Post Tagged with: "Film Review"

Why has Squid Game resonated with a global audience?

Why has Squid Game resonated with a global audience?

Squid Game, a Korean survival drama series written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, has become an international phenomenon. On Tuesday, Netflix reported that it had officially become the most widely viewed series ever for the platform, with more than 111 million viewers worldwide. It is currently the top show on Netflix in at least 90 countries, from Argentina and Australia,[Read More…]

by 15/10/2021 0 comments Arts/Literature
75 Years of ‘Neecha Nagar’

75 Years of ‘Neecha Nagar’

A film on struggles of slum-dwellers, won the first top international award for India Much before the advent of the new wave in Indian cinema, during the decade of the 1950s several films of great social commitment which reflected the ideals of the freedom movement. However what is even more remarkable is that even before independence, braving the even higher[Read More…]

by 30/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Documentary on Kandhamal by K.P Sasi released on YouTube

Documentary on Kandhamal by K.P Sasi released on YouTube

This year there was international outrage when a frail 84-year-old Jesuit priest with Parkinson’s disease, Stan Swamy, died after being held in an Indian jail in inhumane conditions, on flimsy charges. When he was eventually moved to hospital, he tested positive for Covid and went on to suffer a cardiac arrest. He had devotedly served the poor and defended their[Read More…]

by 17/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature, Editor's Picks
Karnan: A cinematic resistance to caste system

Karnan: A cinematic resistance to caste system

Southern superstar Dhanush’s Tamil film ‘Karnan’ has been released on OTT platform on Amazon Prime Video. The film had earlier been released in cinemas. The film, which was screened in Corona, is getting huge response from the audience. The most interesting thing is that breaking the linguistic wall, the film is being favored from south to north. This has been[Read More…]

by 12/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Nithin Lukose Film, Paka (River of Blood), Makes it to Toronto Festival

Nithin Lukose Film, Paka (River of Blood), Makes it to Toronto Festival

As the City of Toronto is less than a week away from the ‘Festival of Festivals’ Indian Cinema has nothing much to write home about except two movies, although the total number of films selected for screening is one-third of its usual strength. And that too not from the major filmmakers. Nithin Lukose’s PAKA (River of Blood) and Ritwik Pareek’s[Read More…]

by 03/09/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Resurrecting The Memories of “The Kid” in the centenary year

Resurrecting The Memories of “The Kid” in the centenary year

This year in January we commemorated the centenary of Charlie Chaplin’s1st motion film ‘The Kid.’ No doubt such a film would be outdated today, in the days of high tech,artificial intelligence, mechanisation or  automation. However it still has significance when the forces of globalization are tightening their noose in every sphere of life and putting a stranglehold on all democratic[Read More…]

by 31/08/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
Art of the Oppressed: Politics of Existence

Art of the Oppressed: Politics of Existence

Why Sarpatta Parambarai holds an important place in Tamil film history? It not only has convincing arguments for Dalits and women but raising questions against the dominant images and ideas.   A Tamil film, Unnal Mudiyum Thambi  (‘you can do it brother’ ) released 33 years ago,   directed by a prominent dialogue writer cum director K.Balachander, who directed hundred films[Read More…]

by 18/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
“Bol Diyan Unma”: A Commentary          

“Bol Diyan Unma”: A Commentary          

     Lopsided development in Uttarakhand has increased the pace of outmigration of local villagers. More than 1000 villages are entirely abandoned, making them ‘ghost’ villages (Upadhyay, 2018). According to the Rural Development and Migration Commission of Uttarakhand, the reason for this mass exodus ranges from an inability to diversify livelihoods to lack of educational and healthcare institutions. Global climate[Read More…]

by 15/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Nomad America?  

Nomad America?  

