Archive for the ‘Story / Plot / Synopsis’ Category

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As we have said before, it’s a great time for desi documentaries. And while this one is not an Indian production, it does have a desi connection. Amma & Appa is a personal documentary about the cross-cultural marriage of director Franziska Schoenenberger and her fiancé and co-director Jayakrishnan Subramaniam. It was warmly received when it showed recently at the Berlin Film Fest in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section. Check out the trailer and synopsis below:

Franziska comes from Bavaria and is in love with Jayakrishnan from southern India. When the couple decide that their love should lead to marriage and a life in Germany, both sets of in-laws find that cultural customs they took for granted are now suddenly subjected to scrutiny.

Whilst Franziska’s parents chose to marry of their own free will, the marriage of Jayakrishnan’s parents was arranged within their own caste, as is customary in Caddalore in southern India. As far as they are concerned, their son’s intention not only to marry a foreigner but to marry for love represents a cruel act of revenge on the part of the gods, since the match calls into question their whole traditional way of life.

Hoping to overcome cultural barriers, the parents of the Bavarian bride-to-be decide to travel to India to visit their future son-in-law’s parents. Interspersed with delicate animation sequences, Amma & Appa is a personal documentary which tells the story of one intercultural union — and in doing so humorously explores the familiar in the unfamiliar, and the unfamiliar in the familiar.

For more info on the film, check out the FB page or the website.

Kamal Swaroop’s cult classic Om Dar B Dar has been restored and will have a release on 17th January, 2014. PVR Director’s Rare in association with NFDC is doing the release. Don’t miss this film. A new trailer of the film is just out.

ODBDOfficial Synopsis:

As Om rides a bicycle, scissor-legged, the landscape (Pushkar-Ajmer) resounds with distinctive voices: his father’s rebellions against the world, his ‘bold’ sister, her gentle suitor, the searching eyes of the runaway actress, the local businessman trying to protect the diamonds he has shat…the rebellion of the tadpoles. The filmmaker takes on the frightening, beautiful energy of adolescence – to joyfully shake open the landscapes of his own childhood, unearthing, and mixing politics with mythology and techno music with biology for Alchemy.

Director’s statement:

I was assistant on Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. The scale of production had made extras of large sections of the population of Delhi: the whole exercise had become an army operation, and we the big general’s lieutenants, the ring master’s sidekicks, arranging those masses on the sides of the roads so that the story of Gandhi could walk and blossom forth. The tear in the upholstery of my hotel room chair became a glad reminder of human life as I knew it. Inspired by the missing piece of cloth, I began spinning a parallel story about a town I grew up in and an adolescent who rode his bicycle scissor legged. The story grew and wanted to take on the larger production within which it was incubated. The boy therefore had to be called Om.

Cast & Crew

Cast – Anita Kanwar, Aditya Lakhia, Gopi Desai, Manish Gupta

Running Time – 101min

Year- 1988

Screenplay – Kamal Swaroop

Cinematography – Ashwani Kaul

Editing – Priya Krishnaswamy

Music – Rajat Dholakia

Sound – Kamal Padmnabhan

– To read more about the film, click here and here.

– Fan poster by Kabir Chowdhry.

Apur Panchali

A new bengali film titled Apur Panchali tries to explore that. The trailer and poster is just out, and it looks interesting. Have a look. Though the trailer doesn’t have subtitles yet.

The film is directed by Kaushik Ganguly, and stars Parambrata Chatterjee, Parno Mitra, Ardhendu Banerjee, Gaurav Chakraborty & Ritwik Chakraborty.

