Posts Tagged ‘Vasan Bala’

(click on any pic to start the slide show)

Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (The Man Who Feels No Pain) became not only the first Indian film to be featured in Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness, but also the first Indian film to get the Grolsch People’s Choice Award in the same segment.

Here’s Vasan’s acceptance speech at TIFF…

 

And this is how the film was introduced by the Midnight Madness curator Peter Kuplowsky. So much fun!

Here’s all the early reviews from TIFF:

Writer-director Vasan Bala’s wild and wacky yet also warm and fuzzy fable about a resourceful young man who transcends ostensible physical limitations to become a two-fisted, swift-kicking hero likely will prove to be an irresistible crowd-pleaser on the global fest circuit, and in international release on various platforms.

Review on Variety by Joe Leydon

But those getting superhero fatigue should not worry, for along came an Indian superhero origin story inspired by every action movie on the planet that’s so funny and meta, Deadpool is crying of jealousy. This is The Man Who Feels No Pain.

Review at Bloody Disgusting by Rafael Motamayor

Through the tongue-in-cheek humor and mind-blowing action, the makers of the film manage to capture the crowd-pleasing essence of a masala film, without any of the problematic aspects of the genre. In a time where every Bollywood movie is eager to teach and preach, ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’ takes you back to the time 7-year-old you broke your leg trying to leap into a flying kick. But instead of yelling at you for being an idiot, Vasan Bala gives you a mat to cushion your next fall and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

Review at BizAsia by Sahar Junejo

His film, whose title toys with Amitabh Bachchan’s 1985 Mard, summons many adorable tropes of Bollywood and superhero films — bachpan ke dost, dadaji as teacher-mentor, mother’s murder and a haunting chain, limping and one-legged martial arts masters, evil villains — but each one has its own dancing, subversive curlicue that twists and twirls the cliches, making them funny, cool, with oodles of street cred.

Review by Suparna Sharma

– Review at NowToronto by Norman Wilner

The first look of Vasan Bala’s upcoming Bollywood-infused action film Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (MKDNH) is out. It’s teaser cut for the Toronto International Film Festival. Take a look.

MKDNH is the first ever Indian film to be a part of TIFF 18’s Midnight Madness. It stars Bhagyashree’s son Abhimanyu Dasani and TV star Radhika Madan who is also playing a lead in Vishal Bhardwaj’s next. The film is produced by RSVP.

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Vasan Bala’s new film Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (The Man Who Feels No Pain) is going to be featured at the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) ‘Midnight Madness’ section. It’s the first Indian movie to be featured in Midnight Madness.

Here’s the official TIFF program note on the film:

In this Bollywood-infused action film from Vasan Bala (Peddlers), a young man quite literally born with the ability to feel no pain strikes out on a quest to vanquish 100 foes.

Cast: Abhimanyu Dasani, Radhika Madan, Gulshan Devaiah and Mahesh Manjrekar
Abhimanyu is the son of ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ actress Bhagyashree, while Radhika Madan is a popular television star who is also playing one of the main characters in Vishal Bharadwaj’s next ‘Patakha’.

The 131 min film is produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP.

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best bollywood films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

To read the scripts of best bollywood films of last few years, click here. From 2016, script of Neerja is here, Kapoor & Sons is here, and Pink is here.

raman-raghav

 

After the disaster of Bombay Velvet, Anurag Kashyap was back in form with this quickie, Raman Raghav 2.0. The film had everything that Kashyap excels in – a smart title, black humour in abundance, terrific atmosphere, quirky characters and punchy dialogues.  Inspired by the true story of Raman Raghav, Vasan and Anurag’s screenplay, which was divided into chapters, was one of the smartest spin of the year.

Happy reading!

(Please do note that this is not the final shooting draft of the film. This is the script of the international version of the film, the one which played with the title, Psycho Raman.  We thought this will be a good learning exercise – to compare the notes between this draft version and the film we have seen)

Film : Raman Raghav 2.0

Director : Anurag Kashyap

Written by : Vasan Bala and Anurag Kashyap

Terribly Tiny Talkies by Chintan Ruparel and Anuj Gosalia is a creative initiative which brings together a diverse pool of writers to create one tweet-sized story, everyday. This time, they have gone ahead and produced 5 shorts. The theme is “love”.

