Posts Tagged ‘Shabana Azmi’

So what do you do when you get to know that there’s a screening of Libaas? Well, only a Gulzar fan can tell you the right answer. So over to Mohit Kataria who tells us what exactly he did.

libaas_1988

Before you start:

Please don’t read this post as a film review post, it’s all about my personal experience with the movie Libaas and the way I got to watch it. I’ve never written any movie review before and I don’t think I even qualify for writing one (if there is any qualification criteria). You might also find it really biased as I’m a fan of Gulzar Saab and always wear a particular pair of admiration glasses while reading/watching/listening to any of his works.

Prologue

What do you do when you get any once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? You grab it with both the hands, right? That’s what I also did.

It all started with a Facebook post from a very dear friend and an ardent fan of Gulzar saab, Pavan Jha, that I came to know about Libaas getting screened in IFFI – 2014 in Goa on 22nd Of November. Then after a number of confusions, calculations and discussions later, I decided to go ahead and started making my travel plans. Then, I came to know about something called a delegate registration (I have already warned you about my credentials ), which was already into its “register-with-late-fee-phase”. Somehow got registered with some made up bio-data to prove that I was worthy enough to be a delegate there. I got an email mentioning that the confirmation will be done after some careful review of my bio-data. I waited impatiently for the whole day which was the last day for the registration, and by the end of the day, I got a confirmation mail asking me to pay to be a delegate. I followed the instructions and completed the formalities. Then it was time to book the tickets for travel. After doing some calculations, considering family, work, economics and time dynamics, I booked the flight from Bangalore, scheduled to reach Goa at 2 PM on the day of screening (22-Nov-14) (Libaas was scheduled for screening at 5:30 PM) and also booked first available flight from Goa the very next day (23-Nov-14). Needless to say, my only purpose of going through all this exercise was to witness something I really was waiting for ever since I started following and loving Gulzar Saab and his work – to get a chance to watch Libaas. And I never thought I would get an opportunity of a lifetime in this manner, to watch it with Gulzar Saab himself.

Experience

Before cutting through all the details of getting the passes (where Ashok Bindalji and IFFI organizers helped a lot), reaching the theater following Gulzar Saab, and finally settling down to watch Libaas, I would like to mention here that there were lots of people who wanted to get in and watch Libaas and the auditorium had a limited capacity of accommodating 280 people only. So one senior IFFI organizer (I won’t name him to get him into any trouble), took a call after consulting with Gulzar Saab and Vishal Bhardwaj, to allow people to sit in the gallery, on the floor, to stand on the gates, behind the last row and any other place wherever possible without making others uncomfortable. It got reminded me of the pre-multiplex era when it was a norm for any big movie. Isn’t it delightful to treat and watch the movie in the same manner we used to watch movies when it was actually made (in 1988)?

The stage was set by welcoming Gulzar Saab by the IFFI authorities, and then Vishal Bhardwaj presented the movie Libaas as the inauguration movie of retrospective: Gulzar. Vishal said that it’s an honor for him to present this movie, and spoke about how Gulzar Saab started his career as a poet and brought his poetry from paper to screen. Each of his movies are poetries on screen. He also briefly mentioned about the efforts at various levels that have gone in trying to get the movie released, including his personal efforts of 20 years which has gone in vain. Then he mentioned what it means to him personally, and for his whole family to be part of this historic event.

Gulzar Saab was visibly holding back his emotions, and he started on a lighter note saying, saying, “दोस्तो, मैं भी उतना ही curious हूँ फ़िल्म के लिए, जितने कि आप हैं. आप ने भी नहीं देखी फ़िल्म, मैंने भी नहीं देखी”, which rightly summed up the significance of the film. He was happy that the family and friends have come from all over to see this screening. You can listen to the whole discussion here. And then the magic started on screen. We were in for a very delightful treat for next couple of hours.

