Posts Tagged ‘Adil Hussain’

Mukti BhawanIn 2013, Shubhashish Bhutiani’s short film Kush had premiered at Venice Film Festival and it won the Orizzonti Award For the Best Short film. This year, he is returning to Venice with his debut feature, Mukti Bhawan (Hotel Salvation).

The film was one of the the 4 projects that was selected for 4th Biennale College – Cinema (2015 – 2016). This is the initiative launched in 2012 by the Biennale di Venezia to promote new talents, offering them the opportunity to work side by side with the masters in the making of micro-budget feature films.

The film stars stars Adil Hussain, Lalit Behl, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Palomi Ghosh, Navnindra Behl and Anil K Rastogi.

Its first trailer is out. Do have a look.

At first glance, it looks like the perfect exotic subject for the west. But its bittersweet charm disarms you quickly.

Official Synopsis

An ominous dream convinces 77-year-old Dayanand Kumar that his end could be near. He takes the news to his son Rajiv, knowing he wants to breathe his last in the holy city of Varanasi and end the cycle of rebirth, by attaining salvation. Being the dutiful son he is, Rajiv is left with no choice but to drop everything and make the journey with his stubborn father. Daya and Rajiv check into Mukti Bhawan (Hotel Salvation) in Varanasi, a guesthouse devoted to people who want to die there. But as the days go by, Rajiv struggles to juggle his responsibilities back home, while Daya starts to bloom in the hotel. Rajiv gives his father a shot at salvation but as family bonds are tested, he finds himself torn, and not knowing what he must do to keep his life together.

Credits

Writer & Director: Shubhashish Bhutiani
Producer: Sanjay Bhutiani & Sajida Sharma
Director of Photography: Michael McSweeney & David Huwiler
Production Design: Avyakta Kapur
Editor: Manas Mittal
Music Composer: Tajdar Junaid
Sound Design: Ajay Kumar PB & Akhilesh Acharya
Costume Design: Shruti Wadetiwar
Dialogues: Assad Hussain
First Assistant Director: Abbas Khan
Production Company: Red Carpet Moving Pictures Pvt. Ltd.

To know more about the film, its FB page is here.

Kothanodi

There I lay my head on the pillow, snuggled into my blanket ready to surrender to the world of talking animals and strange beings my mother was about to conjure for me. It was delicious.

Then one day, I found my sister reading a 1000 page fat book with tiny font and pictures. Strange, I thought. In my world only children’s books (or textbooks and magazines) had pictures and never in tiny font. Tiny font was ‘meant for grown-ups’ territory, one to be stayed away from, so boring. But curiosity got the better of me and I went down the rabbit hole a-la Alice and landed in a wonderland of rolling peas, talking trees and 3/6/12-headed dragons. It was a much-to-be-thumbed Book of Ukranian Folk Tales.

None of it was incredulous; magic never is when you are a kid. Just curiouser and curiouser. It was a real world, with real people living in real houses and doing real things, but that world was full of strange phenomena. It brought magic right onto my doorstep. These weren’t Disney’s amusement park-like fairylands visiting me, but home-grown magic churned like butter from daily life with all its shades intact. Kothanodi – River of Fables is something like that.

It opens on the darkest tone possible. A man is burying a living infant in a mysterious forest full of strange, eerie sounds. Wails and whispers are all around, suggesting something sinister is on. And you are intrigued to know more. This seems like more than a fable, more than folklore, you say, when suddenly an elephant apple comes rolling along. It is following a woman, carefully, loyally. A loving father is taking leave of his young daughter as a suspicious-looking step-mother looks on. A python is stealthily being caught in the forest and next thing we know it is being welcomed into a household to be wedded to a human girl. The setting is tribal, somewhere deep in the interiors of Assam, along a river that carries the fables from the shore of one house to another, from one mother to another.

A narrative connect of four mothers weaves four different folktales into one solid film. The screenplay is based on events and characters described in popular Assamese folk tales compiled in the anthology ‘বুঢ়ী আইৰ সাধু’ or Grandma’s Tales, by Assamese literary luminary Lakshminath Bezbaroa, and first published in 1911 (source: link). Each story soaked in the ethos of its space and time, flows in and out of each other.

The mother-daughter thematic motif makes it tempting to dig deeper to look for hidden sub-text of social comment, only to find it is a formal element instead. This realisation dawns as the film draws towards its unique and dreadful conclusions and with it takes away the pressure of decoding it, replacing it with the pleasure of magic realism.

