken the role of the cook and Emma of (the modern artistic) hunter.At one such party, Adele meets up with a man who is fascinated that a lesbian can be always so satisfied physically and Emma meets up with her ex lover who is now pregnant. In this party are sown the seeds of distrust and it shows that the seven year itch is catching up with their relationship too. Emma later that night prefers not to have sex citing a reason for a early period.(Two woman living together scientifically have always aligned cycles due to lunar reasons).
    Adele who has decided to be more practical in life, works as a kindergarten teacher and clearly yearns to experience motherhood as we see the feelings of jealousy and regret when she sees emma touching her ex lovers pregnant tummy. Maybe cause they are not able to talk about it or adele feels she can never have a baby with emma, she starts cheating around with her fellow school teacher, a male.Maybe in her mind she thinks that emma will finally accept her bisexual nature and even embrace her chances of a pregnancy from someone outside them. All such fantasies and denial lead to her getting caught by emma and adele’s reactions which are bordering more on surprise very clevery show that she dint expect emma to behave so passionately. Her misunderstanding of emmas acceptance of her bi nature costs her their relationship.She lives in severe denial about the fact that emma doesnt understand her love and maybe her bi-curious nature.She at one point of time at the break up scene tells emma that even though she cheats on emma with only men and not women, she loves only emma. (though quite gracefully, unlike a sour cheater, she atleast doesnt attack emmas growing closeness to her ex lover).
    Her confession of pure love for emmas mind is later contradicted when they decide to meet after years at a restaurant, where adele quite confidently makes emma confess about the great lust between them and the satisfaction that each was able to give the other that they cant get from anyone else. Emmas confession is strange n brutally honest, her acceptance of the sexual pleasure with adele and it being the peak for her and yet sticking with her morals about not giving adele another chance are the modern paradox born out of society as well as her existential style of thinking.
    Finally the film concludes at emmas painting exhibition where adele wearing a blue dress (maybe to evoke memories of emmas blue hair) quite shockingly discovers that time and distance has completely taken away all the feelings emma ever had for her. She is just one of the painting figures left in emmas life and that also has been done in blue. Nothing more than that. She meets the same guy whom she had met years back at one of the pasta dinner parties but almost misses out on dating him or maybe they do meet later on in life.
    The scenes at the park, especially when adele is alone and vulnerable will forever remain in the minds of the audience. And Emmas cold and gentle smile hiding many a regret is one of the best smiles i have ever seen in cinema after la strada.If their ever was a painting to paint the subtle feelings that humans experience in a relationship this movie paints them through the acting of the characters. They are painted blue on the canvass but in real life, they are the two most vulnerable lovers who discover that while growing up in a relationship, that maybe love is not all that warm as in novels and paintings but a shade of blue.

    The long takes of their sexual scenes were very vital cause they both finally missed each others lust more than the love.It was necessary to then show that lust in a very underplayed way earlier and it allowed the audience to be very close to the characters almost standing in front of a mirror with no secrets left, Naked.

    The only other movie that has so masterfully dealt with gay relationships without the cliched sympathy is Happy Together. Both the movies have shown a relationship of a couple, and its emotions, losses and happy/sad memories, irrespective of their sex.

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