Director Chloe Zhao has created a somber, almost tragic look back, look now and look to the possible future for many of us working stiffs. The film is called Nomadland ( 2021) starring Frances McDormand as Fern, a 60 something widow forced out of her previous life and onto the road. The town where she had lived with her late[Read More…]

by 09/08/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Dalits’ fury in Tamil Cinema

Dalits’ fury in Tamil Cinema

The recent development in Tamil movie has received much appreciation among the intellectuals for portraying Dalit character as protagonist and bringing caste realities onto the screen. It has elevated Dalits from a stereotypical passive receiver of others sympathy to an active agent seeking justice. However, it is also criticized for merely replacing the social location of the typical hero in[Read More…]

by 03/08/2021 2 comments Arts/Literature
Sherni and the ‘Hunting Tale’

Sherni and the ‘Hunting Tale’

You would have gone to the forest 100 times, but could spot a tiger only once. But, be rest assured, the tiger would have spotted you 99 times. In the midst of a recent conversation, Malayalam writer and film maker Unni R. asked if I had seen Amit Masurkar’s OTT-released Hindi film Sherni. Unni asked this question in the context[Read More…]

by 30/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Sarpatta Parambarai – A straw drawn from the Children of Ghetto

Sarpatta Parambarai – A straw drawn from the Children of Ghetto

Watching Sarpatta Parambarai is a social necessity and celebration.  The primary message conveyed here is don’t turn back from things that are real and painful to you. Perseverance is the life of Untouchable to taste success. India has produced and silver screened only two type of movies since independence.  They are of two categories namely: Caste mongering movies Caste ignoring[Read More…]

by 27/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Progressive laws in a Regressive Society

Progressive laws in a Regressive Society

 The Hansal Mehta directed biopic “ Aligarh” is possibly the most stark of the recent films made that shows homophobia at its most brutal. The imagery of Manoj Bajpayee as the lonely and socially isolated Professor Siras, finding solace behind closed doors in endless pegs of whisky and melancholic Lata Mangeshkar songs will not easily leave you. Professor Siras has[Read More…]

by 20/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Afghans through the lens of Irani cinema

Afghans through the lens of Irani cinema

Afghanistan is making the headlines again. The anxieties have increased following an irresponsible and a rushed withdrawal of the US troops. If it is any indication of things to come, the Bagram base was ransacked after US troops left in the dead of the night, leaving Afghan army and civilians to themselves. Commentators have been projecting a deadly picture of[Read More…]

by 10/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The Great Indian Kitchen

The Great Indian Kitchen

India’s Hindi film industry produces the largest number of films in the world, but they barely tackle the question of gender justice while women characters in cinema are almost always peripheral. In the last few years, however, things seem to be changing. There is now a growing number of films that focus on gender justice. Women-centric films such as “Pink,[Read More…]

by 07/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Ray and the Question of ‘True Adaptation’

Ray and the Question of ‘True Adaptation’

Jean Luc Godard very rightfully claimed, ‘It is not where you take things from- it is where you take them to’. Reading this quote in the light of the recently released Netflix series Ray and its criticism that followed brings up a lot many questions. Ray, divided into four episodes, is based on Satyajit Ray’s stories. The world crafted by[Read More…]

by 06/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Dilip Kumar, The Doyen Of Bollywood

Dilip Kumar, The Doyen Of Bollywood

In the history of Hindi film industry no actor ever took intensity to such mythical proportions or regions as Dilip Kumar. In full flow Dilip Kumar could create the impact of an inferno or Tsunami .His acting possessed that rare quality of a genius, literally sculpting a new dimension to acting. No superstar looked as natural as Dilip Kumar, as[Read More…]

by 06/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Waheeda Rehman: Grace Personified

Waheeda Rehman: Grace Personified

Actress Waheeda Rehman exuded grace in realms of the divine, reminiscent of a Greek Godess.Rarely has any Hindi film actress expressed such a degree of sensitivity, innocence, purity or simplicity. I hardly can find an adjective conveying how natural she was on screen. Her acting gave vibrations of reflection of moonlight in water or the twinkling of a petal of[Read More…]

by 27/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Tragedy Queen: Meena Kumari

