Mumbai Film Festival, 2014 : Team MoiFC’s Day – 1 wrap. And we loved Killa!

Posted: October 16, 2014 by moifightclub in cinema, film, Film Festival, Movie Recco, movie reviews, Mumbai Film Festival, World Cinema
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Mumbai Film Festival – Our annual movie ritual is on. And like every year, we are going to cover the Festival like nobody else does it. Team moiFightClub will bring you all the day’s reccos and reviews. We are also involved with the fest this year – helping wherever you can to make it better.



Two Days, One Night

Dardenne Brothers. Superb premise, stunning Marion Cotillard, Dardenne brothers venturing into a near-thriller zone, and managing to keep us hooked for most of its duration. The last act was a bit of a downer, but overall, another terrific, depressing, human drama on European working class. Just that as Indians (and cinema audience in general), seeing Marion Cotillard as a down with depression, stuck in poverty mother of two kids takes some amount of suspension of disbelief.



A stunningly assured directorial debut from cinematographer Avinash Arun. Nostalgia, childhood, parenthood, loss, friendship, school all captured in gorgeous detail. Never before has an Indian film about a bunch of kids been so immersive. Terrific performances from Archit Deodhar as a child trying to cope with constant change and Amruta Subhash as his single mother. Cherry on top is the minimalistic music by Naren Chandavarkar.


What would you do if your loved one were terminally ill? How far would you go to save her? Would you take the life of someone else to save her’s? How noble would that be? These questions are explored to brutal levels in the Spanish film Schimbare. Through the eyes of a truly desperate couple (played by Candela Pena and Luis Zahera) we’re taken on an existential dilemma wrought with manic depression, blood, murder, illegal organ transplants and kidnapping. Not for the faint hearted, but certainly a feast for hard boiled film buffs.


In Between Worlds
The film tries to give a balanced portrayal of war-torn Afghanistan and succeeds to some extent. It is the story of a German commander torn between his conscience and the military protocol. The interwoven story of the Afghani brother and sister is touching. There are moments where one feel that there is also an unmistakable element of “white man’s burden”. An incident regarding the shooting of a cow by the German soldiers is particularly illustrative of the fact that they are trying to dictate terms on some else’s land. More than the story, it is the ragged visuals of the landscape that affect you. Those multiple shots of huge army tanks ravaging the terrain reminded me of Sahir’s lines:
खामोश ज़मीं के सीने में, खैमों की तनाबें गड़ने लगीं
मक्खन-सी मुलायम राहों पर बूटों की खराशें पड़ने लगीं
फौजों के भयानक बैंड तले चर्खों की सदायें डूब गईं
जीपों की सुलगती धूल तले फूलों की क़बायें डूब गईं


Set in a mansion for the most part – the film suffocates you. It’s a dark tale of a desperate couple going to extremes to save their child. The film sort of starts off by asking – Why are we okay to commit a morally ambiguous/wrong act as long as we don’t have to get our own hands dirty? What happens when we can no longer keep our hands clean? The grim setting, absence of background music and some rather depressing scenes (like the one involving a magic show by a criminal, or the little girl eating out of trash) make it a difficult watch. Unfortunately the scenes involving the couple and their struggle to come to terms with their decision are too long, slow and repetitive. They test your patience. The film, however, picks up towards the end and really delivers.


Stunning, moving and an absolute delight! It takes you back to your childhood, to those simpler times. It deals with multiple themes of loss, parenthood, friendship which are all part of growing up. I know it’s too early to say, but this is probably the best film you will see at MFF.