The joy of the film lies in its naturalistic setting and use of melodrama to suitably evoke earthy, home-grown environs of tribal India where witches and teachers, merchants and snake-grooms, mothers and talking dead bodies, live together. The emotional decibel of the film is tuned in balance, with a heightened measure of melodrama where required (in Tejimola and snake-groom stories), and controlled where necessary (the elephant apple story and buried babies stories.) The play then, of the baby burying scene (which plays out in all its eerie glory), cutting in between stories to unsettle the mood a bit, lest the fable become a dream removed from reality, becomes interesting. The joy of a fairy tale is in its mirth and that of a fable in its mystique, while folklore is rooted in common, realistic setting. The more rooted the setting the more absurd and mysterious does the magic seem. Yet, surprisingly more real. You can touch it, almost. And in River of Fables we don’t question the magic, we just let it happen, like we did when we saw it when we were young.

Perhaps, the biggest achievement of the film is bringing magic into the adult, mainstream language back by seizing it from children’s territory to a very adult world and adult problems and demystifying it by laying bare its darkest shades, without sugar-coating, something we don’t encounter often in children’s fables or popular folklore. And here the film does not differentiate or take sides with white or black magic, rather treats it like yin and yang. Exactly how it is. I hope this isn’t reduced to an over-simplified argument of fanning superstition.

The film would have been lesser if not for the gravitas that Adil Hussain, Urmila Mahanta and Seema Biswas lend to their characters and the story. They carry the inter-woven, longform narrative with assured grace and control that is a pleasure to watch.

Certain portions of the film, especially the eerie sequences, do have a tacky, under-done feel, partly in budget, partly in design and partly in imagination. Yet, it does not become a hindrance in enjoying an otherwise delectable fare much like that other gem in the same genre ‘Goynar Boksho’.

I lost my Ukranian folk tales book to a raddiwala because parents mistakenly thought I was too old to be interested in them anymore. River of Fables lessened the ache a little.

Fatema Kagalwala

Here’s some good news. Prashant Nair’s Umrika won the Audience Award in World Cinema Dramatic section at the Sundance Film Festival. The film had its world premiere at the festival.

Produced by Manish Mundra and Swati Shetty, the film’s cast includes Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Rajesh Tailang and Prateik Babbar.

And here’s the official synopsis – When a young village boy discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone missing, he begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him. 

Umrika’s announcement from 01:39:15

Umrika-1-550x308

The Sundance Institute has unveiled the competition line-up for the 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival. The fest will run from January 22nd to February 1st, 2015. Out of 12,166 submissions, about 185 selections were made.

Prashant Nair’s film Umrika will have its world premiere in the “World Cinema Dramatic Competition” section. This section has twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world which offers fresh perspectives and inventive styles. The film is produced by Swati Shetty and Manish Mundra. And here’s the official synopsis of the film –

When a young village boy discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone missing, he begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him. 

The film’s leading cast includes Suraj Sharma, Tony Revolori, Smita Tambe, Adil Hussain, Rajesh Tailang and Prateik Babbar.

Last year, Geethu Mohandas’ Liar’s Dice was in the same section of the Sundance Fest.

Danis Tanovic’s desi film Tigers starring Emraan Hashmi will have its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival this year. Synopsis, cast & crew, and other details of the film is out.

Film

Director: Danis Tanovic
Country: India/France/United Kingdom
Year: 2014
Language: Hindi/English/Urdu/German
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Runtime: 90 minutes
Rating: 14A

Synopsis (from TIFF)

Devastated when he discovers the effects of the infant formula he’s peddling, a young salesman challenges the system and the powers that be, in this based-on-fact drama from Academy Award-winning director Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land).

Multinationals’ activities in the developing world come under harsh scrutiny in Danis Tanovic’s hard-hitting new drama Tigers. No stranger to controversy, the Academy Award-winning director is unafraid to stick his nose into contentious subject matter. Here, he explores Pakistan’s fascination with Western drugs, basing his film on a true story — its real-life protagonist lives in Toronto — involving a corporation aggressively trying to increase its market share through the sale of baby formula to new mothers.

