Posts Tagged ‘review’

Amit Masurkar’s new film Newton had its world premiere at the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival. Here’s all the buzz about the film from the fest.

(click on any of the pic to start the slide show)

Finding humour in the tenuous nature of democracy might be a hard task on the global stage at present; however, in Newton’s darkly comic exploration of one official’s attempt to uphold the election process in India, it’s simpler than it sounds. The second film from writer/director Amit V Masurkar bows in Berlinale’s Forum section with a sense of chaos and absurdity, while remaining aware of the drama of reality. When the feature emphasises either extreme, it proves engaging viewing.

–  From Screen Daily’s review. Click here to read the full review.

– Rajeev Masand’s video-blog on the film –

 

Newton is a very important film, despite its satirical tones, laced with a lot of humour and irony. It is a film that should make viewers think about how important their right to cast a vote is.

– from Aseem Chhabra’s report on the film. Click here to read the full report

Newton is a brave attempt. Because it uses the feature film format to tell a story about on-going violence and exploitation and cynical political aggrandisement : anytime you hear the words Naxal, or Maoist in a film, it falls into the tried and tested formula. Newton breaks that mould, refreshes hardened tropes, and makes us smile and think. Really hard. Because what effects India Interior today will one day ripple over and claw its way into our complacent urban, mall-infested enclaves.

– from Indian Express. Click here to read the full report.

– Some tweets on the film:

(pics taken from Twitter)

by  मोहित कटारिया

(Mohit Kataria is an IT engineer by profession, writer & poet by passion, and a Gulzar fan by heart. He is based in Bangalore and can be reached at [kataria dot mohit at gmail dot com] or @hitm0 on twitter)

 

Nobody knew Nagraj Manjule when his debut feature, Fandry, released. It got rave reviews and made it to our “Must Watch” list. Our recco post on Fandry is here. But this time there was lot of expectations from him as Sairat is his second feature. He delivers and how! Here’s our recco post on the film by Dipti Kharude.

The film has released all over with English subs. Don’t miss.

sairat-hero copy

As I write this, I’m listening to the heady soundtrack of Sairat. The feeling of being in a music video with a bright Dupatta fluttering behind is hard to shake off. That is the naivety of love and that is our good, old desi way of spinning a yarn. We have perhaps forgotten that song and dance can make important contributions to the narrative of our films. They can accentuate agony and ecstasy, introduce characters, and allow them to express themselves in a way that would sound contrived as dialogue. In that vein, Ajay-Atul are to Sairat what Irshad Kamil has been to Imitiaz’s films, and more. (They have composed the music, written the lyrics and sung songs for the film).

In Sairat, the boy gets a song, the girl gets another and then there’s a duet. The last song, which is a prelude to the ugly turn of events is also a subtle nod to the Romeo-Juliet balcony scene where the protagonist, Archie, daughter of the powerful upper caste Patil is dancing in the veranda upstairs and Parshya, a fisherman’s son from the Pardhi community is dancing outside the house. This, like many other visuals establishes a hierarchy without screaming ‘caste’. Manjule uses this dreamy narrative to set us up. He pulls us in with promises of hackneyed romantic epics only to shows us the realities that were missing in films like QSQT and Saathiya.

Films are not about issues but about people living their lives. Good stories are the ones where the theme is subliminal. Sairat doesn’t go gently into the night, though. Manjule’s fiery outrage is muted in the first half only to smack us in the gut at the end. Its triumph lies in the fact that Manjule doesn’t depend on an art house aesthetic to create this impact. He relies on mainstream cinema to do the job.

In the most familiar tropes, he manages to question norms.

It is refreshing to see a girl in a rural set-up drive a tractor and be the knight in shining armour spouting quips like “Marathit samjat nai, tar English madhe sangu?” (If you don’t understand what I’m saying in Marathi, should I repeat it in English?) If the first half were a Bhai film, she would be Salman. Manjule subverts by making Sairat more about the heroine’s quest than that of the hero’s. This film makes you revise your image of small-town/rural girls. They want to take agency over their own lives. The female gaze in Sairat is not the terrible flip side of the usual hetero male gaze, which typically fetishizes women. It is like a celebration of female desire.