Tragedy Queen: Meena Kumari

Meena Kumari was without doubt one of the most sensitive, creative and impactful actresses ever to have flashed on the Hindi silver screen. Sadly she left the world too early, not even living half of a complete life. The story or theme of her life was all about tragedy. I place her amongst the greatest Hindi film actresses ever, in[Read More…]

by 21/06/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
Nizhal: In the Shadow of the Surreal

Nizhal: In the Shadow of the Surreal

In whodunnits, two universal patterns can be seen as emerging. First, The murderer is suggestive of the vicious society at large; that s/he is part of the system that normalises killing. Then, the killer’s vengeance was not indeed aimed at the victims, but at the world which has already symbolically murdered him or her. These patterns, subtly different from each[Read More…]

by 19/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Why Do We Find Vittorio De Sica’s Great Films So Relevant Even Today

Why Do We Find Vittorio De Sica’s Great Films So Relevant Even Today

When I saw Umberto D. recently I was so complete engrossed in it that I completely forgot where I was for some time. What is it that makes a senior citizen in India today identify so completely with the elderly character of  a film made in Italy and that too about seven decades back in 1952? I may be at[Read More…]

by 06/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Cataract, Irreparable!

A Cataract, Irreparable!

I have never before detested a character like Sudhakaran in THIMIRAM (Cataract) in my movie-watching experience! And, that’s irreconcilable by all means. Actor K K Sudhakaran confuses the audience by calling the lead character the same name through a film, THIMIRAM, recently released on an OTT platform, NeeStream. K K Sudhakaran is not an actor new to Mollywood movies but[Read More…]

by 04/06/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Naseeruddin Shah: One of India’s Greatest Actors Ever

Naseeruddin Shah: One of India’s Greatest Actors Ever

Without doubt Naseeruddin Shah is one of the greatest actors ever to have set foot on Bollywood silver screen, arguably close to the very best. This year we celebrate his 70th birthday. There were many more attractive or charismatic actors but few surpassed the ability of Naseeruddin Shah to meld into a character in such depth, or give it as[Read More…]

by 28/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Shabana Azmi is the ultimate connoisseur amongst Hindi film actresses taking art to surreal regions

Shabana Azmi is the ultimate connoisseur amongst Hindi film actresses taking art to surreal regions

In the modern era no actress has gone into the skin of a character in such magnitude of depth or given as much justice to a role as Shabana Azmi.,who turned 70 last year. She may not have embezzled the beauty of an Aishwarya Rai or Madhuri Dixit ,of the liveliness or joie de vivre of Kajol or Sridevi.However none[Read More…]

by 25/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
RVs as Lifeboats; Cathartic Community of Nomadland

RVs as Lifeboats; Cathartic Community of Nomadland

Nomadland raises critical concerns about the economy, lifestyle and perceptions of happiness In Nomadland, the analogy of a motor home is that of a lifeboat. The economy is Titanic, unstoppably sinking thanks to the wreckage. The sinking could be slow, too slow to notice or acknowledge, but it’s inevitable. When Bob Wells, the charismatic vandweller and minimalist who plays himself[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Seaspiracy’s Nightmarish Odyssey

Seaspiracy’s Nightmarish Odyssey

Seaspiracy is a powerful new documentary about the hazardous, unruly world of industrial fishing and stomach-churning abuse, overuse, disregard for life, as shown on Netflix, released by Disrupt Studios March 24th 2021. The opening scene of the film sets the tone with a long-shot of an isolated fishing trawler at sea as the voice-over of a former fishing vessel crew[Read More…]

by 14/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Nutan was simply grace personified on screen