As you might know, the movie was completely based on Gulzar Saab’s own story Chaabiyaan which has also published later with the title Seema. There was wit, brilliance, intelligence and emotions written all over the movie. Each frame was flowing into the other one like the way water flows – at times like a river, sometimes like a silent lake and often like waterfall. It was a sheer pleasure to experience Gulzar Saab’s poetry for the next 137 minutes. The movie has four main characters – Sudhir Bhardwaj (a passionate theater director, played by Naseeruddin Shah), T.K. (a flamboyant businessman, played by Raj Babbar), Seema (an amazing actress who is also a not-so-happy wife, played by Shabana Azmi) and the theater which is the sutradhar which keeps tying all the running threads of the movie. It also has a handful of supporting cast who made their presence felt without shadowing the main leads. Not even a single character was out of place or not required. The story primarily deals with husband-wife relationship and a extra-marital affair, all in the backdrop of theater. While watching it, I could feel it was much ahead of its time (it was scheduled to be released in 1988), as was confirmed by Gulzar Saab in a post screening Q&A session that such things were happening at that time but were never shown in cinema. He dared to reflect what was part of society then.

Opening scene of the movie is in a theater, where Jamal Saheb (played by Utpal Dutt) is entering the theater while taking a look at the play being staged.

Utpal Dutt in Libaas

Utpal Dutt in Libaas

In the canteen, he is greeted by youngsters who are theater artists/aficionados and the scene establishes that Jamal Saheb is a great artist from the times gone by. He is not relevant anymore and is in a poor state. He has been replaced, so to say, by Sudhir, who is dominating the contemporary theater scene. In next few scenes, we come to know that for Sudhir, the first priority of his life is theater – the way he forces Seema to gargle every day in the morning, no matter what, and the way he keeps on talking about and enacting various scenes from his plays. One scene which nails it down clearly is when Seema asks Sudhir if she could get a hair-cut as she feels she would look prettier in short hair.  To which he replies, if she gets the hair cut, what would happen to all the characters she is playing in theater, and starts quoting each of the characters from different plays. All the members of his theater group love and fear him in equal measure due to his strictness while doing the rehearsals. A couple of times when Seema forgets her lines during the rehearsals, he yells at her, and at home, he tells her,

“खाना बनाना भूल जाओगी तो बर्दाश्त कर लूँगा, dialogues भूल जाओगी तो कभी बर्दाश्त नहीं करूँगा.”

Phir Kisi Shaakh Ne Phenki Chaanv - Libaas

Phir Kisi Shaakh Ne Phenki Chaanv – Libaas

Seema is already strained, and wants a break from the monotony of Sudhir being so hard on her as he always thinking about one thing – theater. That’s when T.K. enters the scene and their home. He is informal and is such a close friend of Sudhir that even Seema feelss surprised as she had never seen Sudhir being so comfortable with anyone, including her. TK’s flamboyant style of talking and cheerful behavior attracts Seema, and he gets attracted to her beauty. They all meet a couple of times and then while one relationship starts forming, other one starts breaking. On one side, Sudhir is always busy with his play rehearsals and on the other hand, T.K., a well versed businessman is always ready to meet her and pay attention to her.

Her loneliness and boredom from theater adds fire to the fuel, and before even they realize, the relationship becomes complicated. The high-point of the movie is a scene which has brilliance of Gulzar Saab written all over it. It was Gulzar Saab’s craftsmanship that he handled such a burdened situation in such a subtle manner. The treatment of the characters, the dialogues of this one scene leaves us completely mesmerized and catches us unguarded. The scene is when Sudhir decides to confront T.K. and Seema about their relationship. Seema and T.K. enter the house after spending some good time together, and they find Sudhir at home. T.K. tries to cover up his embarrassment by telling Sudhir that he was asking about him from Seema as Sudhir was very busy, they were not able to meet.

T.K. – और किस ड्रामे में busy हो आजकल?

Sudhir – “अ..अ..म.. आजकल… अ… एक personal से नाटक में ज्यादा busy हूँ.”

“ह.. ह.. मतलब..?”

“नाटक तो दूसरे लोगों का है, मैं खा-म-खां बीच में फंस गया”

“अम.. कुछ समझा नहीं यार, वो कैसे?”