He creates joyous moments in the hinterlands of the Solapur district of Maharashtra. This milieu is almost conspicuous by the lack of it in Bollywood – a ladder to climb the makeshift pavilion during a match, the privileged son cutting his birthday cake with a sword, a lady barging unapologetically on the field during a cricket match and yanking her son away to keep watch over the livestock and the unfurling of a courtship against the backdrop of wells and sugarcane fields.

In Sairat, the issue of ‘casteism’ is not at the forefront but its consequences are. The privilege of being the daughter of an upper caste strongman empowers Archie to be badass. Despite the entitlement, Archie endears with her rebellion. She is unabashedly flirtatious and brandishes a raw frankness. She reprimands Parshya for referring to his physically inadequate friend as ‘langda’, in jest. Manjule is interested in dismantling many other structures where the contours of discrimination may change but the hierarchical outlook stays the same. It is this advantage that Archi struggles to relinquish in the second half. Once she frees herself of the power that comes with privilege and strives on an equal footing with Parshya, she evolves.

While doing all of this, Manjule does not strike a single false note. Archie may have valiantly used a gun while escaping but that doesn’t prepare her to drink unfiltered water. The scene where Archie and Parshya quench their thirst after disembarking the train is telling.

In the gritty second half, the main characters come undone with their frailties. Even the charming Parshya succumbs to his insecurities. Slow motion sequences are traded in for rapt stillness and silences. They begin to realize their happily-ever- after dream and are even economically empowered to buy a flat in a more egalitarian city.

Apparently, class inequality is surmountable but it is the caste inequalities that cast a long shadow.

SPOILER ALERT

Honour killing is a common narrative but Manjule draws you in and makes you drop your guard. You can sense the robust command over his craft when you laugh during an awkward scene just before the ghastly climax.

ALERT ENDS

The more diverse ways we have of telling mainstream stories, the more likely audiences will find something that speaks to them. What better way to spur a discourse?

Dipti Kharude

It was suppose to be DC Comics answer to Marvel’s Avengers. But so far, the reviews of ‘Batman v Superman : Dawn Of Justice’ are more entertaining than the film. And if you have landed up from some other planet, you might have missed this video which is depressing and funny at the same time.

So what really happened? What does it mean for DC Comics’ next? Is there a way out? Have patience and read Anubhav Dasgupta‘s rant.

BatmanvSuperman

(SPOILER AHEAD. It’s fucking full of spoiler. Wait. You still haven’t seen it? Lucky you!)

On Thursday night, I sat down in a movie theater and watched Superman reach into Batman’s chest and rip out his heart. A child sitting in my row decided it was finally time to leave. I should have followed her out, but I stay put like the masochist that I am.

Batman v Superman is the nadir of DC comics. Not only is it a badly made film that made me question whether professionals  — some of them Oscar winners — were behind it, but it is an utterly reprehensible, indefensible piece of garbage that ruins the two most iconic characters in history to satiate the appetites of immature adults who constantly seek validation for their consumption of stories starring characters that were made for children.

Let’s call these immature adults “Batbros” because there’s only so many times I can type “immature adults” before I’m sick of the term.

Batman Begins was a great film that rejuvenated the Batman franchise, salvaging it from the campy wrecks of Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin. Christopher Nolan infused the character with a sense of pathos that made his trauma palpable every second of the film. He set it in a world very much like ours but also infused it with comic-book elements like fear toxins and a shadow cult of ninjas. Critics loved it, audiences dug it, fans were happy. It made enough money for Warner Bros to green light a sequel. Like Begins, its sequel The Dark Knight was a dance of reality and myth. Ostensibly a reaction to the American war on terror, Joker representing the chaotic boogeyman, something that Batman, standing in for Americans, simply could not understand. It was a massive, massive success and it still remains one of the greatest films ever made. But a collateral damage caused by it was the emergence of the Batbro. They identified with Batman’s seething libertarianism, his fascistic insistence on surveillance as an end to chaos and terror. They identified with an aspect of the character that was very much post-9/11 American White Male. What they thought they fell in love with was the darkness of the plot, considering it novel while being ignorant of the fact that comic books and comic book movies have touched upon dark themes before. I strongly believe that they do not recognise what makes The Dark Knight special and mis-attribute it to the grim mood of the story.