Nutan was simply grace personified on screen

      Nutan simply took grace to regions of divinity like no other actress who virtually traversed sublime realms when acting. She exuded the fragrance of a lotus blossoming or radiance of a full moon looking like a manifestation of the energy of the  divine or a spiritual force transcending through her. No female star transcended spirituality in her[Read More…]

by 14/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Walking Over Water

Walking Over Water

My father Ashim Ray (1927-86) is considered an exceptional novelist and short story writer who has left a major contribution to serious Bengali literature. However, in his lifetime his contribution was not  recognized and he never  got any major award. He could carry on his serious writing only because my mother was super supportive of his work. She even copied[Read More…]

by 12/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Tribute to Balraj Sahni commemorating 75th anniversary of his screen debut 

Tribute to Balraj Sahni commemorating 75th anniversary of his screen debut 

Balraj Sahni took art of acting simply to another dimension in his time, reminiscent of a Michelangelo. It is hard to find an adjective to do justice to his sheer sensitivity which reached spiritual depths or realism in his characters. He did not make the impact of Dev Anand,Raj Kapoor or Dilip Kumar but in championing or portraying the common[Read More…]

by 12/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature, Life/Philosophy
Five Great Film Songs That Challenge Communal Forces

Five Great Film Songs That Challenge Communal Forces

Written by Bharat Dogra and Madhu Dogra Hindi film songs have often played an important role in articulating important social messages and taking them to a very large number of people. This may be a particularly opportune  time for recalling those songs which have challenged communal forces in bold and effective ways. In this context perhaps the most popular song[Read More…]

by 11/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Communal Harmony, Arts/Literature
Tribute to actress Nargis on 40th death anniversary  

Tribute to actress Nargis on 40th death anniversary  

Nargis ranks amongst the most complete or consummate Indian actresses of all time. Sadly she left for her heavenly abode, 40 years ago. She was as natural as moonlight glimmering, in anger, sadness or laughter. Nargis posessed the intensity of coal fire and the sweetness of arose blooming. Nargis could in one moment look as calm as the water flowing[Read More…]

by 04/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Tribute to the genius of Satyajit  Ray on birth centenary who gave art of filmmaking a new dimension  

Tribute to the genius of Satyajit  Ray on birth centenary who gave art of filmmaking a new dimension  

Today we celebrate the birth centenary on arguably India’s best film maker ever, Satyajit Ray. For sheer art of film making or portraying film making or weaving a plot to create a realistic film no artist surpassed Satyajit Ray. He simply took the art of film making to a new dimension. With the simplicity of stream water he could convey[Read More…]

by 02/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The Great Success of Zindagi Gulzar Hai is  Rooted in the Quest of People to Reconcile Tradition and Modernity

The Great Success of Zindagi Gulzar Hai is  Rooted in the Quest of People to Reconcile Tradition and Modernity

Zindagi Gulzar Hai ( Life Blossoms Like A Garden ) , the 26-part TV serial from Pakistan just keeps going from success to success. After breaking popularity records when first shown on Hum TV in 2012-13,  the serial had to be repeated. It went on to become hugely popular  in India and Bangladesh. This was followed by repeated shows in[Read More…]

by 01/05/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The best Hindi films ever projecting the role of a Man as a crusader for a social cause

The best Hindi films ever projecting the role of a Man as a crusader for a social cause

This is my list of best Hindi films portraying the struggle for a social cause in order of merit. Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyu Aata Hai (1980) A plot is superbly woven without any element of melodrama to reveal the life of the Bombay Industrial workers and the mechanism or machinations that revolved around their day to day lives. In[Read More…]

by 27/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Did the New Wave Cinema Realize Its Full Potential?

Did the New Wave Cinema Realize Its Full Potential?