Some more info on the film (from TOI article) – Talking about Apur Panchali, Kaushik said, “The film is inspired by the real-life story of Subir Banerjee, the child actor, who played Apu in Ray’s Pather Panchali. Despite being one of the most celebrated child actors in the industry once, nobody cares to find out what he is doing now; no one remembers him. My film is a take on that. The USP of the film is the subject which has never been explored in Bengali cinema before. Interestingly, Subir’s life has an uncanny resemblance to what Ray had depicted in The Apu Trilogy. And that’s what inspired me to make this film. Albeit Pather Panchali was Subirda‘s first and last film, but if you study the man’s life, you’d sit and ponder if Satyajit Ray had written The Apu Trilogy keeping Subirda in mind. Having said that, I’d like to make it clear that my film is a work of fiction, and not Subir Banerjee’s biography.”

– To read the full article, click here.

– More about the film here.

Kamal Swaroop’s Rangbhoomi will have its premiere at this year’s Rome Film Festival. The film is in competition in the CinemaXXI section of the fest. The first trailer of the film is just out.

Official synopsis

RangbhoomiRangabhoomi follows the filmmaker as he attempts to trace the contours of Dada Saheb Phalke’s life in Varanasi after he withdrew. Disillusioned from the world of cinema, he decided to take up theatre. While in Varanasi, Phalke wrote a semi-autobiographical play titled “Rangabhoomi” which from the core of this cinematic exploration. Set in the visually thrilling landscapes of the old town of Varanasi, the film intertwines the personal engagement of Kamal Swarrop with the story of Phalke with Phalke’s journey and the play, deploying a vibrant palette of sounds, sights and characters in surrealist juxtaposition.

ShortsShorts, an anthology of five short films was released in the theatres few months back. Now the entire film is online. The five film in the order in which they appear are as follows

1. SUJATA is by Shlok Sharma and stars Huma Qureshi, Shweta Tripathi, Satya Anand (JP Singh of GoW) and Aditya Kumar.

2. EPILOGUE (from 20:33) is by Siddharth Gupt and stars Richa Chaddha and Arjun Shrivastav.

3. AUDACITY (from 35:00) by Anirban Roy starring Preeti Singh, Sankar Debnath and Kanchan Mullick.

4. MEHFUZ (from 48:30) by Rohit Pandey has Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Aditi Khanna in the lead.

5. SHOR (from 01:04:00) is by Neeraj Ghaywan and stars Vineet Singh and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee.

And do VOTE for your favourite film(s). You can vote for maximum 3 films.

If you want to read about the films before watching, go on.

1. SUJATA – Sujata is a riveting tale of a young girl, who is struggling to come out of the clutches of her tormenting cousin brother. At a very young age, she is forced to live with her cousin and his family. Herein, begins a life of incessant harassment by her cousin brother. Even as an adult she lives in the shadow of fear. For years, she changes addresses and identities in the hope of finding freedom; but each time he hunts her down. Neither the police, nor the NGOs are able to help her. Pushed to a corner, she decides to take the extreme step.

2. EPILOGUE – A relationship that has already fallen apart and is just about to snap. It describes the love and intimacy, the entangling of two lives and the completely symbiotic nature of a couple. It reflects the possessiveness control isolation, depression and desperation that a relationship can lead to, representing a cycle that needs to be broken in order to keep sane.

3. AUDACITY – A thirteen-year-old girl has her first real confrontation with authority when her father forbids her to play the American dance music she loves. When she decides to take revenge, the situation escalates to become a neighbourhood scandal. A dark comedy about parental authority, teenage rebellion, curry, whiskey, and house music.

4. MEHFUZ – In an ambiguous space and time. The city has turned mad, as violence has taken its toll. But, far away in the sounds of silence at the border of the town, a man takes care of all the death around. He drags away this usual routine with every passing night. One night, he notices a strange woman wandering on empty streets. As her behavior changes, so does his journey.

5. SHOR – Lallan and Meena, a couple from Banaras, are consumed by their pursuit to survive in the city of Mumbai. Meena takes up a job in a sewing factory. One day over a phone call, they find each other while embracing death, divorce and redemption. It takes the darkest hour of our life, the fear of death, to regain our consciousness back in to life. To find the beauty that is lost in our relentless angst towards an unyielding life.