In the same year The Dark Knight came out, rival comic book publisher, Marvel’s movie arm put out Iron Man. Starring Robert Downey Jr as a genius pro-war one-percenter reformed into a superhero, it was talking about some of the same things as TDK but the approach was completely different. While TDK considered the war on terror a grim necessity, Iron Man criticised it while subtly commenting on the military-industrial complex and how corporations and militarism go hand in hand in a capitalist economy. The titular Iron Man, himself, is a much brighter character, who uses his wit and arrogance to mask his despair while Batman channels it into a life-force.

Spurred by the success of Iron Man, Marvel put out movies that existed in the same universe, done in the same style. Their continual successes culminated in Avengers, a movie that united Marvel’s heroes, which made ungodly amounts of money in the box office and millions more in merchandise sales.

DC floundered along, their one shot at a shared universe, Green Lantern, failing miserably. Batbros found solace in the Batman video games produced by Rocksteady, whose atmosphere vindicated their demand for immature darkness. The stages of the game looked grimy, the characters — save for Joker — wore constipated scowls and dressed in greasy coats. There was an unsubtle misogyny about how the game series treated its few women characters, animating their movements to make them look like they were continually cat-walking. What they got perfectly right were the mechanics of the game, the story, penned by DC Animated series alumni Paul Dini, and the voice-acting, which reunited DC Animated series alums Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Tara Strong.

DC comics’ only mainstream successes were the Nolan Batman films and the Batman video games so, when it was time to reboot the DC universe and rake in Avengers money, they decided to push the tone of both these sources on to their movie universe.

It’s been a fucking disaster.

Man of Steel was positioned to revitalise the Superman franchise for a generation and a fanbase of Batbros that thinks altruism is bullshit. Zack Snyder’s film was a character assassination of the highest order, corrupting the socialist bent of the original Superman to make way for an ill-advised objectivist interpretation. The parallels to the story of Moses (Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were Jewish immigrants in ’30s America) were ignored to force Christian symbolism on the character. Snyder misconstrued the power fantasy of Superman to be a physical desire rather than an ideological one. This Superman isn’t great in heart or spirit, but in physical strength. He spends the movie moping around, so crushed by the weight of his responsibility that he does nothing about it. In the third act of Man of Steel, a noisy, grey muddle that makes Michael Bay’s Transformers look coherent, Superman allows wanton destruction as he faces off against a mighty alien being. At the end of it, he manages to catch the alien in a chokehold and snap his neck.

Batbros lapped it up. It was a mainstream vindication of the maturity of a comic book character. Surely, there could be nothing immature about dodging an oil tanker and letting it destroy a building when you have all the power in the world to stop it, or destroying a man’s livelihood because he was mean to you inside a bar.

Strong visuals and a fantastic score by Hans Zimmer elevated it from trashiness into mediocrity and it made some money and sanctimonious too-cool-for-school audiences finally found Superman to be cool after he had snapped some guy’s neck.

Never mind the children as long as the adults are entertained.

The same darkness followed through in the comic books. After the DC line was rebooted, Superman traded in his red trunks, spit curl and charm for armour and an unpleasant scowl. He was, finally, cool.

Batman v Superman doubled down on this interpretation, creating a Superman who possesses all the maturity and angst of a spurned teenager. The movie antagonises him, pities him, hates him and the one time he’s about to explain himself, it blows everything up. Literally. Here’s a Superman who seems like he hesitates to save anyone who isn’t his mother or his girlfriend. Here’s a Superman who forgets all his powers to allow a contrived plot to unfold. Batbros were further vindicated by a Batman who scared the shit out of criminals, who straight-up murdered people with military grade armaments mounted on his vehicles.

Zack Snyder has hid behind the defence that he’s followed the comics to a t. I doubt he’s read a comicbook. I strongly suspect that he flipped through a few pages, looked at the art, skipped dialogue balloons when his ADD took over and thought it was the greatest thing ever. BvS plays like a visual greatest hits of comicbooks. There’s images from The Dark Knight Returns, Crisis on Infinite Earths and The Death and Return of Superman replicated with great accuracy. But here’s the thing. Comic books don’t work solely on imagery alone. The titular fight between Batman and Superman is lifted from The Dark Knight Returns, but it lacks any of the intelligence, any of the motivation behind the fight. The philosophical battle between the ideologies of fascism and libertarianism have been replaced by Bollywood movie-level scheming. But Superman and Batman fight and the screen’s so dark we can barely make out anything so it’s mature, r…right?

