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.
A sheer treat! A writer explores the life of three old professional clowns, now in their sixties and battling personal struggles. One of them has cancer, another is caretaking his wife afflicted by Alzheimer’s, another has a disrupted family he needs to make up to, and so on. Razor-sharp wit, versatility of craft, snappy dialogues and wonderful performances aren’t just what make this a heart-warming film. It’s the uplifting worldview, the thrift of storytelling and sheer brilliance in balance between emotion, drama and tongue-in-cheek comedy that made me laugh and cry at once at the heartfelt-ness and absurdity of it all. Just like how the filmmaker intended I’m sure. And just like how life is.
Empathy is what makes us human. Empathy is what makes the world go round. And empathy is what makes us one. At one point in history, a gay and lesbian group decided to support UK’s miners fighting for their rights because they saw the same issues in their own fight. They had nothing to gain but they thought expressing solidarity is the right thing to do and they did so. Pride tells the tale of this incident that happened in UK in 1984 and looking at the world today, I must say we need such lessons in humanism more often. So realistic, so humane, and so balanced. Without any revolutionary bluster, without a comment, and without any bias, it’s a beautiful expose of how the world looks at marginalised communities (and it isn’t a coincidence that fat, old WOMEN are the biggest supporters here). It leaves us questioning our biases and breaks down man-made boundaries so succinctly, I’m not ashamed to admit I did shed a few tears in the end. A must must watch!
Nymphomaniac – Volume 2
Blown away! I will admit I got tired halfway through Volume 2 but the end wrapped up Lars’ dystopian world and film so wonderfully it left me with goosebumps! Volume 2 is a seamless continuation of Volume 1, something that belies the trailer which suggests a buildup in tempo and tension, something that works itself up innocuously and not dramatically. Trier gradually goes from science to psychology to ideology to plain old animalism and the transition is so smooth, it is stunning. We began to pyschoanalyse Joe, the protagonist (and her name is quite telling too) in Volume 1 itself but Volume 2 forces us to go deeper and probe, just like Trier (and Joe and Seligman) are doing for that matter. The explicit sexual content continues to demystify sex, elevating it from a gratifying or sentimental point of view to a scientifically analyse-able object (not subject). The Christian context continues and so do allegories, adding to the wealth of connections of human evolution Trier is trying to make through exploring a so called ‘base’ instinct-human sexuality. Like I said earlier, blown away!
Goodbye To Language
Lessons in Dissent
This documentary showcases the emergence and rise of ‘scholarism’ – the Hong Kong based student activist group which protested against ‘Moral & National Education’ & the Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying (referred to sarcastically as ‘Wolf’ – for his cunning abilities). Would you believe that the brains and mouth behind this group is a surprisingly articulate and confident 16 yr old student – Joshua Wong. Although one wishes the director had covered few voices that were not necessarily the voices of dissent. Despite perhaps coming across at times as slightly one sided & propagandist, this one is a decent window into changing Hong Kong political scenario.
P.S – Apparently as per the National Education Curriculum – if a student cried during the national anthem, he/she would’ve been given higher marks than others.
A 55+ yr old woman working in a cabaret (Strip Bar/pickup joint) decides to settle down with a customer who is deeply in love with her. And then what happens. This interestingly titled film delivers a powerful punch, thanks to a lovely performance by the lead actress. You not just curse her for failing to get a grip on her life, but also empathize with her, despite the fact that she has a screwed up family situation, sad personal life & an unhealthy lifestyle. Is love enough? Do old habits really die hard? Will the wedding happen? Will she reconcile with her estranged kids?
Breathtaking shots of Mongolian highlands are enough to make you fall in love with this film. Norjmaa, a shepherd waiting for lover to return from some war, remains steadfast against the wishes of the rest of the village to move to a safer place during the second world war. She nurses a Russian and a Japanese soldier back to health only to realize that as soon as they are able to move, they are at each other’s throat. Every comic moment that ensues as a result of this is a comment on the futility of war. Badema, who play Norjmaa, is brilliant in every scene. She embodies loneliness and kindness. Her maternal attitude and anger is touchingly portrayed whether it is directed to her livestock or to the soldiers she saves. Highly recommended.
An aged stripper agrees to marry a man who has been a regular at her cabaret joint and is in love with her. Although she is seen preparing for her new life, one is never convinced that she is doing it because she really wants it. Or she is doing it because she needs it. A sort of social acceptance, a nod from her children that she is a part of the civil society now. Her uncomfort and indecisiveness seep through the screen. Will she marry this man or does she prefer going back to the cabaret spending the nights getting drunk with her other stripper girlfriends? Is this an easy decision for someone who has been in the job as long as she has been?