It seems so long ago when ( in the 1970s)  the new wave cinema was promising to shake up the film scene leading to wider possibilities of  more durable improvements in the overall quality of cinema. Certainly the high expectations were not confined to just Hindi cinema, although predictably this was talked about more. I remember travelling a long distance[Read More…]

by 27/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The best Hindi films ever projecting role of a woman as a liberator or crusader for a social cause

The best Hindi films ever projecting role of a woman as a liberator or crusader for a social cause

My best films portraying women as a liberator or crusader against injustice, selected in order of merit. Mirch Masala(1987) How relevant this movie is today is expressed with rapes taking place regularly in India in every nook and corner. Oppression of women has reached a crescendo in the era of globalisation, masking itself as development.Mirch Masala literally hits the nail[Read More…]

by 26/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Sparsh

Sparsh

‘Sparsh’ is the ultimate classic or best ever Hindi film portraying the blind and amongst the best Hindi films ever. Energy of the blind taken to mystical  proportions with touches of genius ‘Sparsh’  made in 1980 is possibly the best ever Hindi film in my view championing the blind or of any handicapped person. It makes us understand that morally[Read More…]

by 24/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Joji – A Brilliant Peek Across the Kerala Village Lives

Joji – A Brilliant Peek Across the Kerala Village Lives

Spending too much money on big-budget productions is not advisable when the film industry, by and large, sleeps as an after-effect of the present pandemic. As a result, micro-budget movies have been conceived, shot and released worldwide in different genres. That’s how the films like SEE YOU SOON, THE GREAT INDIAN KITCHEN, IRUL, WOLF etc came out in Malayalam through[Read More…]

by 21/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Hindi Cinema’s Contribution to Human Rights, Though Rare, is Still Significant

Hindi Cinema’s Contribution to Human Rights, Though Rare, is Still Significant

Hindi cinema is not exactly known for any consistent contribution to human rights. Nevertheless some outstanding films have been made from time to time which have proved to be of enduring value for advancing various aspects of human rights and civil liberties. In V. Shantaram’s Do Ankhen Barah Hath the cause of jail reform is so important for an idealist[Read More…]

by 20/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Rising Garden Film Festival reaches wider audience virtually amidst pandemic

Rising Garden Film Festival reaches wider audience virtually amidst pandemic

When the fourth segment of the Rising Garden Film Festival, hosted by Sangat feminist network and the Kriti Film Club, as part of the One Billion Rising South Asia’s 2021 campaign, comes to an end on Monday, the filmmakers, organisers and viewers together say that the film fiesta became a global phenomenon, amidst pandemic. Gamze Ineceli, an active viewer of the festival[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
 ‘Sholay’ was a landmark film but not a classic with a social theme

 ‘Sholay’ was a landmark film but not a classic with a social theme

 ‘Sholay’ was a landmark film, directorial masterpiece and greatly entertaining movie but not a classic with a social theme  Without doubt Sholay was the most impactful film ever made in the history of Bollywood.No film ever influenced or penetrated the Indian psyche as much as ‘Sholay’  .Few scenes of films ever flash memories ,with such degree of intensity like ‘Sholay.’It[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Hindi Cinema Has Not Properly Tapped the Potential of Social Thrillers

Hindi Cinema Has Not Properly Tapped the Potential of Social Thrillers

The social thriller movie can be a very effective and useful genre of cinema. Social thriller movies are those thriller films which make a more conscious and emphatic effort to raise some important issues of social concern or to convey a strong socially relevant message. These are an important means of taking socially relevant messages to film viewers. Unfortunately this[Read More…]

by 16/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Can Dacoit Films Convey A Message of Non-Violence?

Can Dacoit Films Convey A Message of Non-Violence?

Many dacoit films have been made in Hindi cinema, against the background of Chambal region and also in other contexts. But most of these do not go beyond violence, revenge and romance. In fact some of these with the exaggerated importance these give to seeking revenge as well with long drawn-out violence sequences  can have quite a negative impact on[Read More…]

by 15/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Hindi War Films Which Also Give A Message of Peace

Hindi War Films Which Also Give A Message of Peace

War films can easily degenerate into war propaganda and narrow nationalism. However there are other war films which vividly bring out the inherent pain and destructiveness of war in sensitive ways and hence, whatever their story content,  also convey a message of peace. It is true that war films made in any  country are often aimed at bringing out mainly[Read More…]

by 06/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Why you should see “Shtisel” Now