Superman dies, just like he did in The Death and Return of Superman, but I felt nothing. The comic book isn’t the best but when Supes bites the bullet, we feel something. His sacrifice in the comic is earned. But in BvS? Fuck no. There’s many ways Superman didn’t have to die, and we’ve spent so much time annoyed by his moping and selfishness that it doesn’t affect us much at all.

But, hey, Superman dies. What a ballsy move, right? Fuck no. Everybody knows he’s going to come back to life. The moment has no point, no impact, no nothing. It’s cheap, superficial imagery and grim to a pornographic level.

But hey, Superman dies so this is suddenly an adult mature film, unlike the Marvel movies where everything’s sunny and you can actually make out what the fuck is happening. Batbros finally had an adult superhero franchise to rally behind. Finally, they felt, we don’t look like kids anymore. Never mind that Batman and Superman stop fighting because their mothers have the same name, killing people is exceptionally mature and adult amirite?

Never mind the kid who is bored by the pointless pontification, blinded by the few splotches of colour that emerge from a dark, drab palette, terrified by the characters they were supposed to love. Batbros will hi-five each other all the way to the fucking bank.

Kids, meanwhile, will be reluctant to buy action figures from the DC universe, page through DC comics while Marvel will capture their imagination completely.

Marvel figures are routinely cleaned up at Toy aisles while DC’s figures enter the bargain bin because nobody cares about their characters.

Except for Batman, barely any DC comics sell routinely as much as their Marvel counterparts, despite the quality.

All this thanks to DC bending over to cater to a tiny subset of fans who want to prove that their superheroes are fit for adult consumption.

Alan Moore, the writer of Watchmen, Batman : The Killing Joke, Swamp Thing and other comic book classics, infamously referred to comic book fans as subhuman. He cited the crowds of adults lining up to watch Avengers. He wasn’t wrong in his statement but he was woefully wrong in his observation.

The Marvel films, while routine, are ostensibly for children, but have enough pathos and intelligence to satisfy adult viewers. They’re stories for children that work for adults.

The DC films, however, drip in darkness. They’re for ignorant people who think that anything meant for children demands no seriousness or maturity. There’s no joy in any of their characters or any of their exploits. Their films are grim to the point of hilarity. DC films are a child’s view of what an adult film is, they are the kind of films that Vincent Adultman from Bojack Horseman would insist upon watching. DC film’s are selfish appropriations of children’s characters by childish adults.

When Alan Moore called comic book fans sub-humans, this is what he was going on about. Not adults who dress up as Thor in line to Avengers 2 but adults who celebrate the image of Superman ripping someone’s heart out while the kids cower, confused.

Thing is, Warner Bros seems to hate these characters. There is a marked cynicism behind the DC universe driven by a begrudging need to make money off IPs they disdain. They heap their own ugliness, their cynical hollywood fear and nihilism into characters that were built to give hope. Superman needed to be brought down from his pedestal of ideological superiority to our ugly levels of angst and paranoia. By reducing the symbolism and ripe mythological gravitas to petty wannabe philosophy, they have greatly diluted the power inherent in the characters. A page in Grant Morrison and Frank Quitley’s All-Star Superman has famously saved people from committing suicides. I simply don’t see films from the DC universe coming close to doing that. They’re content with being ugly extensions of an ugly world. They’re not the mirrors to our society as they hope to be, but the cesspools of our collective subconscious. Saving cats is passé, destroying whole cities is in. Fuck the kids, our audience are ugly man-children.

Batbros are celebrating the latest ravaging of the Superman icon but I feel they’ll turn round. The film has been universally panned by critics, its glaring errors in basic filmmaking revealing the true ugliness inherent in the plot. People are catching on to their shit. However, if it makes any money, it’ll be a vindication of the Batbros’ stance. Warner Bros will double down on the darkness, ruining and ravaging every bit of innocence inherent in the characters until there’s nothing.