She’s lost control

Lonely Ronah (Brooke Bloom) is doing her Masters in Behavioural Psychology and working with a psychiatrist to treat patients with intimacy issues. Sex is not our of bounds here, in fact the cultivation of an emotional and physical relationship is a part of the process of healing. Ronah’s life is strewn with such incidents and she is somehow managing her loneliness. Until one day. The slow progression of Ronah’s descent into breakdown is subtle yet feelingly traced. The minimalist and cold composition replete with burnt out or dark frames and myriad cutaways create the distance the characters feel between themselves. Ronah’s journey builds from a self assured woman to a battered one in smooth progression leaving us wondering what is in store for her now…


Over Your Dead Body

by Takashi miike – is probably something that both Miike fans and non Miike fans should watch. The film is about actors rehearsing a folklore story based play, who end up recreating the scenes into their real lives. Could’ have delivered more on the horror quotient, and laid less emphasis on the culture/subtext (which was lost on me I confess) but still – body horror fans and blood/gore lovers should be satisfied.

In Between Worlds
– I’m sure that the politics of the film will be questioned, but still the film works as a pure humane drama and a War thriller. A takedown of a car particularly & a couple of other scenes reminded me of Apocalypse Now’s puppy scene. Plus the detailing – an engineering clsss has 20 odd male students and 3 female students, etc. The lead is particularly effective sympathetic character and you feel sorry for the other guy (Tariq – the translator) too. Now that is something difficult to achieve in a War film. Nothing is black or white – that is the best part of this film


– a Robert De niro lookalike Hero & a brilliant self destructive heroine as the protagonists of this journey film, this is a slow intense film which tugs your patience but rewards you towards the last 20-30 min. The central premise is only spelled out in the last act, and if you forgive the film’s 60 minutes (setup and characters’ time) – it goes onto drag the rug beneath your feet; all the while establishing the ’cause’ as well. Not to forget – there are several single take scenes in this one. It’s a sad sad situation the world is in when ‘nice’ people have to resort to not so nice steps for a nice cause. Watch this film. Highly recco’d


– What a brilliant premise. Two teenagers murder an old woman. No motive, but aivain. And a young woman who happens to catch them running away. But then ? Disappointment at not being able to take the premise to fruit. Shot and performed well, this one makes you wonder – what was the point of the film ? Did the director cop out ? I’m sure the murder (not shown in the film) must have been a kickass scene in isolation. But even if the director had shown it, the film must have been a disappointment. No Sir. We want more than just the teenage killers mouthing references of famous historical figures killing off a person to achieve the victim list as a rounded off figure (from 69 to 70). We wanted more drama sir.

She’s Lost Control

– Another film with great premise. A student of masters in psychologist whose job is to resolve her clients’ ‘intimacy issues’ by eventually sleeping with them. That in itself is an arresting premise/character. But then the film tells you something that you already can guess. Despite the lead’s sparkling performance, you might feel disappointed after watching the film.

P.S – those injection shots were insulin or heroine ?
P.P.S – If you are an investigator/doctor – never get too involved with the subject/patient.


Charlie’s Country

This movie confirms the fact that Australian filmmakers can never disappoint. Easily the best of day (out of 2 Days, 1 Night and Boyhood) Charlie an Aboriginal man living in Australia starts feeling distant from his own land and is in constant struggle to adapt with the new way of things. The silence here works because of the well thought out cinematographic frames. At crucial points the way the character is presented (framed) says a lot about how the country treats aboriginals as outcasts and ‘foreigners.’ As grim as this may sound you will be surprised by the how the director injects humour in the darkest of situations. Finally, what really takes the film to a whole new level is David Gulpilil’s extraordinary performance. His Cannes best actor win is absolutely well deserved.


  1. felinei says:

    Beloved sisters – a vicky cristina Barcelona involving Schiller and in the times of Goethe. It has random shots like the color wheel of goethe lying as a gift on Schiller’s dressing table that can make any one who knows its significance go mad with awe that it was just a normal things between intellectuals to do.

    Won’t be surprised if it makes it into the top 5 of Oscars foreign language film.

    Charlie’s Country was the wtf film of the festival.

  2. […] Mumbai Film Festival, 2014 : Team moiFC’s Day – 1 wrap. And we loved Killa! […]

  3. […] Mumbai Film Festival, 2014 : Team MoiFC’s Day – 1 wrap. And we loved Killa! […]

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