Why you should see “Shtisel” Now

The Pandemic has locked us in our homes for almost a year now. Most of us are bored, some have found one or the other vocations to spend at home. I resorted to my own- exploring Netflix to the point of exhaustion. There were plethora of movies and familiar sitcoms, until I came across a series, I thought I should[Read More…]

by 05/04/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
Why Raj Kapoor is Much More  Than Just the Greatest Showman  of Hindi Cinema

Why Raj Kapoor is Much More  Than Just the Greatest Showman  of Hindi Cinema

Raj Kapoor is often called the greatest showman of Hindi cinema. This is of course meant to be a tribute, but this doesn’t quite do complete justice to the many-sided contributions of this great film-maker of exceptional talents. A very interesting aspect and important aspect of Hindi cinema is how within the constraints of commercialism, several film-makers could reach out[Read More…]

by 05/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Fifteen most realistic Hindi films in order of merit

Fifteen most realistic Hindi films in order of merit

I am here selecting my top fifteen Hindi movies in terms of portrayal of social reality. My criteria is not entertainment or idealism but level of doing justice to realism. I must particularly complement the likes of Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil for championing so many roles portraying realism. 1.DO BIGHA ZAMEEN In a most artistic manner it reveals the[Read More…]

by 04/04/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
Do Bigha Zameen is the best Indian movie ever portraying social reality at the very core

Do Bigha Zameen is the best Indian movie ever portraying social reality at the very core

 To me ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ is the best movie ever made in India and the most relevant even today. In a most artistic manner it reveals the oppression of feudalism or capitalism, brilliantly weaving a set of characters into a plot. The film contains no  element of melodrama or fantasy but still hits the core of your soul. Enacting character[Read More…]

by 03/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Insha – Malayalam movie with an inspiring message

Insha – Malayalam movie with an inspiring message

Dr Siju Vijayan is passionate about his new film, Insha, which is a story that is true to this world that we live in. This is the reason why Insha is a trailblazer because stories about disabled people are not often told and are not often told with this much authenticity. Dr. Vijayan’s impetus of his debut film – Insha,[Read More…]

by 03/04/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
Remembering Devika Rani for her iconic role of an untouchable girl in the movie Achhut Kanya

Remembering Devika Rani for her iconic role of an untouchable girl in the movie Achhut Kanya

Devika Rani is the name of that legendary figure who not only ruled Hindi cinema in the decades of 1930s and 1940s, but also gained fame as the first actress of Hindi cinema. She was not only a star or actress but the one who later became a filmmaker, gave legendary actors like Madhubala and Dalip Kumar to Hindi cinema.[Read More…]

by 01/04/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin is so relevant During the migrant crisis

Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zamin is so relevant During the migrant crisis

Bimal Roy is one of our most loved film directors and his legacy will continue to live on on the basis of his work. Luckily, we have amidst us his daughter Rinki Roy Bhattacharya who has done so much for us to further understand, appreciate his work by organizing numerous screenings of his films, running an active organization in his[Read More…]

by 29/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The Hero With Idealism Is Much Less Visible Now in Hindi Cinema

The Hero With Idealism Is Much Less Visible Now in Hindi Cinema

The post-independence years are regarded by many as the golden age of Hindi cinema. The idealism of  the freedom movement was still alive and this was reflected well in the films of those days. Since many Hindi films tend to be more dominated by heroes or the male lead roles, the idealist film hero  figured significantly in many films and[Read More…]

by 29/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Why Pyaasa Remains the Most Defining Film for Idealists

Why Pyaasa Remains the Most Defining Film for Idealists

Idealist persons are a steadily decreasing component of the human species and in fact are  seen is such small numbers these days that  they can almost be called an endangered component of the human species. Nevertheless, and this  needs to be emphasized, even in their small numbers they retain their very important role in society as they keep reminding of[Read More…]

by 24/03/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Tribute to late superstar Rajesh Khanna commemorating 50th anniversary of release of classic film ‘Anand’  today 