If you’re a DC fan, and remember the joy the comics or Bruce Timm’s animated series gave you, and you like the current crop of DC films, I strongly urge you to think about it. Our characters are far more important than your selfish enjoyment and loyalism. We’ve got to save them. We’ve got to make sure Warner Bros get rid of their pointless nihilism. Otherwise we’ll be looking at a bunch of movies about joyless freaks that encourage no emotion, no thought, no joy except for infantile vindication.

Batbros are celebrating the latest exercise in cynical destruction, but they’ll be proven wrong, when, years from now, their children will ignore their Superman toys for a miniature Iron Man.

Batman v Superman is Darkseid’s anti-life, pushing us into cynical acceptance of our grim mentality. We have to resist. We have to be better. This is more important than two rival companies. This is a battle for hope and for the future. And fans are their own biggest enemies.

Anubhav Dasgupta

(Anubhav tries to make good stuff. Besides cinema, he also likes comic books and cats)

Q’s latest film Brahman Naman premiered at the recently concluded Sundance Festival. Here’s all the buzz that the film generated at the fest – The fridge, the fish, and the fan!

Brahman Naman

– For Twitch Interview of Q and the cast, click here.

– Guardian has given it a three-star rating. Review is here

– Variety review is here

– Hollywood Reporter review is here

– Review on Twitch Film is here. Calls it a “fantastic facre”

– Netflix scooped up worldwide SVOD rights. Details here

– Interview on Film Companion where Q reveals that the film is really about caste system.

– Pillow Talk with Q and Shashank Arora (they are literally on the bed)

 

Tamasha

तमाशा देखकर निकला तो उलझन में डूबा रहा | इम्तियाज़ की फ़िल्में पसंद आती रहीं हैं,तो इस बार ऐसा क्या हुआ कि बाहर निकल कर उत्साह की जगह निराशा थी | जहाँ सब तमाशा की तारीफ़ में डूबे थे,किसको और कैसे बताऊँ कि फ़िल्म मुझे अच्छी नहीं लगी | यह जैसे ख़ुद में अपराध-बोध जैसा था | फिर सिलसिलेवार सोचना शुरू किया तो पाया कि फ़िल्म कई बातें सिर्फ़ ऊपर-ऊपर से करती है और निकल आती है |

या तो यह इम्तियाज़ की ज़िद है कि मैं कहानी दोहराऊँगा और उसे कुछ अलग रँग देकर पेश करूँगा और साबित करूँगा कि एक ही कहानी अलग-अलग तरह से दिखाने पर भी वह सफल फ़िल्म हो सकती है | इस की भूमिका वे फ़िल्म के शुरूआती बीस मिनट में बाँधते हैं | यह जैसे फ़िल्म शुरू होने से पहले उनका उद्घोष है कि दुनिया में सारी कहानियाँ एक ही तो हैं,तब फिर मुझपर यह इल्ज़ाम क्यों ? यहीं वे अपनी कहानी के लिए एक बचाव ढूँढते नज़र आते हैं | यही बात वे शुरू से अपनी हर फ़िल्म में कह रहे हैं | “इक्को एक कहाणी बस बदले ज़माना ” |

उनकी नायिका हमेशा की तरह एक बोल्ड और सामाजिक ताने-बाने के ऊपर की एक लड़की है जिसे बकौल इम्तियाज़ “हुस्न की गलियाँ ” दिखें या ना दिखें से कोई दिक्कत नहीं | वह दुनिया घूमती है,अपने फ़ैसले लेती है और इस विचार से कि दोबारा शायद नायक से मुलाक़ात ना हो,ऐसे में अपने दिल की सुनने से नहीं चूकती और देह की बनी-बनाई परम्पराओं को लाँघने के बाद आज़ाद महसूस करती है | फिर प्रेम उसको कमज़ोर बनाता है और अंत तक आते आते वह इस बात से संतुष्ट है कि वह एक सफल पुरुष की प्रेयसी या पत्नी है |

