Posts Tagged ‘Rituparno Ghosh’

London Film Festival (LFF) has announced its schedule for this year. The 57th edition of the festival will run from 9-20 October and will screen 234 feature-length films & 134 shorts from 74 countries.

India seems to have a good score at LFF this year as seven desi films have been selected for the fest. The titles include Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa, Ritesh Batra’s fest favourite The Lunchbox, Nagraj Manjule’s Fandry, Richie Mehta’s Siddharth, Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran’s From Gulf To Gulf, Rituparno Ghosh’s Jeevan Smriti and Uday Shankar’s Kalpana. The Lunchbox is in official competition section of the fest.

But the one that we are most excited about is Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa (Sniffer). We have been hearing about it for sometime and now more details have come out.

ANWAR KA AJAB KISSA

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Master Bengali filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta teams up with India’s hottest indie actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui in this richly textured black comedy, set against a magical, surreal tableaux of the Bengali city and countryside that’s typical of Dasgupta’s eye. Anwar (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is a well meaning if clumsy private detective, or ‘sniffer’, who can’t help getting personally embroiled with the clients he is spying on. His only true companion is an old dog. His pet and his regular drunkenness put him at odds with the local orthodox Muslim housing block, who want him out. At the same time, Anwar increasingly struggles to cope with his small-time sleuth work that shows him that, in the modern world, even love is for sale. When a case takes Anwar back to his rural homeland, he’s forced to confront his own love tragedy. Siddiqui lights up the screen, displaying a talent for deft comic timing that makes Sniffer a joy to watch.

– Director-Screenwriter : Buddhadeb Dasgupta

– Producers : Ajay Sharma, Archismaan Sharma

– With Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Ananya Chatterjee

– Duration :132 mins

FANDRY

fandry

The ‘untouchable’ Jabya struggles to reconcile his status with his dreams in Nagraj Manjule’s uncompromising indictment of India’s caste system.

– Director-Screenwriter : Nagraj Manjule

– Producers : Vivek Kajaria, Nilesh Navalakha

– With Somnath Avghade, Suraj Pawar, Kishor Kadam

– Duration : 105 mins

– Production company Navalakha Arts and Holy Basil Combine

Nagraj Manjule’s film is a scorching indictment of the caste system that persists in modern India despite legislation introduced since independence. It is depicted through the eyes of an intelligent Dalit (untouchable) teenager, Jabya, who has a deeply rooted inferiority complex about his looks, caste and his family’s staggering poverty. These feelings prevent him from expressing his affection for his fellow classmate and cherished love, the fair-skinned Shalu, who is the daughter of a higher-caste family. His father is against him going to school and aspiring too highly and fellow villagers expect him to do menial work like the rest of his clan.

SIDDHARTH

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A modern-day quest to find his missing son leads Delhi tailor Mahendra on a perilous journey into the unknown in Richie Mehta’s cautionary tale.

– Director-Screenwriter Richie Mehta

– Producers Steven N Bray, David Miller

– With Rajesh Tailang, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Anuray Arora

– Canada-India 2013

– Duration 96 mins

– Production company Poor Man’s Productions

– Sales : Fortissimo

Director Richie Mehta returns to London with a powerful tale that is all too sadly a common story in today’s Indian cities. In Delhi, a door-to-door tailor, Mahendra, and his long-suffering wife, played by Tannishtha Chatterjee (Brick Lane), are struggling to make ends meet. They send their 12-year-old son Siddharth off to work illegally in a factory in Punjab, but when he doesn’t arrive back on the agreed date, the couple go to the middle men who arranged their son’s job and then the police. As they don’t have a photo of their son, identification is near impossible. As tales of child abduction are raised the desperate father borrows money from his fellow local street vendors and sets off on a quest to trace his son’s journey into the unknown.

FROM GULF TO GULF

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Mobile phone video from the sailors who brave the routes between India and the Persian Gulf form the basis of grassroots true-life adventure.

– Directors : Shaina Anand, Ashok Sukumaran

– Producer CAMP

– India-United Arab Emirates 2013

– Duration : 81 mins

– Production company : Sharjah Art Foundation

‘A film based on actual events, and videos of actual events.’ Four years ago the Indian artists’ collective CAMP started to work with the boats that crisscross the Arabian Sea from the Gulf of Kutch between India and Pakistan to the Persian Gulf. This film draws from these years of dialogue, friendship and video exchange with sailors, most of whom are from Gujarat in India, Southern Iran and Pakistan. Rather than directing, the filmmakers act as editors, deftly compiling from the sailors’ mobile phone footage an authentic grassroots picture of the experiences of these usually invisible sea workers. But, with the impressive wooden boats and the joyous soundtrack (chosen by the sailors themselves), this humble material is ultimately transformed into a modern adventure on the high seas.

