Posts Tagged ‘Alok Rajwade’

Most probably you haven’t heard about any of these titles mentioned in the header of the post. But they seem to be interesting films, and hopefully we will get to hear more about them in the coming months. So here’s the official synopsis of all these films.


Away from any media attention, Feroze Abbas Khan has completed his next film titled Dekh Tamasha Dekh. He had earlier directed Gandhi, My Father.

Synopsis : The story revolves around the search for the religious identity of a poor man crushed under the weight of a politican’s hoarding. A social and political satire, the film explores the impossible India, where bizarre is normal.

Directed by Feroze Abbas Khan.
India 2012, 108 Minutes, Hindi with English subtitles.
Cast: Satish Kaushik, Tanvi Azmi, Vinay Jain, Sharad Ponkshe, Ganesh Yadav, Apoorva Arora, Alok Rajwade


Manjeet Singh’s directorial debut Mumbai Cha Raja did a good round of film fests and now he is working on his next film titled Chenu. It has been selected for the 9th edition of L’Atelier organized by the Cinéfondation of the Cannes Film Festival.

Synopsis : Chenu, a low caste Dalit boy living in rural North India, is drawn into an ongoing war between the extremely violent leftist “Naxal” militia and the fascist landlords’ gang. One day his younger sister Chano’s fingers are chopped off by landlord Teer Singh for plucking mustard leaves from his farm. When Chenu’s family is denied justice, the Naxals come to their rescue. They huntdown Teer Singh forcing him to take refuge under the protection of Bhagwan Sing, the leader of a landlord gang who has just cremated a cart full of dead relatives killed by the Naxals. The Naxals then involve Chenu in their operations and he comes to know where their weapons are hidden. When physically beaten by the rich village kids for playing on their turf, Chenu learns to fire a handgun himself. Meanwhile Bhagwan Singh, in thirst of revenge, consolidates other landlord gangs to form a powerful private army. A bloody cycle of violence unleashes, engulfing Chenu’s innocence while setting him on the cours of his own journey.


I have been hearing about Devashish Makhija for a long time. Good to know that he is ready with his debut feature.

Synopsis : Little Oonga missed his village school trip to the faraway big city Lohabad to see a play called ‘Ramayan’. Unable to handle the pressure of being the only kid around who has not seen the fantastic warrior-king ‘Rama’, Oonga runs away. He goes on a perilous journey across forest, river, mountains and roads – bigger than any he’s ever seen, and valleys lain to waste by the mining industry… until he reaches the large, cold, chaotic, blinding city. When he emerges from the play he believes he has become Rama! But he is now returning not to the warm confines of his little village, but to a battlefield where the ‘company’ will do anything to take the adivasi’s land away from them. Only, Oonga doesn’t know it yet.

Directed by Devashish Makhija.
India, 2012, Feature Film, 98 Minutes, Hindi and Oriya with English subtitles.
Cast – Alyy Khan, Anand Tiwari, Nandita Das, Priyanka Bose, Salim Kumar, Seema Biswas, Vipin Sharma


Filmistaan22012 was a good year for Bollywood. But beating all those films, Nitin Kakkar’s debut feature Filmistaan bagged the National Award for the Best Feature Film in Hindi Language. And if you read the synopsis, you might know why. It sounds delicious.

Synopsis : This National Award winning movie is set in Mumbai where, affable Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny, who works as an assistant director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star. However, at every audition he is summarily thrown out. Undeterred, he goes with an American crew to remote areas in Rajasthan to work on a documentary. One day an Islamic terrorist group kidnaps him for the American crew-member. Sunny finds himself on enemy border amidst guns and pathani-clad guards, who decide to keep him hostage until they locate their original target. The house in which he is confined belongs to a Pakistani, whose trade stems from pirated Hindi films, which he brings back every time he crosses the border. Soon, the two factions realize that they share a human and cultural bond. The film shows how cinema can be the universal panacea for co-existence.

Directed by Nitin Kakkar.
India 2012, 117 Minutes, Hindi with English subtitles.
Cast – Sharib Hashmi, Kumud Mishra, Gopal Datt, Inaamulhaq


Synopsis : ‘Fireflies’ is the story of two estranged brothers – Shiv and Rana. Shiv, a successful banker, lives in the superficial glitter of corporate Bombay. The younger brother, Rana, is a law school dropout who lives by the day. Though worldly experiences and illusions briefly illuminate the brothers’ journeys, a tragedy that befell them fifteen years earlier seems destined to repeat itself, just in new incarnations. Flames suddenly extinguish again, in an eerie heartbeat. The journey ahead echoing with voices and visions from the past, and the magic realism of the years gone by, beckons the brothers to find each other again. And the picture in the puzzle that was scattered so long ago. Fireflies come out in the night, just to light up the darkness. They live as long as the glow lasts. Even if it is a lifetime, being lived in a day.