कहानी मूल रूप से नायक के भटकाव और एक लड़की के प्रेम से गुज़रते हुए खुद को पा लेने की है और यहीं फ़िल्म सबसे कमज़ोर है | हाँ यह सही है कि प्रेम हमारे अंतर्मन को छूता है और कई सारे बदलाव करता है | कोई हमें इस तरह पहचानने लगता है जिस तरह कभी किसी और ने नहीं पहचाना हो | प्रेम भीतर घुस कर हमें उधेड़ता है और हमारा असली रूप हमारे सामने ले आता है जिसे हम ख़ुद सालों से नकार रहे होते हैं | यह हम सहज स्वीकार नहीं कर पाते और ऐसे में वह इंसान जो यह सब कर रहा होता है,उसे भी हम उतना ही दोषी मानते हैं जितना ख़ुद को | जिस तरह हम अपने दुश्मन रहे होते हैं,उसी तरह वह इंसान हमारा इतना अपना हो जाता है कि अपना दुश्मन लगता है |

हम जो करना चाहते हैं,जब वो नहीं कर पा रहे होते,तो क्या हमारा बर्ताव वैसा होता है जैसा फ़िल्म के नायक का था ! उसके लिए फ़िल्म कोई विश्वसनीयता नहीं पैदा करती | वेद के अपने बॉस के साथ के सीन्स,यदि कोई फूहड़ फ़िल्म होती तो मैं हजम कर लेता,लेकिन यह इम्तियाज़ की फ़िल्म है और यहाँ वह अपनी पकड़ खोती है | वेद की छटपटाहट अपने सपने को ना जी पाने की है या तारा के प्यार के लिए है,यह भी साफ़ नहीं है |

वेद और तारा मिलते हैं और उसके बाद के तीन-चार साल तारा के कैसे बीते यह तो हमें पता है लेकिन वेद ? वह एक नौकरी में है और तारा से प्रेम में है या नहीं,यह कहाँ दिखता है | तारा के मना कर देने के बाद की जो चोट है,वह प्रेम में ठुकराए जाने की है या उस ज़िन्दगी को ना जी पाने की जिसकी झलक हमने कोर्सिका में देखी थी |

आप दिखाते हैं कि वेद ने आख़िरकार अपने मन की सुनी और फ़ैसला लिया और फिर सब ठीक हो गया | ऐसा कहाँ होता है जी | वह तो शुरुआत भर है | जीवन तो उसके बाद शुरू होता है | फ़िल्म ना तो वेद के बचपन पर ठहरती है जहाँ से उसके संघर्ष की जड़ें पकड़ में आती और ना ही अपने मन-मुताबिक ना जी पाने की स्थिति से उपजे रोज़ के संघर्ष पर |

“जब हम प्यार में होते हैं तो कितना हिस्सा असली होता है और कितना सिर्फ़ हमारे दिमाग़ में,हमारी कल्पनाओं में | जब सब ख़त्म हो जाता है तो सिर्फ़ कल्पना बचती है जो धीरे-धीरे दिमाग़ को खाती है और इस ज़्यादा सोचते रहने से ही उपजता है दुःख | प्रेम यदि एक यात्रा है तो दोनों की,एक की नहीं | हमारा नायक एक ऐसा आदमी है जो अपने बारे में सब जानता है और फिर खुद अपने हाथ से निकल जाता है |उसको पता है कि अब तक उसने खुद को संभाला है और अब उसकी लगने वाली है | वह जानता है कि वह अपने हाथों से फिसल कर सब कुछ तोड़ देने वाला है और इस बर्बादी के बाद जो सामने आएगा वह असली होगा जबकि वह जीवन भर इसी टूटन से बचता-भागता फिरता रहा | आख़िर में आप उम्मीद लगाते हैं कि अब कुछ होगा और वेद अपने परिवार वालों को एक कहानी सुनाता है और जो दिक्कत सालों से नहीं सुलट रही थी,वो यूँ हो जाता है मानो इतना ही आसान था | “

कुछ बातें जो कचोटती रहीं …

-वेद ने तो तारा के सहारे ख़ुद को खोज लिया, तारा को कौन खोजेगा ?