T.K., though embarrassed, is still trying to appear innocent even though he is guilty of cheating Sudhir.

“क्या है के हमारे यहाँ… हमारे यहाँ, वो हैं ना… मि. मुखर्जी”

He looks at Seema and starts building the story.

“मुखर्जी? कौन?”

Seema asks, to which Sudhir replies –

“तुम मिली हो उन से, शायद याद नहीं है… मि. मुखर्जी में याद रखने जैसा कुछ है या नहीं मालूम नहीं… लेकिन अपनी पत्नी की वजह से वो.. अक्सर याद रह जाते हैं लोगों को…. बड़ी talented… और talented से ज्यादा ख़ूबसूरत पत्नी है उन की. अब ज़ाहिर है कि लोग उन की तरफ़ तवज्जो देते हैं, attract होते हैं. और ये कम्बख़्त चीज़ ऎसी है कि आदमी हो या औरत, पाँव तले की ज़मीन खींच लेती है. आदमी सोचता है, इश्क ही में ज़िंदगी है, बाकी सब तो फ़न, आर्ट, talent, सब सजावट की चीज़ें हैं. बहरहाल, मि. मुखर्जी का problem है, उन की पत्नी… वो किसी के इश्क में पड़ गई हैं या कोई है जो उन के इश्क में पड़ गया है….”

Seema asks, “तो problem क्या है?”

To which Sudhir replies, point blank, still keeping it indirect,

“तुम्हें नज़र नहीं आता?”

“नहीं मतलब… समझ में आता है लेकिन दोनों अगर एक दूसरे को चाहते हैं तो…”

“नहीं, नहीं, नहीं, नहीं… तुम उस लड़की के problem को देख रही हो, मैं मि. मुखर्जी के problem की बात कर रहा हूँ”

“उनका क्या problem है?”

“क्यूँ? याने… उन का कुछ है ही नहीं?…

उन का problem ये है कि उन्हें मालूम हो गया है… और जान लेने के बाद शौहर यानि मि. मुखर्जी क्या करे उस पत्नी का? चुप रहे? देखता रहे? होने दे जो हो रहा है? मुश्किल तो ये है कि कोई भी शौहर जान लेने के बाद ये निगल नहीं सकता”

Now T.K. intervenes,

“आख़िर मुखर्जी चाहता क्या है?” “चाहता क्या है, वो छोड़ो, क्या करना चाहिए उसे?”

“अम..ज़ाहिर है अगर उन की पत्नी, उन के साथ नहीं रहना चाहती तो उन्हें कोई हक़ नहीं है कि वो उस के साथ ज़बरदस्ती करें. After all.. वो अपना अच्छा-बुरा समझ सकती है, ऎसी कोई बात नहीं है…”

“हाँ, समझना तो चाहिए, सिर्फ़ ये कि जिस से वो प्यार करती है, क्या सचमुच प्यार करती है? यूँ ही उन्स में तो नहीं पड़ गई? ख़ा-म-ख़ां का infatuation तो नहीं है, जिसे वो प्यार समझ बैठी है?”

“आख़िर शादी-शुदा औरत है, क्या इतना नहीं समझती? इतनी mature नहीं होगी के…”

And that’s when Gulzar Saab’s intelligence of handling the complicated situations comes in full form.

Sudhir interrupts Seema at this point and says it straight,

“इतनी mature हो तुम? इतना समझती हो कि जिस राह पे जा रही हो, जिस के साथ जा रही हो वो झूठ-मूठ का कोई ड्रामा तो नहीं कर रहा है?”

At this time T.K. tries to escape saying this is personal matter between husband and wife and he is an outsider.

