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.
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.
– 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.
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.