 JEEVAN SMRITI

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The swansong of the late Rituparno Ghosh is a fittingly personal take on the LFF favourite’s own inspiration, the poet-artist Rabindranath Tagore.

– Director-Screenwriter : Rituparno Ghosh

– Producer : Sanjoy Nag

– With Sanjoy Nag, Samadarshi Dutta, Raima Sen, Anirban Ghosh

– Duration 78 mins

– Sales : National Film Development Corporation

This is a sumptuous, very personal docu-drama about his own inspiration – the legendary poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore. Flamboyant Rituparno, with his camera team, set off from Kolkata in the monsoons to Tagore’s country birthplace, on a journey of love and poetic admiration. On the way they uncover the lesser-known personal life of this Bengali hero. A stunningly photographed dramatic story, backed by great actors like Raima Sen, depicts the inner struggles of the young, introvert Tagore who, in spite of his comfortable background, was constantly tortured but also inspired by love and terrible loss.

Kalpana is Uday Shankar’s classic which has been restored by World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in association with the National Film Archive of India.

Info and pics courtesy : BFI

Satyanweshi

Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passed away earlier this year just after completing the shooting of his film on Byomkesh Bakshi. The makers have completed the film and it is ready for release. It’s based on “Chorabali” by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay.

The film also marks the acting debut of filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh in the lead role of Byomkesh Bakshi.

Here is the first trailer of the film

Official synopsis – Maharaja Arunangshu, the ruler of a princely sate named Balabantpur, had made a wish list on his death bed in the presence of Dewan Chandrashekhar, the family physician Kaligati and the High Priest. It laid down certain conditions for his heir, his son Himangshu. The first of which forbade Himangshu from marrying a non Hindu girl, and the second demanded a legitimate heir within three years of his marriage. Bound by his father’s conditions of succession, Himangshu is compelled to marry Alaka, an aspiring actress.

A year and half into the marriage, Harinath, the young palace librarian disappears without any trace. This mystery occasions the arrival of the sleuth Byomkesh and his author friend Ajit to Balwantpur. The visit though is under the pretext of an invitation for a hunting expedition. In course of their stay, they unfold many secrets involving the residents of the palace and about the topography of Balwantpur.

Film : Satyanweshi.
Starring : Sujoy Ghosh, Aninda Chatterjee, Indraniel Sengupta, Arpita Chatterjee, Sanjoy Nag, Shibaji Bandhopadhyay, Anandi Ghosh
Producer : Shree Venkatesh Films
Presenter : Shrikant Mohta & Mahendra Soni
Direction : Rituparno Ghosh.
DOP : Avik Mukhopadhyay
Music : Debajyoti Mishra

dosar

Rituparno Ghosh’s 2006 film Dosar starts with an accident. A man and a woman in a car. She gets killed. He survives. His wife, and we – the audience, get to know that the man had gone out with his mistress. While returning back after spending the weekend together, they met with a fatal accident.

It’s a strange scenario for the couple. At the moment when the wife gets to know that her husband has survived a fatal accident, she also figures out that he was cheating on her. And at time when the husband doesn’t want to face the wife, he is severely injured, completely bed-ridden, and desperately needs her help for day to day basics. Now, what? How would they react? What would they do? Place yourself in the shoes of either of the characters, and you will realise what a daunting task it is to answer that question – now what?

Now, comes Rituparno Ghosh with his most powerful tool – conversation. It seems like the director puts his invisible camera there without disturbing the space between the husband and wife. In stark black and white, he captures them confronting the worst possible scenario in their relationship. With two other sub-plots in the film, these are essentially three man-woman stories set in different scenarios but with intersecting tracks. And Ghosh was a master at that. Give him a couple and he will give you conversation that will keep you easily hooked for two hours.