Then, as a matter of fact, Sudhir tells him,

“बैठ जाओ T.K., तुम भी कोई बच्चे नहीं हो… बैठ जाओ… देखो T.K., इन रिश्तों में कानूनी, ग़ैर कानूनी कुछ नहीं होता. कानूनन कोई पत्नी नहीं बनती, कानूनन कोई शौहर नहीं होता.Law has nothing to do with it. हम ज़बरदस्ती इन रिश्तों पर कानूनी मोहरें लगाते रहते हैं. आज तक, कोई किसी आते को नहीं रोक सका और ना किसी जाते को थाम सका है. और मैं ये कैंसर ले कर नहीं घूम सकता…. तुम ने ठीक कहा, अगर सीमा मेरे साथ नहीं रहना चाहती तो मुझे कोई ज़बरदस्ती नहीं करनी चाहिए, मैं नहीं करूँगा, लेकिन मैं इसे रास्ते पर नहीं छोड़ सकता. मैं तुम्हारा फ़ैसला जानना चाह्ता हूँ, तुम दोनों का फ़ैसला जानना चाहता हूँ… अगर तुम दोनों flirt नहीं कर रहे हो, एक-दूसरे को धोखा नहीं दे रहे हो, सचमुच एक दूसरे को चाहते हो, तो हाथ पकड़ो और निकल जाओ इस घर से.”

Seeli Hawa Chhoo Gayi - Libaas

Seeli Hawa Chhoo Gayi – Libaas

Even after Sudhir and Seema get separated and she remarries T.K., there is still an element of care and affection for each other.

T.K. and Seema are living happily, yet Seema is not able to forget her past so easily.

In one scene, where one evening she is sitting sad all alone on a yatch, T.K. comes and asks,

 “क्या हुआ… सुधीर का ख़्याल आ गया?”

“हूं..”

“इसीलिए तो तुम्हें शादी के बाद यहाँ ले आया. जानता था, अगर वहाँ रहोगी तो अतीत याद आएगा. अतीत बुरा हो तो सीमा, आदमी गर्द की तरह झाड़ दे, ख़त्म कर दे, लेकिन सुधीर जैसा… मुझ पर अंधविश्वास था उसे. जो कुछ हुआ, मुझे उस का अफ़सोस नहीं, बिल्कुल नहीं, बस यही है कि अगर तुम किसी दोस्त के यहाँ ना होती ना…तो अच्छा होता, क्यूँकि तुम जहाँ भी होती, मैं यही करता, I love you. मैं तुम से प्यार करता. I love you Seema, I love you.”

[Edit Note : While Mohit has written the climax in his post, we are not going to reveal what happens in the end, as we expect more screenings of the film soon and expect you to watch it someday, somewhere. We leave you here with Ravi Shastri Quote : All Three Results Possible ]

And the end credits roll over with the song

“तुम से मिली जो ज़िंदगी, हम ने अभी बोई नहीं,

तेरे सिवा कोई ना था, तेरे सिवा कोई नहीं…”

…Leaving everyone in the theater completely spell bound.

Gulzar Saab got a standing ovation which refused to die down for the next few minutes.

Epilogue

It had Gulzar written all over it. Gulzar the writer, Gulzar the dialogue-writer, Gulzar the lyricist and Gulzar the director. It was like various Gulzar competing with each other and attaining the pinnacle of expressions. The music of R.D. Burman was also a highlight of the movie as the melodies are so soulful, the film would have been definitely incomplete without such lovely songs.

From story perspective, it is really difficult to say what was wrong or who was wrong or whether anyone was wrong at all? This is the power of a sensibly told story on screen. We all know that Gulzar Saab has great sense of expression when it comes to relationships. He is the one who has given the words to all the emotions we have gone through at various points in our different relationships. He is no different here as well. Gulzar Saab has also given various references of past work of theater artists who have explored the complexities of husband-wife relations – Leo Tostoy’s Anna Karenina, Vijay Tendulkar’s Khamosh adaalat jari hai, Mohan Rakesh’s Aadhe-adhure. The film, even though made some 26 years back, is still relevant and I believe due to the nature of human relationships, will be relevant even after 26 years.