Ayan (Emraan Hashmi) is a young, recently married salesman who gets a job peddling locally made drugs to pharmacies and doctors. Despite the fact that the Pakistani-manufactured pharmaceuticals he sells are much cheaper than those sold by Western competitors, no one will trust or buy products that lack major brand names. His wife encourages him to apply for a job with Lasta, a large multinational, and Ayan is hired on a trial basis. It’s not long before his natural charm and knack for glad-handing make him into a minor star, and Lasta expands his responsibilities. However, one day he is devastated to see first-hand what the selling of baby formula really means in certain cases. Shocked, Ayan sets out to challenge the system and the powers that be.

In a neat piece of narrative structuring on Tanovic’s part, this David-and-Goliath story is told partially through the eyes of a film crew making a documentary on Ayan’s astonishing findings. But the power of Tigers lies in his willingness to push his film out onto the streets of Pakistan and into the face of a system where narrow interests prevail, and an honest man doing the right thing is castigated and threatened, and finally sees his life endangered.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer: Karen Tenkhoff, Michael Weber, Praveen Hashmi, Achin Jain
Producer: Prashita Chaudhary, Kshitij Chaudhary, Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap, Cedomir Kolar, Marc Baschet, Andy Paterson, Cat Villiers
Production Company: Cinemorphic Pvt Ltd, Sikhya Entertainment Pvt Ltd, A.S.A.P. Films
Principal Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Geetanjali, Danny Huston, Khalid Abdalla, Adil Hussain, Maryam D’Abo, Satyadeep Misra, Heino Ferch, Sam Reid, Supriya Pathak, Vinod Nagpal
Screenplay: Danis Tanovic, Andy Paterson
Cinematographer: Erol Zubcevic
Editor: Prerna Saigal
Sound: Anthony B J Ruban
Music: Pritam
Production Designer: Rachna Rastogi, K.K Muralidharan

Danis Tanovic was born in Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and attended l’Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle in Brussels. His feature films include No Man’s Land (01), which won Best Screenplay at Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; L’enfer (05) and Triage (09), both of which premiered at the Festival; and An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (13), which screened at the Festival and won the Silver Bear at Berlin. Tigers (14) is his latest film.

It’s been raining trailers and how! We are adding two new interesting trailers to the list. First one is Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi. Based on the book of the same name by Yann Martel. It has Irrfan Khan (Older Pi), Tabu (Pi’s mother), debutant Suraj Sharma (Piscine Molitor ‘Pi’ Patel) and Adil Hussain (Pi’s father) in lead roles. Here’s the trailer which released today.

What’s wrong with the first 1min? Looks fake and poorly done. Rest of it looks magical. And Royal Bengal Tiger Mister Parker looks scary and delicious. There was a great buzz for its 3D at Cinema Con. We are waiting and how. In Ang Lee, we trust.

Click here to read the unofficial synopsis if you haven’t read the book.

The makers of Prague have just released the first teaser of the film. It really doesn’t say anything about the film but gives you its mood – Trippy is the keyword here. Click on the play button and enjoy.

Directed by debutant Ashish R Shukla, it stars Chandan Roy Sanyal, Arfi Lamba, Mayank Kumar, Sonia Bindra, Elena Kazan, Lucien Zell & Vaibhav Suman.

To know more about the film, click here.

 

So what’s common between all three? Desi connect and all female directors. Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) unveiled it’s official selection list for this year. And here are more details about these three films.

One of the most anticipated films of the year is Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children. It stars Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Anita Majumdar and Zaib Shaikh. The 148-minute long film has a screenplay by Rushdie himself. And here are some new stills. Click on one of the pics to view the slide show and make the images bigger.

To quote from the TIFF page…

Spanning decades and generations, celebrated Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s highly anticipated adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize®–winning novel is an engrossing allegorical fantasy in which children born on the cusp of India’s independence from Britain are endowed with strange, magical abilities.

If Deepa Mehta is here, can Mira Nair be far behind? She is also ready with her new film – an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s acclaimed book, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The principal cast includes Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber and Nelsan Ellis. The film is also opening the Venice Film Festival.

To quote from the TIFF page…

Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber and Kate Hudson co-star in this adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s international best-selling novel, about a young Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) whose pursuit of corporate success on Wall Street leads him on a strange path back to the world he had left behind.

And the third film which is completely desi is debutant Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish starring Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou and Priya Anand. To quote from the official release…

Legendary Indian actress Sridevi returns to the screen after a fifteen-year absence in this funny and touching story about an Indian woman who struggles to learn the English language in order to help provide for her family.

But fest insider tells us that isn’t all. There’s more to come in TIFF 2012! We will keep you posted about all the Desi connect.