Directed by Sabal Singh Shekhawat.
India, 2012, 102 Minutes, Hindi & English.
Cast – Arjun Mathur, Monica Dogra, Rahul Khanna, Shivani Ghai, Aadya Bedi

Now that the post header has made you curious enough to book your tickets, do give the film some time and space. Its not your corn and cola cinema. For that you can wait for pottymaker’s Housefull!

As I returned home after the screening and looked at the bucketful of water in the bathroom and the reflection of the light on its surface, I could not look beyond. A bucketful water never meant so much. Never held my attention. When you go to a theatre to watch a film, its entertainment but when you come back home with a cinema inside you, you know its a masterstroke.

Vihir is one such cinematic masterstroke. Directed by Umesh Kulkrani and written by Girish Kulkarni & Sati Bhave, its devastatingly gorgeous, warm and heartwrenching tale of two freinds and their adolescent days. Of lost and found. Of life and death. Of hide and seek. Of love, lost and longing.

According to the official release, the synopsis of Vihir is as follows…

A story of two adolescent boys Sameer and Nachiket (cousins who are best friends) standing on the crossroads of life… to choose between the life that leads to petty worldly small existence or the life of free existence that would let them spread their wings and soar high in open skies…

They play a game of hide and seek in a rather unusual way. Where one cousin hides in death and the other is looking for him in the life around him. . . . Samir’s search leads him towards the experience of oneness where he can unite with Nachiket again!

Scratch the surface and you will find that the water runs really deep. There is family politics, pain of growing up, existensial crisis, chinese whispers, detachment and finding that “best friend” during one of the most difficult & exciting time of life – adolescent days. When suddenly one day you spot some soft hair strands slowly making a thin line just below your nose, you dont remain the same anymore. You want to talk to someone who belongs to the same club. You try to make sense of the world.

And like me, if you have spent your summer vacations at your nanihaal or mamabadi or mamaghar or Grandma’s place, you will instantly connect with it. Uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents – all under one roof. Things that you should not have known, tales that you should not have heard and incidents that you should not have been part of – you grow up then and there. You become Adult. Vihir moves in similar territory as Sameer & his Nachiketdada try to decipher the meaning of life around them. They are not only cousins but best friends too. One (Sameer) idolises the other but the other is lost. He is also trying to find himself. And its through one’s loss, that the other discovers himself.

But what kind of loss is it ? Is it just being invisible ? Or more than that. Here comes the maturity in the writing and direction part.  And now slowly all the dots connect. The simple game of hide and seek & chinese whispers dont remain the same anymore. Dont want to write more here to spoil the experience for you.

The character actors are all familar faces of marathi cinema. Lead actors Madan Deodhar (Sameer) & Alok Rajwade (Nachiket) say it more through the silences and gestures than the dialogues. Alok was also the lead in Siddharth Sinha’s FTII diploma film Udhedbun which bagged the Silver Bear at Berlin Film Festival in 2008. Shot gorgeously by Sudheer Palsane, the camera takes you straight inside the family affairs. The acting across the board is so natural that it looks like someone just put a camera there. Am not sure if the actors spent some time together before the shoot or what lead to such strong bond on screen but its pure magic.

When the first half got over, I was bit lost wondering if its the end of the film. And it could have been a superb end there. As i came out and met few other film buffs, realised that others also felt the same. So now what ? What will he do in the second half ? How will he wrap up ?

Fuck Syd Field and fuck all plot points. Umesh Kulkarni’s second half is pure visual delight. Mood piece. At one point, some 20 minutes of the film is complete silence. No dialogues. And once you are with the character, you know what that silence means. If you have ever loved and lost someone, you know its difficult to find a way out.  You dont want to hear people talking. They just dont make sense. You need no gyaan. You need that journey to nowhere. Remember last year’s Dev D ?

In the secod half, I felt the same once again. When “the well” scene comes, I thought here is one more end. But then there is some more. Its a journey of self-discovery. So, no point trying to figure out an end to join the dots. Let it go on.

And as a killer line in Rocket Singh song goes…Uljhe nahi to kaise suljhoge…bikhre nahi to kaise nikhroge. Nobody grows up in years, its always in deeds.

Water is life. And death too. In every drop. Everywhere. The subtle hints, the subtext and the layers – by the end it seems nothing is as simple as it looks.

(PS – Its great that AB Corp produced it. All respect. Hope they do more such films. And those of you who still think that am biased against the Bachchans, doesnt this post say enough to shut you up! We all love to champion a film that we like. Rest doesnt matter. It seems Jaya Bachchan was the key person for making this happen. This surely is one tight slap on the face of Raj Thackeray and his supporters who claimed Guddi buddhi zali, tari ajun akkal nahi aali. And do watch it on big screen. You need to dive into that water. The dark theatre and the big screen sets the perfect mood. )

Click on the play button to see the opening scene of Vihir

For more on Vihir, click here.