-जब तारा और वेद दोनों ख़ुद को खोजेंगे, तब वे अलग हो जाएँगे |

-स्त्रियाँ कब तक पुरुषों की मरम्मत के लिए उपलब्ध रहेंगी | क्या हमारी फ़िल्में उनको भी भटकाव में जीने की आज़ादी देंगी |

-क्या यह ऐसा नहीं था कि हाँ तुम अपने सपने जीयो,तुम्हारे लिए तो मैं हूँ | मेरा सपना तो तुम हो |

-क्या मन की सुनकर फ़ैसला भर ले लेना सफलता का पैमाना है | यहाँ तो कितने हैं जी जो मन की सुनकर ठोकरें खा रहे हैं और लगातार मेहनत कर रहे हैं |

-क्या ऐसी स्थिति जैसी वेद की है,वह यह हक देती है कि आप आसानी से बदतमीज़ी करें | या तो फ़िल्म इसे विश्वसनीय बनाती |

यह सारी बातें सिर्फ़ इसलिए क्योंकि फ़िल्म इम्तियाज़ की है | मुझे इरशाद कामिल के गीतों की फिर तारीफ़ करनी चाहिए और दीपिका के अभिनय की भी | अभिनय की कई परतों को रणबीर बस सतह से निभा ले गए |

तमाशा एक अच्छी फ़िल्म है,कालजयी या जादुई नहीं |

– Pradeep Awasthi

sachin-pilgaonkar-shankar-mahadevan-katyar-kaljat-ghusali-movie-pic

Knowledge is acquired.
Art is inherent.
Knowledge solves complexities.
Art gives birth to those very complexities.

There is a whole scene dedicated to this Knowledge V/S Art (Vidya V/S Kala) debate in Katyar Kaljat Ghusli — and it is easily my favourite part in the movie. A musical maestro’s protege aches for knowledge. The knowledge that can hone his skills, set him apart. But he completely overlooks the fact that even without the knowledge, what he already has within him — the raw art of music — is far more valuable.

Anybody who has grown up in a typical Marathi household has heard their mothers and fathers sing Ghei Channd Makarand. It won’t be blasphemous to say that it is our equivalent of a Bachchan or Tagore poem, if not as widely popular. So when the film adaptation of the cult musical, Katyar Kaljat Ghusli, was released, all of us got a call from home urging us to go see what a spectacle it is.

And I’m happy to report that it has lived up to the hype. The plot is simple: Pt. Bhanushankar of Vishrampur (Shankar Mahadevan) discovers Khan Sahab (Sachin Pilgaonkar) in one of his mehfils and brings him back to his town. But Khan Sahab’s talent always ranks below Pt. Bhanushankar’s, and a fierce sense of competition starts to rise within him. Competition culminates into sabotage and Pt. Bhanushankar loses his voice as a result of a vicious scheme. As Khan Sahab settles into the comforts of the palace and new his designation of the Royal Singer, Pt. Bhanushankar’s protege, Sadashiv (Subodh Bhave) enters the scene to win his mentor’s honour back.

The most interesting thing about Katyar… is the use of music. It feels as important to the anatomy of the film as a limb (props to writer Prakash Kapadia, who has emerged as the master of the Indian epic. His next is Bajirao Mastani). While most films about music add songs just to authenticate the genre (here’s looking at you, Aashiqui 2), Katyar’s music takes the narrative forward and keeps you glued to your seats even through songs. While Ghei Channd will always remain a favourite, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s Sur Niragas Ho and Yaar Illahi could easily become the next generation’s favourites.

I may be at a disadvantage, having not seen the original musical, but my father tells me that the film was about 80% true to the source material, which is not a bad percentage at all. The dialogue is dense with beautiful lines about music, art, the value of commitment, envy and the evil in one’s heart. Shankar Mahadevan appears to be surprisingly comfortable in his role and Subodh Bhave — with his ability to be believable as Anybody — is honest. Sachin Pilgaonkar has walked away with the lion’s share of compliments, but I can never shake the feeling that his brand of acting is similar to Aamir’s — where, with each movement and each gesture, he wants you to know just how good he is. Frankly, he overdid some scenes, but let’s not focus on that.

The good thing is, the movie has released with subtitles and, for once, the person who has done the subtitling deserves a pat on the back. They have masterfully turned colloquial Marathi phrases into English lines, and successfully translated the humour when required.

Yes, the plot is predictable and spoon-fed to viewers, but if you’re in for a true musical with hair-raising compositions embedded into the story, and the magic of simple storytelling as well, this is your pick.

Nihit Bhave

(Nihit Bhave is a freelance writer based in Bombay. Was Features Writer with Hindustan Times’ Sunday magazine, HT Brunch until recently)