5 shorts, under 5 minutes, by 5 filmmakers. El’ayichi by Devashish Makhija, R.I.P (Romance In Peace) by Shlok Sharma, The Last Day by Adhiraj Bose, Bunny by Vasan Bala, and Deuce by Chitan Ruparel. Do watch them and VOTE for your favourite one.

EL’AYICHI by Devashish Makhija, stars Nimrat Kaur, Divyendu Sharma, Vibha Chibber and Dodo! A dead but clingy husband and grieving but annoyed wife lock horns over what chai should be made today – adrak or ilayichi.

Shlok Sharma’s R.I.P (ROMANCE IN PEACE) features veterans Tom Alter and Shiv Subramaniam It’s never too late to find love!

Adhiraj Bose’s film THE LAST DAY stars Namit Das and Tahir Raj Bhasin. It’s a story of 2 roommates, on the night one of them is moving out after 8 years. What do they want to say to each other? Can they say it all?

Vasan Bala’s BUNNY has Sayani Gupta and Sunny Kaushal. A boy and a girl pop sleeping pills around a fireplace in a forest. You won’t believe what happened next!

Chintan Ruparel’s film DEUCE features Mandira Bedi and Rohan Shah. A never ending game about love, insecurities, and acceptance; told around an intense match of table tennis between a mother and a son. VOTE for your favourite short!

Indie Bhindi

Posted: June 15, 2014 by moifightclub in cinema
Tags: ,

INDIE BHINDI

(Disclaimer : Some patience as this is long and because not every Indie film follows the crisp and tested 3 act structure. Nor every film gets to it’s conflict very quickly and I make sure is it not fast paced or laced with dynamic songs and dramatic situations, the only Indie tools used here is RAW writing, cuss words, unconventional grammar, spelling mistakes and refusing to cut unnecessary material that’s not a part of the story. Why am I writing this? Fuck knows!)

Lot of us here are the children of the 90s. Fed on some privileged liberal Door Darshan censorship days, VHS tapes and the good old Single Screen Cinema Halls. We have also been privileged to be a part of the worst times of Cinema in India and have also seen the post 70s hollow, hopeless middle class languish till Internet hit us.

In 1989 mainstream Cinema halls had yet another South Superstar make his attempt at Bollywood but beyond that another guy changed a lot for mainstream audiences. Ram Gopal Verma. The languishing non-South Bombay middle-class suddenly found a voice. It was making some sounds but nothing audible or palpable. Maybe after repeatedly losing mainstream validations in 1995 with Rangeela and in 1998 with Satya he became a bitter man and lost his way. Who knows? Who cares now? We all moved on. We had to.

Then there were these classes. North Bombay, South Bombay, Central Bombay, all finding various reasons to validate their cultural significance and how the other is spoiling the fabric. Then again there was the Small Town, Small City, Big Town and Big City bickering that was throwing shit at each other blaming it’s the “OTHER GUY” who is fucking it up not us.

The fight in all this was to come to Bombay and make that film we all dreamt we should be making. The 40s and the partition shaped the 50s – 60s of Cinema , the Emergency and Indira Gandhi in many ways lead to the late 70s being what it was and with the Mills closing in the 80s and the underworld and unemployment on the rise, it fucking changed it all. Disparity, black money, blood money and also Dawood’s brother trying his hand at lyrics writing in some Bollywood movie. How insignificant a point is that, Exactly that it what it was. A joke. But on the other hand it is also now is a treasure of some fantastic B-Movies where the Roger Corman’s of India slummed films out in a week or two.
the raven
The 90s, our most vivid memories of Jhankar beats and the rise of NRI fluff. Till this time there were the film literate and the NFDC who were very quietly in a non-media savvy way commissioned some films. No one ranted. No one thought anything was unfair.
Somewhere around 5-6 years into the new Millennium when the Internet was being discovered for a little more than just porn, some angsty filmmaker started ranting. And I am so bloody sorry all references to anything new goes back to him, but you like it or not, it somewhere started there.