There are so many situations in the movie which could have been exploited with melodramatic scenes but he kept them subtle, and trusted the intelligence of audience he was catering to. Like after re-marriage, one day when T.K. is gargling in the morning, all of a sudden she gets reminded of Sudhir, who was always after her for gargling. She gets in that groove for a moment that she actually calls out her old maid’s name “दुर्गा…” and then she realizes her mistake. And when she calls up their family doctor (played by A.K. Hangal) asking him to visit their home for T.K.’s cough and cold, she forgets to mention to the doctor about his new life and husband. The doctor habitually visits their old home and because Sudhir is also suffering from the cough at the same time, he doesn’t find it surprising that Seema called him up. Subtle ways to show that the bridges are not yet burnt completely. The central idea of the story keeps coming back again and again in multiple ways.

During the post-screening Q&A we came to know that the climax which was shown in the film was not his choice but the producers insisted upon him to change the climax.

He wanted to leave it a bit open ended, which he couldn’t do in this movie, hence he made Ijaazat, another masterpiece on husband-wife relationship which he ended the way he wanted it to be.

Nobody dared to ask the question, “अगर लिबास release हो जाती फिर भी क्या वो इजाज़त बनाते?”  and I doubt if anyone who has watched Ijaazat would even dare to think it being non-existent from the filmology of Gulzar Saab. Nothing to compare but to give a flavor to the people who could not watch the screening of Libaas, in my opinion, it was at par (if not more) with Ijaazat in terms of exploration of relationships, writing, dialogues, songs, direction and music.

To sum it up, I would just say, no matter how many years the movie has spent in the laundry or dry-clean, this Libaas is still as crisp, clean and white as new.

 – Mohit Kataria

 

(Mohit Kataria is an IT engineer by profession, writer & poet by passion, 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)

(Pics & Videos by Ashok Bindal [ajbindal at gmail dot com], a close associate of Gulzar saab, based in Mumbai)

Retrospective Inauguration Video via Ministry of I&B YouTube Channel]

MKBKM

Vishal Bhardwaj is a disturbed man.

At least that’s what it seems. And that’s a good starting point. Filmmakers and artists should feel disturbed by their environment. Great art always comes out of that disturbance. So while rest of the bollywood seems to be living in Tumbuktoo with no connect to the issues that matters, and want you to remain equally stupid, blind and deaf with their corn-cola-crap combo, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is Vishal Bhardwaj’s first reaction to the changing world around us.

At a recent presser, Bhardwaj said that wo jo ugly malls…meri saansein aani band ho jaati hai wahan…uske andar…wahan ke shor se. As i watched the film where Pankaj and Shabana talk about his dreams on a hill top with dark clouds hovering over them, and a surreal sequence involving giant cranes, industries and malls comes up, it was eerie (wish they had avoided those tacky interior shots of the malls though). That’s the core of this whimsical film by Vishal Bhardwaj – development at what cost?

Land.

That doesn’t feature in our dictionary. The ones who are born and bought up in city never knew that it existed. We, the kids of small towns who moved to smaller houses in bigger towns, used to hear about it from our previous generation. Now, we are either comfortably numb, or understand the size of 1BHK – space is our only connect with “land”. And in this scenario, it’s quite easy to understand how difficult and daring it is to make a film like Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. Land, farmers, farming, rainfall, pesticides, gobar, anaaz, anaaz ka bhav – they don’t exist in our films anymore. Not that it deserves all the credit just for the dare act.  But, then, the industry and this country doesn’t understand “satire” either. We are still stuck at Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. Even on the day when the film is out, the makers are selling it as “massy comedy drama”, like they did with the trailer and tried to hide the film. Massy comedy drama? Paincho paincho!

And that’s the tragedy of Vishal Bhardwaj and his films – audience. Maybe the blame lies with him too. Intention is always honest, filmmaking is always top notch, but he wants big budgets. Big budgets means only one thing – big stars. Doesn’t matter if they can act or not. With big stars and big budgets, you need the big box office numbers too. So? Package it as “vitamin ki goli“, or massy comedy drama, as they would like you to believe.