Tribute to late superstar Rajesh Khanna commemorating 50th anniversary of release of classic film ‘Anand’  today 

   On March 12th today, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movie Anand ,made in 1971.Without doubt the film was amongst the finest, most touching or soul searching movies ever to have flashed the Bollywood screen..In my view late Rajesh Khanna as ‘Anand’ gave one of the finest performances ever on the silver screen. His co-actor Amitabh Bachchan as[Read More…]

by 12/03/2021 1 comment Arts/Literature
                                                    Tanvir Mokammel / Photo courtesy: Tanvir Mokammel k.eye.films

A candid conversation with filmmaker Tanvir Mokammel of Bangladesh

My interview with the celebrated filmmaker centers on his recently released film “Rupsa Nodir Banke” (Quiet flows the River Rupsa). 2017 Ekushey Padak (the second highest civilian award given to a citizen of Bangladesh) winner Tanvir Mokammel needs no glowing introduction. He is a well-known filmmaker, director and published author of our time. He won Bangladesh National Film Awards a total ten[Read More…]

by 22/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
50th anniversary of Raj Kapoor classic ‘Mera Naam Joker’

50th anniversary of Raj Kapoor classic ‘Mera Naam Joker’

Epic movie that resurrected Charlie Chaplin and immortalised the Joker who made the world laugh while weeping within Today we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of the epic classic of Raj Kapoor,’, ‘Mera Naam Joker. ‘Arguably it was the most defining or touching film ever directed or enacted by the legendary Raj Kapoor.Raj Kapoor enacts the character of[Read More…]

by 18/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Tribute to Raj Kapoor on 96th birthday-Championed Socialist themes

Tribute to Raj Kapoor on 96th birthday-Championed Socialist themes

Raj Kapoor arguably is the most defining character in the history of Bollywood who took the Indian film industry to another spectrum. It was Raj who enabled the film world to reach the broad masses and identify with them. He donned the Charlie Chaplinesque form, classically transplanting or grafting it to Indian conditions. As a director and actor he revealed[Read More…]

by 14/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Kim Ki-Duk and the Legacy of ‘New Wave’ cinema

Kim Ki-Duk and the Legacy of ‘New Wave’ cinema

In less than a few weeks since the celebrated Argentine filmmaker Fernando Ezequiel Solanas—a legendary figure in Latin American cinema—died of coronavirus in Paris, another internationally admired filmmaker, Kim Ki-Duk, fell prey to the rage of the pandemic in Latvia. The South Korean ‘new wave’ fame Kim was reported to have arrived in the Baltic state a few weeks ago[Read More…]

by 13/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature, Life/Philosophy
I Am Greta isn’t about climate change. It’s about the elusiveness of sanity in an insane world

I Am Greta isn’t about climate change. It’s about the elusiveness of sanity in an insane world

Erich Fromm, the renowned German-Jewish social psychologist who was forced to flee his homeland in the early 1930s as the Nazis came to power, offered a disturbing insight later in life on the relationship between society and the individual. In the mid-1950s, his book The Sane Society suggested that insanity referred not simply to the failure by specific individuals to[Read More…]

by 19/11/2020 3 comments Arts/Literature
Food, Touch and Desire: ‘Aamis’ through my Gastronomical Lens

Food, Touch and Desire: ‘Aamis’ through my Gastronomical Lens

Food stories have always attracted me, be they about the everyday available homely food, meat barbeque by a group of friends en route an adventurous camping or exquisite high-class dining. I believe each of these stories has its own share of bitter-sweet plots and characters. Motivated by my love for food and themes around it, I decided to write about[Read More…]

by 09/11/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Suitable Boy: Mira Nair’s chronicle of the 1950s