2014 ! BOOM ! What the FUCK happened? A word INDIE being drilled in. It sounded accessible with technology and economics supporting this. Anyone could push the record button without going through the BOLLYWOOD DRILL. I did too.

Of course things changed but the” other guy” fucking it up shit is of course there. The small town, big town, small daddy, big daddy, small Indie orphan, Big Indie Daddy. They are still on. One often forgets the freedom the digital medium has given us is not necessarily a tool to override the idea of finding an audience. It only says you can make a film not you can show it and make money. If only finding an audience was the pure noble purpose all films would have been on Youtube or Vimeo.

Indie or otherwise films cost and everyone who has made movies on borrowed capital needs to pay back. Just like to counter the big manufactures and the huge industries some bright people made some pretty unessential tools and marketed them in innovative ways. We know them as infomercials and some more recognise it as the “main bahut pareshan tha” dubbed voice.

The Indie scene too seems like this space now. We need not set up huge factories but we can make machines. For whatever the utility being there is a space. Some made “post its” and some “ad rollers” and some “hair curlers”. All built in the great spirit of innovation and engineering. Some work some don’t and some are not even considered to be a part of the great Infomercial parade.

Similarly new and stubborn ideas need to burst out in the form of movies too. Big Networks pump in all the monies to eventually get wider distribution and extensive screenings to make sure, immaterial of the content the weekend is a money spinner. Their method and order has been formed after years of brain storming and study by moviemakers, con-artists, middlemen and businessmen. Some genuine artists too sporadically contributed unassumingly but since “they” knew it was more the exception than the thumb they ignored. They know their game. They knew when an old horn commissions “A” project she/he knows what they are getting into.

Then in a scenario where anyone can hit the record button and slam their doors. The doors were too Big and Strong to break. Maybe with the technology the commissioning barrier has been broken but distribution? Distribution is not to fulfil any artistic aspirations. Distribution as a fundamental is only for economic gains. The crowd at the doors grew exponentially, a few sneaked in. Some dehydrated with all the banging, some were given a backdoor.

sandhi sudha

Just like the infomercials if you cannot play your product during the IPL on Prime Time go for the afternoon hours. That was the same slot given to most innovations. “Main bahut pareshan tha”, no one saw. Sadly the more ideologically driven films rise pertinent questions and don’t give solutions really. It does not say you’ll grow hair or your teeth will sparkle or you will develop six pack abs. All it says is (mostly) this is the place we live in and this is the truth or rather my honest perspective. Who the FUCK wants the truth, we need HOPE. In most cases were the reality is presented harshly as the maker felt that she/he can express himself as she/he wants, the ”INDIE” perishes even without an Indie sympathizers glowing review.

What they are essentially saying is ideas can be limited to looking low end without songs but at least say it’s not that bad, the world we live in that is. At least say Green Tea will reduce cholesterol and has no fat. OK, we agree don’t say all people look good and wear high fashion but at least say old people also have a chance at love. Some geniuses with bad aesthetics and the same old story to say and who suck at that too also sneaked into with their INFOMERCIAL. PHOTO-BOMBED! So other than the usual distribution and other expression hassles INDIE was being Photo Bombed too.

In the ever-crowing space the smaller gate to the bigger distribution gate got stuffed. Any space that gets stuffed gives rise to the MIDDLEMAN. Many will claim, many will depend, many will get conned. Safe guard your film. Safeguard yourself. If you were stubborn enough to make the film, be strong enough to knock the door straight, the sound will reach. If you have the courage and innovation you don’t need a middle man.

Then many forget no one is saying you are my angel, the Kashmiri apple of my eye, I have all the money to spend and launch you like star sons as I am now a star Independent Orphanage. No one asked Arun Bhaiyya from Mr. India as to why he did not adopt 50 more children. Areee aab to wo formulaaaaaaa bhi mil gaya, then why the fuck leave us out. No, because Mr. India’s story ends with Mongabo being killed, post that who knows what happened.

mr india
But post the 5Ds and the Black Magic 4Ks being launched everyone who hit the record button wants to know what Arun Bhaiyya will do for them. But many forget Arun Bhaiyya made his own choices and decisions and did what he had to, he found his way and many have to find their own way and become their own Mr. Indias. Maybe he killed his Mogambo and moved on. He never set out to kill Mogambo till he was being evicted from his house. It was a personal fight and not a public one.