Last time when he made a film without any compromise, he delivered two of the best films of his career which are classics in more than one way – The Blue Umbrella and Maqbool. Since then it’s always been a slippery ground. This balancing act is a tough business. Emir Kusturi-ca’s absurdity is full throttle. Bhardwaj’s absurdity is bollywoodised where every solution lies in hero-heroine ki shaadi. Some of the best cinema across the world never looks for solutions, and trying for a quick fix is unpardonable. Problems/issues – that’s the muse of a true artist. And this is what i found completely indigestible in Matru – how suddenly everything comes together in the end. Maybe they meant it’s “massy comedy drama” by its climax. Aha, the trappings of commerce when the film has an anti-commerce stand. Irony! And watching this film funded by a corporate giant in a multiplex inside a mall. Irony ka baap!

But other than its hurried and hotchpotch climax, the film has so much more to offer and is deliciously wicked. Sit back, relax, and chew it bit by bit like Gulaabo does. This one needs jugaali. (i hope you know what it is) Make sure you watch the film in a theatre which has good audio system. Miss one line and you will miss the joke. But wait, if your idea of being funny is 50 plus actors making faces on the tune of pon pon, this movie is not for you. Call it quirky, whimsical or absurd, i wonder if Mao and moo moo will ever get together in one film. Or you can just buy some species because you like their music. Or a Gulaboo bhains in such a pivotal role. It’s Cattle-ship Communism!

The story is simple – man has a daughter. man has a servant. daughter has a lover with a corrupt mother. It’s a hindi film and so you know the end. In the illustrious filmography of Bhardwaj, this is his first political film. i remember an interview of his where he said script aapko nanga kar deti hai…aap kya sochte ho, wahan sab dikhta hai. And if that’s so, am happy to tell that one of my favourite filmmaker looks smart even when his soch is stark naked. He makes other filmmakers of his generation who are still busy doodling with matters of heart, look like nursery kids. Paincho, ab toh duniya dekho! 

And hand over all, i mean ALL the trophies to Pankaj Kapur. A slur here, a sigh there, a blank stare in this direction – this actor is pure delight on screen. He owns it and how! Forget his Jekyll and Hyde avatar, he is 100 times the Jekyll hidden in one Mr Hyde! The film belongs to him and it’s no wonder that Bhardwaj calls him his most favourite actor on this planet. It’s been ages since an actor made everyone look like lilliput. Even if nothing interests you, just watch the film for him. Actors of his age are put in a bracket called “character actors” in this country and you never know when someone like him can get another terrific role like this one and will do full justice to it. Shabana Azmi is the Politician-who-licks-Lollypop and is a perfect match for Kapur as his footsie partner. And like any other Bhardwaj film, this one also has the entire supporting cast setting up a great ambience and a distinct world where the story unfolds. Any film which has great performances by actors in small roles, or even just for one dialogue – that’s my kind.

Book your tickets now!

– by @CilemaSnob

(PS – Dear VB, why this big dhokha this time?)

The first trailer of Vishal Bhardwaj’s new film Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is out. The film stars Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma, Pankaj Kapoor and Shabana Azmi.

Now, this looks like Entertainment, Entertianment, Entertainment. (Ok, blame that overdose on Vidya Balan) It surely looks like great fun – mad characters, rustic setting, colourful elements and dhinchak music.

But what is it about? It says almost nothing.

If it’s a Vishal Bhardwaj, it just can’t be boy-meets-girl, right? Some of us have read the script and the same two words comes to mind again – great fun. Only issue is the hotchpotch climax.

We can also tell you that there is a serious political issue in it but the trailer has masked it completely. Because they want your bums on the seats in the first weekend itself.

So see the trailer again. And see if can you connect the dots and guess the basic plot.

After its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, the next stop for Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children is the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival. Earlier four clips from the film were released. And now the official trailer of the film is finally out. Click on the play button and have a look

The trailer looks and feels nice with the correct mood and tone. But why this English Vinglish? Seems odd and out of place.