Remember, Raincoat? Another stunning work of his where ex-lovers meet to spend an afternoon together and fake their stories to make the other person believe that they are doing good and are happy. Another man-woman pair with an afternoon full on conversation. And another couple in a sub-plot to give a different perspective to a similar scenario. Interestingly, i saw the film in an afternoon show, and i felt like i was in the room with Mannu and Neeru, and when i came out of the theatre hall it was just “Before Sunset”. What felt like fly-on-the-wall direction is a mature, non-intrusive, deft and sensitive hand at work.

Ex-lovers met in Titli too. But there was a new twist in the tale – a terrific coming of age story of a young girl which starts with mother-daughter on the same side of the fence to soon becoming rivals in love. If you are used to closure or conclusive ending, Ghosh never gave that comfort. It was always about confronting it and have a conversation. Sometimes exploitative too, like it was in his heartfelt Bariwali, where a lonely middle-aged widow starts enjoying the company of a young charming filmmaker who comes to shoot a film at her old and sprawling house. Love has a habit of dying young, but rarely does it leave people so lonely, gloomy and hopeless in the woods. It was heartbreaking.

Chokher Bali, Antarmahal, Khela, Shob Charitro Kalpanik – you can see similar motifs in all his films. Man, Woman, and that conflicted space that needs a conversation. Antarmahal got mixed reviews when it released. But i think it is his bravest and most interesting film till date. The way he mixed religion, sexuality and humour, it’s a deadly cocktail, and i doubt anyone will even dare to think about it in today’s times. If you haven’t seen the film, just see the opening few minutes here (with english subs) – it’s sad, funny, and strangely, full of coital-conversation amidst the sound of a creaking bed.

Rituparno GhoshIn the last few years, he shifted his focus more towards acting and gave mainstream space to characters of marginalised or alternate sexuality. Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story), Memories In March and Chitrangada – all dealt with gender themes. Compared to his earlier films, these looked weak but he was making strong statements about sexual politics. And perhaps the only one who was doing it in mainstream media. Also it became difficult to separate the real and reel Rituparno. There were many rumors floating around but he never bothered. His attire changed drastically. If you looked at the pics in this post, you can see his extreme makeover – from middle class Bengali attire to flamboyant cross-dressing. He was aware of what people were talking about him and he openly discussed these issues too. What he always hated was the labeling – why only man or woman? Sex and gender – they are always not so simple what we are taught in school books. So we will leave it at that, the way he wanted – not man, or woman, just Rituparno.

@CilemaSnob

(stills from Satyanweshi)

In a completely shocking news, filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh died of heart attack today morning. He was working on his latest film Satyanweshi – a Byomkesh Bakshi story starring filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh.

Easily one of the best filmmakers in the country, nobody explored the intimate space between two people like Ghosh did. All those film fanatics who are mad about world cinema, i hope they do get time to watch Ghosh’s films. His entire filmography is worth watching. Embedding the video of one of my favourite film – Titli – a terrific coming of age film. And easily the best desi film in that genre. It stars Mithun Chakraborty, Aparna Sen, Konkona SenSharma, and is with English subs. Do watch.

RIP Mister Ghosh.

(Pics courtesy – The Telegraph)

Pratim D. Gupta is a full-time film critic with The Telegraph and a part-time screenwriter. Well, part-time till his film gets made. Based in Kolkata, he closely tracks Bengali film industry’s every intelluctual, pseudo-intelluctual and aantel (ask your bong friend. There is no english word for this one) move. So where does Aparna Sen’s latest film Iti Mrinalini fits in? Scroll down and read on…

Disclaimer: I don’t know why I am writing this piece. In an industry where scratching backs is the only way forward and where every film is a classic and every performance award-winning, one online rant really matters very little. Unlike Bollywood where good films and bad films, moneymaking films and praiseworthy films all have their own space, Bengali cinema is going through this incredible phase where you have to laud at everything and anything up there on screen. If you do not comply, you are against the growth and prosperity of Bengali cinema. “How dare you? Just because your script hasn’t got funding, you are badmouthing other films!” Honestly, I can’t help myself. I refuse to be party to this mogojdholai (brainwashing). So you can have your own conspiracy theories but I have my own views and I will stick by them. And no I didn’t like Iti Mrinalini. You too have a choice — close the window at this stage or read on.

What goes wrong with Aparna Sen? She makes a brilliant film and follows it up with something so ordinary, you start wondering how could she have possibly made that earlier great movie? One of the frequently asked questions in Bengali movie circles that has refused to die: Did Ray ghost direct 36 Chowringhee Lane? You watch Mr & Mrs Iyer, Paromita’r Ek Din and The Japanese Wife and you know the answer. You watch Yuganto, Sati and 15 Park Avenue and you are not so sure about your answer.