Again we come back to the “OTHER GUY” fucking it up. He got the formula so he has become the high priest and has left us alone? Lets fuck him! Lets break his gadget and make him visible! Lets not find our own formula. Because the opponent is not the DISTRIBUTION network we have to crack but the one who was with us on this side of the door is now on the other. He is the traitor as we need company to stand outside and not the inspiration to become the person who walks through that door.

I am on the other side of the door too knocking. Still knocking hard. I am tired too. But now I am going back and have resolved to learn how to knock better with my material and not with Mr. India holding my hand.

As most Indie films also have abrupt endings, I take that liberty too here. I will not round of characters and find no resolutions. It’s a bleak one here, lot of people lose and perish. Even more play spit ball and spit at the other guy. The only difference being I am not too thrilled with my last draft. I’ll try and improve, I’ll go better prepared this time and knock it better. If I fail this time too, I’ll go back and do it all over again. And for the “OTHER GUY” who fucks it up always. I wish him good. He is trying hard too and not really floating in heaven with all privileges. Maybe he has a bigger house and a new Apple gadget, nothing more. He has to knock the door too if not bang it like us now.

– by Vasan Bala

(Vasan’s debut feature Peddlers premiered at Cannes Film Festival in International Critics Week and his latest script Side-Hero is selected for Sundance Lab)

(ps – pics added for some dramatic effect. Not sure if he endorses them. We are the culprits for the pics)

 

VBSundance Institute has announced the 13 projects which have been selected for Screenwriters and Directors Lab. Set at the Sundance Resort in Utah, the Directors Lab will run from May 26 to June 19 and the Screenwriters’ Lab will run from June 21-26. Vasan Bala’s new script Side Hero has been selected for the Screenwriters Lab.

Here’s more on the film (from the official statement) –

Vasan Bala (writer/director) / Side Hero (India): A teenager who lives by the codes of his beloved kung fu movies must find his own way when he discovers that he may never get to be the hero.

Vasan Bala was born and raised in Mumbai. Both his father and grandfather were film buffs whose love of film inspired his own. Bala has collaborated in various capacities with filmmakers including Anurag Kashyap, Michael Winterbottom, and Danis Tanvoic. His debut feature as a writer/director, Peddlers, screened in Critics Week at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

The Directors Lab fellows are: Gabriela Amaral Almeida, The Father’s Shadow (Brazil); Jordana Spiro and Angelica Nwandu, Night Comes On (U.S.A.); Sofia Exarchou, Park (Greece); Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$ (U.S.A.); Oorlagh George, Stranger with a Camera (U.S.A. / Northern Ireland): Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Swiss Army Man (U.S.A.); Johnny Ma, Ten Thousand Happiness (U.S.A. / China / Canada); Jeremiah Zagar and Daniel Kitrosser, We the Animals (U.S.A.).

The Screenwriter Lab fellows are: Ana Lily Amirpour, The Bad Batch (U.S.A.); Karrie Crouse and Will Joines, Dust (U.S.A.); Fernando Frias, I’m Already Not Here (U.S.A. / Mexico); Hong Khaou, Monsoon (Vietnam / UK); and Vasan Bala,  Side Hero(India).

Creative Advisors include Robert Redford, Michael Arndt, Miguel Arteta, John August, Walter Bernstein, Kathryn Bigelow, Scott Z. Burns, Joan Darling, Deena Goldstone, Keith Gordon, Catherine Hardwicke, Ed Harris, Azazel Jacobs, Brian Kates, Christine Lahti, Kasi Lemmons, Josh Marston, Pamela Martin, Walter Mosley, Howard Rodman, Ira Sachs, Marjane Satrapi, Susan Shilliday, Peter Sollett, Dana Stevens, Wesley Strick, Chris Terrio, Joan Tewkesbury, Athina Tsangari, Tyger Williams, and Erin Cressida Wilson.

The Oscar-nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild was a 2011 Screenwriters Lab participant. January 2012 Screenwriters Lab alumni Ryan Coogler saw his Fruitvale Station, which debuted at the 2013 Festival, attract awards and acclaim. (via Deadline)