The film is based on Salman Rushdie’s acclaimed novel of the same name. The film stars stars Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Shabana Azmi, Soha Ali Khan, Darsheel Safary, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Samrat Chakrabarti, Sarita Choudhury, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anupam Kher, Anita Majumdar and Zaib Shaikh.

And if you missed it earlier, here’s the official synopsis…

Midnight’s Children is an epic film from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India’s whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.

 From the unlikely romance of Saleem’s grandparents to the birth of his own son, Midnight’s Children is a journey at once sweeping in scope and yet intimate in tone. Hopeful, comic and magical — the film conjures images and characters as rich and unforgettable as India herself.

With the announcement of its world premiere at TIFF, the official website of Midnight’s Children has also been launched. Click here to go to the site.

Though the trailer is not out yet, four clips of the film have been uploaded. Click on the play button and enjoy.

1. Killing fields

2. Emerald meets the General –  starts with General Zulfikar arriving at Sinai family residence

3. Tell me a poem – Amina and Nadir chatting in her parent’s basement

4. Saleem and Parvati kissing

The film stars stars Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Shabana Azmi, Soha Ali Khan, Darsheel Safary, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Samrat Chakrabarti, Sarita Choudhury, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anupam Kher, Anita Majumdar and Zaib Shaikh.

– To quote from the official release, here’s the synopsis….

“Born in the hour of India’s freedom. Handcuffed to history.”

Midnight’s Children is an epic film from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India’s whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.

From the unlikely romance of Saleem’s grandparents to the birth of his own son, Midnight’s Children is a journey at once sweeping in scope and yet intimate in tone. Hopeful, comic and magical – the film conjures images and characters as rich and unforgettable as India herself.

Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist is making all the right noises. First came the announcement that it will have it open the 69th Venice International Film Festival with its world premiere. And today it was announced that the film will have its gala at the Toronto International Film Festival as well.

It’s an adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s acclaimed book by the same name. It stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan, Om Puri and Shabana Azmi. It has been adapted by William Wheeler, with the screen story by Mohsin Hamid, and Ami Boghani, has cinematography of Declan Quinn, production design by Michael Carlin, costumes by Arjun Bhasin and edited by Shimit Amin. The music includes both the old and new Pakistani sounds with the iconoclastic Michael Andrews scoring and a new original song by Peter Gabriel.

Few new stills of the film are online now and here’s the slideshow of the same…

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If you haven’t read the book, here’s the official synopsis from the Venice Festival’s website…

Student demonstrations are raging in Lahore, as young Pakistani professor Changez Khan and a journalist, Bobby Lincoln, share a cup of tea and conversation. Princeton-educated Changez tells Lincoln of his past as a brilliant business analyst on Wall Street. He talks of the glittering future that lay before him and the beautiful and sophisticated Erica whom he was set to share that future with.

But then 9/11 changes everything. Attitudes shift dramatically – his very name and face rendering him suspect. Returning to his homeland and the family to whom he is very close, he takes up a post as lecturer at the local university, a hotbed of radicalism and the new militant academia.

The collegial pretense of the meeting in a Lahore teahouse, between Lincoln and Changez, slowly gives way to why the unlikely pair has gathered on a summer day – another professor has been kidnapped by extremists, and the clock is ticking toward a deadline for his execution. Changez’s family is being harassed and is in real danger. Bobby is there to listen, with an agenda of his own. Taking us through the culturally rich and beguiling worlds of New York, Lahore and Istanbul, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an exploration of prejudice and the phenomenon of globalization that is both exhilirating and deeply unsettling.

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We are bit late on this news. But if you still haven’t read enough, here it is – Deepa Mehta has completed the shooting of Midnight’s Children, the film based on Salman Rushdie’s novel by the same name. Some clips from the film were shown at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival.

The adaptation has also been written by Rushdie.  The film stars Satya Bhabha, Siddharth, Shriya Saran, Shahana Goswami,  Rajat Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Ronit Roy, Darsheel Safary, Rahul Bose, and Samrat Chakrabarti.

Click on the play button to check out Salman Rushdie talking about the adaptation. TIFF’s Cameron Bailey moderated the session.