The problem is not just with inconsistency. There are many great directors whose great films are punctuated with not-so-great films. It is the sheer ordinariness of some of Aparna Sen’s films that really complicates the situation. You look at every nook and corner of the frame hoping to spot that Rina-di touch and your disappointment mounts by the minute till the time you want to throw up your hands and leave the theatre.

Sen, along with Rituparno Ghosh, has been the so-called custodian of the modern Bengali woman on celluloid. Her fantastic domestic femmefatales are independent, self-sufficient beings who manage to emerge on top of every challenge that men (and society) have thrown at them. From Paroma to Paromita. Sen herself in the 1970s was this ultimate epitome of everything that was new and clutterbreaking about the Bengali woman ultimately leading to her print revolution, as editor of Sananda.

Mrinalini is a wimp! A namby-pamby, a maudlin… such a waste of human life, that I do not want to watch her wet — strictly tears — life on screen for two hours. I do not care which bits of that life are fictional and which bits are from Sen’s own life, the life is dull, boring and flaccid. She fell in love with a boy in college who was a Naxal and got shot down, she then fell for her director who had a wife and two kids and was never really interested to set up a home with his kept and their daughter, and then she developed feelings for a man who has a very sick wife at home and yet is always there by her side. As is evident, it’s always the men who call the shots in Mrinalini’s life, who is just a ping-pong ball in search of the net.

And this insipid biopic is narrated in the most archaic way possible — an unfinished letter, a bottle full of sleeping pills and lots and lots of glycerine! You get the drift?

The only mildly interesting bit of the film is Mrinalini’s daughter with her director lover Sid who she gives away to her Canada-based brother and sister-in-law but ensures that the girl spends the summer vacation with Pishi and Kaku. It is a unique relationship that these five people share where terms of endearment and lines of blood get beautifully blurred. But then the most important scene of the film, when the young girl Sohini reveals to Mrinalini that she already knows that Pishi is her real mother and Kaku her real father, is so lazily written and treated so matter-of-factly that the emotional fulcrum is not tampered. How can Mrinalini’s reaction line be: “When did this happen?” As if the date and time of the revelation is more important to her — clearly written with the audience in mind — than the fact that her daughter knows she is her daughter. Compare this scene with the heart-wrenching revelation scene between Irrfan and Kal Penn in the car in The Namesake and you know where the difference lies.

The script has no structure or build-up of any sort and have scenes that shouldn’t have ever made it to the screen. Towards the climax we have a scene between Mrinalini and her young director love Imtiaz which goes something like this… “Have the tea Imtiaz.” “I didn’t ask for tea.” “Now that the tea is here, have the tea.” “No.” “Will you have coffee then?” “I can have coffee. But black coffee.” After she has ordered the black coffee for him, she asks: “Have you studied in America?” “Why because I asked for black coffee?” “Something like that.”

And then the whole film is explained in one scene. “There are different types of love Minu,” says one of the men in her life. Ok alright, we get it! But Rina-di, have you seen Frida? That film conquered what you set out to achieve. Yes, it’s a biopic of a real person and obviously a far more fascinating person that Mrinalini but it has the same plot points comprising Frida Kahlo and the men in her life. And this feels really silly on my part to tell this to someone like you but just by giving voice to WHAT THE WOMAN WANTS, Frida becomes so bloody awesome. When her husband Diego Rivera learns that Frida has been unfaithful to him, he says: “You’ve broken my heart, Frida.” She gives it back to him: “It hurts doesn’t it? But why? It was just a fuck, like a handshake.” Mrinalini sadly has no venom or vermin.

The Rituparno effect on Aparna is quite telling in this film. The whole analogy to Karna-Kunti Sambad and Raktakarabi bears a strong whiff of Ghosh and company in the way literature is blended into the lives of the characters. Throughout Iti Mrinalini there is an attempt to attach importance to a subject which is obviously not that important. It’s not true to its genre, it tries to be An Aparna Sen film. The political events streaming in the background (Vishal Bhardwaj tried the same in 7 Khoon Maaf) and the baffling ending are the biggest examples. It wishes to leave you dumbfounded, just like the ending of 15 Park Avenue. It’s that last shot in the arm to elevate the film to something substantial but when it backfires – like it does here – it really does more harm to the film.