A documentary film titled ‘Beyond All Boundaries’ directed by Sushrut Jain will have its Indian premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival this year. The film is produced by Kunal Nayyar (of Big Bang Theory fame) who also helped Sushrut raise funds for the project.

TRAILER

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
This 98 minute documentary tells three true life stories of cricket lovers and fanatics who gave up everything to pursue their passion. Woven through the tale of India’s progress in the 2011 World Cup are three separate story arcs that speak of the roles cricket can play in the lives of ordinary Indians, for whom the game becomes a source of aspiration, desperation and devotion.
BABPosterFinalsmallDETAILS
Beyond All Boundaries takes a look at the life of three people
1. Sudhir Kumar Gautam, the well known Indian cricket fan who loves his team, his stars, and at the heart of it, eventually the game.  He is India’s most recognizable fan who turns up at matches, his torso and face painted in the colours of the Indian flag, and “Tendulkar” and the number 10 on his back.
2. Prithvi Shaw, a 12-year-old batting prodigy from one of Mumbai’s distant suburbs, whose life and career are driven by the prototype sporting parent – a single father obsessed with turning his son into a professional cricketer.
3.  Akshaya Surve, an 18-year-old girl trying out for the Mumbai Under-19 team. Cricket is the centre of her existence and a potential exit for her and her mother, trapped in a single room in one of Mumbai’s many narrow bylanes.
– To know more about the film, click here for its website

(click to start the slide show. Right click to open in a new page)

The much awaited Versova Indie (coined by the director, not us), SULEMANI KEEDA will have its premier at Mumbai Film Festival this year. It’s shown in the ‘New Faces of Indian Cinema’ section. This is a film about writers, star writers, is directed by a writer, and produced by guys who manage writers.

SYNOPSIS:

Mainak (Mayank Tewari), an optimistic hustler, and Dulal (Naveen Kasturia, the new Vodafone guy whose mom keeps calling him), a brooding poet, are writing partners who are struggling in Bollywood with their screenplay which no one bothers to read.

Perennially hungry and horny, they lie around, drink, smoke weed, name drop, lurk in bookshops and attend poetry readings to cling on to unsuspecting women.

They see a ray of hope in Gonzo Kapoor (Karan Mirchandani), the industry’s oldest new comer and son of a famous B movie producer who is not only interested in their work but also wants them to write a European style dark and sexually explicit art house script for his launch film.

But a witty and beautiful photographer, Ruma (Aditi Vasudev) enters Dulal’s life and Mainak is not too pleased by his friend’s new distraction.

This is a slacker comedy about three days in the lives of Mainak and Dulal which test their friendship and make them re-valuate their life plans. Besides exploring the world of migrant writers in the city’s western suburbs, the film also talks about their hopes and ontological anxieties in a brutally commercial world.

Sulemani Keeda (International Title: Writers)

CAST AND CREW :

Writer & Director: Amit V Masurkar

Countries : India, USA

Year : 2013

Language : Hindi

Runtime : 90 minutes

Producers : Datta Dave, Chaitanya Hegde

Associate Producers : Deepa Tracy, Sailesh Dave, Suresh Mhatre

Production company : Tulsea Pictures in association with Mantra/Runaway Entertainment

Cast: Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari, Aditi Vasudev, Karan Mirchandani, Krishna Bisht, Rukshana Tabassum.

Cinematography: Surjodeep Ghosh

Editor: Khushboo Agarwal Raj

Sound Design: Niraj Gera

Music: Arfaaz-Anurag

Location Sound: Shailesh Sharma

Line Producers: Deepak Arora, Arvinder Gill, Rakesh Singh, Navit Dutt

First Assistant Director: Omar Nissar Paul

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Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar’s documentary Katiyabaaz (Powerless) was selected for Berlin and Tribeca Film Festival. The film will have its screening at this year’s Mumbai Film Festival. Ahead of the fest, it has got a new trailer. Have a look.