The only masterstroke of Iti Mrinalini is how Konkona Sen Sharma is asked to perform like Aparna Sen and not the other way round. They both play Mrinalini and Konkona has the lengthier role but yet she tries to ape Aparna. Because the director understands that the better actor should be given the difficult task. And while Konkona cannot possibly start looking like a young Aparna, her body language and especially her speech is ditto her real-life mother. Close your eyes in the theatres and you will know what an outstanding job Konkona has done in Iti Mrinalini.

All the other actors barring Aparna herself — these filmmakers who act really need someone else directing them, as was evident in Ranjana Aami Ar Ashbo Naa recently — are good. The deadly combo of Rajat Kapoor on screen and Anjan Dutt in the dubbing studio makes Sid such a believable character. Koushik Sen is so effective in the few scenes he has. Saheb impresses in his little cameo. Priyanshu has great presence but is saddled with such a strange character, he can only do that much. The late Somak Mukherjee shot Iti Mrinalini with a lot of pizzazz, especially that shot on the beach where the two women are chatting and the camera curls on the young girl sleeping on top of Rajat. Wish there was at least a hint of period detailing, though.

Iti Mrinalini is really a very weak and disappointing effort from Aparna Sen. But sometimes there comes a performance that becomes so much bigger than the movie it comes in that the ordinariness of the films takes a back seat. Konkona has always reserved her best acts for her mother’s films. And while her mother’s films have ranged from brilliant to bad, she has shone in all of them. Personally, I found this performance to be her best till date. Here neither did she have the superficial condiments embellishing a Mrs Iyer nor the free mind of a schizophrenic patient like Meethi. It’s just one of the best actresses of our countries at the top of her game.

But Rina-di, don’t you think Koko deserves better? And maybe we too?

Iti Pratim

Well, he can shout out Meri Marzi! Fair enough. But do watch the videos in this post. The first one is a trailer of his new film Memories in March. The film is directed by Sanjay Nag and stars Rituparno Ghosh, Deepti Naval and Raima Sen.

To quote from the official release, “Written by Rituparno, Memories in March unspools the story of a bereaved mother who comes to Kolkata to collect her son’s ashes. She is Arati Mishra, an art curator who lives in Delhi. Through his friends and colleagues, she discovers that they knew him in ways different from the way she knew him as his mother.”

Seems like Memories In March is Hazar Chaurasia Ki Maa, just replace Naxalism with sexuality. But from the trailer it feels like Rituparno Ghosh might have killed the film with his acting. Because he is just playing himself.

A filmmaker who knows how to explore that intimate space in a relationship so bloody well, and someone who has done it so many times, why this acting keeda suddenly ? Mr Ghosh, you can do better.

The second clip is from another bengali film titled Just Another Love Story (Arekti Premer Galpo). Directed by Kaushik Ganguly, it’s about a filmmaker Abhiroop Sen (played by Ghosh) who makes a documentary about Chapal Bhaduri, the legendary jatra (Bengali folk theatre) actor who spent his entire career playing female roles on stage, primarily as Goddess Shitala. Thus begins a journey where director and subject learn from one another – on the one hand is Bhaduri (playing himself) who was a closeted gay for fear of social ostracism but was openly accepted as a cross-dressing actor, and on the other is the modern urban filmmaker who is open about his sexuality but is still negotiating his gender identity.

The film stars Rituparno Ghosh, Raima Sen, Jishu Sengupta, Indraneil Sengupta and Chapal Bhaduri.

And click here to read Variety’s review of the film and more about Ghosh’s acting debut.

We haven’t seen either of the films and may be it’s completely wrong to judge his acting just on the basis on the trailers. But then,  if the reverse is true, we will write the apology post in big and bold font too.

The new avatar of Rituparno Ghosh

Posted: January 14, 2011 by moifightclub in cinema, pics, Regional, Tollywood
Tags: ,

Not very long ago we had put this post on filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh and his changing avatar. And now he has gone a step ahead. Check out the slide show.

It shouldn’t matter much to a film buff but when he is flaunting it all, how can you not notice! And it seems he is exploring gender and sexuality with his films too. Once, twice and more! Click here to read the complete interview published in The Telegraph, where he talks about his new passion, his new film Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish and how he is preparing for it.

Pic Courtesy : The Telegraph