The song in the trailer is sung by Indian Ocean and is written by Varun Grover who is also a regular contributor to this blog.

About the film :

In Kanpur, India, Loha Singh is the local robin-hood, stealing electricity so that homes and businesses could function normally in the face of day-long power-cuts. Meanwhile, the first female chief of the electricity supply company has vowed to rid the town of illegal connections and increase supply. In a summer of crisis, sparks will fly.

Description :

Powerless is a documentary film about the electrical supply shortage in an industrial suburb of Kanpur, India. The story unfurls along miles of tangled copper wires which mirror the diabolical complexity which unfolds in several towns and cities across the country. A picture emerges of a modern dystopia encompassing urban decay and desperation due to the lack of electricity. Underlying the localized crisis in Kanpur is the glaring energy poverty in India, where a third of the population is often without power and the rest grapple with frequent power-cuts that dictate their own terms. Powerless points to the universal need for dependable electrical power while exploring this theme in one of the world’s most ascendant economies.

– To know more about the film, click here to go to its official website.

– To read the Hollywood Reporter’s review of the film from Berlin fest, click here.

This one has come out of the blue. We had no clue about this film.

Official synosis

A quirky family entertainer for 8 to 80 years, pan India.
Ranvir’s fortune is in dumps and selling his ancestral land in Mumbai is the only way to survive & Kukreja who has put all on stake has to get this land to stay away from the wrath of a ‘bhai’ and also achieve his dream of becoming a builder eventually!
For both Ravir & Kukreja this plot of land means everything and has to be got any which way.
But the key to the land is Ranvir’s mama Madho Singh Rathore, in Mandawa. Since the will wasn’t made in Ranvir’s name, so Mama has to give the NOC. Ranvir has to get his Mama to Mumbai within a month & Kukreja has to stop him from reaching Mumbai.
We see the transformation of our protagonist Ranvir from a materialistic city youth to someone who is all for family & values & antagonist Kukreja from a ‘dalla’ to a gangster through this journey, which has some other real & funny characters as well.
In the 1st half the city goes to a village and in the 2nd the village comes to the city.

Little too much? Forget it, just watch the trailer.

Cast and crew

Cast : Vir Das, Deepak Dobriyal, Gulshan Grover, Kirti Kulhari & Yashpal Sharma
Director : Shekhar Ghosh
Music : Sonu Niigam & Bickram Ghosh
Creative Producer : Rajnish Lall
Release Date : 25th Oct 2013

UTV is on a roll this year. First, they gave a big platform to Ship Of Theseus, made it visible enough, and got screens for it even when Chennai Express was running. Second, repeat the same act with The Lunchbox. And now, they have picked up another terrific film – Hansal Mehta’s Shahid. The film has got a new trailer too. Have a look.

Some of us saw the film at Mumbai Film Festival last year, and can easily bet that it’s another “must watch”. It also has one of the year’s best and break out performance by Raj Kumar Yadav. The film rides entirely on his shoulder and he makes you believe that he is Shahid Azmi.

The film is scheduled to release on 18th October.

Official synopsis

“Shahid” traces the story of a slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi. Set during the communal violence that was unleashed in the city of Mumbai since 1993. We see a remarkable tale unfold. From attempting to become a terrorist to being wrongly imprisoned under the anti-terrorism law to becoming a lawyer, a champion of human rights (particularly the Muslim minorities in India), “Shahid” traces the inspiring personal journey of a boy while following the rise of communal violence in India. The story of an impoverished Muslim struggling to come to terms with injustice, inequality and rising above his circumstances is an inspiring testament to the human spirit.

The cast includes Raj Kumar, Prabhleen Sandhu, Baljinder Kaur, Tigmanshu Dhulia, K K Menon, Yusuf Husain, Prabal Panjabi, Vinod Rawat, Vipin Sharma, Shalini Vatsa, Paritosh Sand, Pavan Kumar, Vivek Ghamande, Akash Sinha, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub and Mukesh Chhabra.