A Suitable Boy: Mira Nair’s chronicle of the 1950s

In the history of Indian societies ‘marriage’ as an institution has garnered a special place and has been ubiquitous in all sections and classes of the society. Within this finding a groom is a very seasoned activity. Mira Nair’s newest web series ‘A suitable boy’ is an adaptation of a novel by the same name authored by Vikram Seth in[Read More…]

by 08/11/2020 1 comment Arts/Literature
“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – II

“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – II

My feeling that a poet, who called cinema a sycophant of literature would have approved Aravindan, a director who explored the medium’s possibilities, lends courage to me. This is uncannily similar to the feeling that Tagore, for a moment was stunned by what Wilfred Owen’s mother had revealed to him. I’m sure Tagore would have dumped the NBT calendar. It[Read More…]

by 31/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Widowhood revisited in a television drama

Widowhood revisited in a television drama

During recent Durga Puja celebrations, RTV drama special titled Shada Megher Mon (A silver lining in the cloud), revisited the widowhood of a young woman in the context of Bangladesh since independence. Though some of the key components of the television are changing, it is still perceived as a social medium. Television always plays a social function as viewing of[Read More…]

by 30/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature, Patriarchy
Film & Family – Partition & Thereafter

Film & Family – Partition & Thereafter

The idea of ‘return’ holds different meanings for different people caught in different circumstances. Calcutta-based Supriyo Sen’s Abar Ashibo Phirey (Way Back Home, Bangla with English sub-titles, video, colour, 120 mins, 2002) is a wrenching and liberating journey into the heart and soul of an elderly Bengali couple – the director’s parents – as they go back in time, space[Read More…]

by 29/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Film & Family–Woman As Provider, Men As Parasites

Film & Family–Woman As Provider, Men As Parasites

In 2014, Joshy Joseph directed a long documentary called A Poet, A City & A Footballer which won him the Special Jury Prize at the national awards. The film is about juxtapositions, like night and day, abundant life and impending death, energy amidst decay, and silence that shouts to be heard. The film is a meditation on death, but it[Read More…]

by 25/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – I

“Cinema is a Sycophant to literature” – Part – I

The Symphony  No 5 was inside Beethovan’s brain, when he first conceived it. A group of musicians invoke that experience, aurally, from the atmosphere every time they meet to perform. And a sound, non-existent before, suddenly acquires tones of flesh and blood. The cinema, like music, is an art of time, film makers have said. Rabindranath Tagore called it an[Read More…]

by 24/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Sex & The City – Two Shorts, Long On Meaning

Sex & The City – Two Shorts, Long On Meaning

Laal Juto (Red Shoes, Bangla, 23 minutes, 35 mm, colour), adapted from a short story by the iconic Bengali writer, artist and intellectual Kamal Kumar Majumdar, is about 15-year-old Nitish who goes to a shoe shop to buy shoes for himself. What Nitish had not bargained for is a self-discovery leading to a change in his feelings towards Gouri, his[Read More…]

by 19/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Between Marx and Christ

Between Marx and Christ

This essay is dedicated to the example of Father Stan Swamy, S. J. Briefly and simply put, Liberation Theology is a school of thinking which proclaims that methods of direct action are at times necessary for the material and spiritual liberation of the poor and powerless; that prayer and persuasion have to be occasionally accompanied by frontal assault to produce[Read More…]

Film& Family-Making The Face

Film& Family-Making The Face

From the life and times of the State executioner, Nata Mullick (which was the subject of an earlier documentary, One Day From A Hangman’s Life), the Calcutta-based Films Division filmmaker, Joshy Joseph, transported us to the life and times of a young Manipuri named Tom Sharma, by means of Making The Face, a shorter film but which nonetheless took a[Read More…]

by 15/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Film & Family-Revisiting Thampu

Film & Family-Revisiting Thampu

“I planned Thampu as a documentary feature. It was shot in Thirunnavaya on the banks of the Bharathapuzha. I came to this village with ten to fifteen circus artistes who had already left their circus company. We did not have a script and we shot the incidents as they happened. What we did on the first day was to call[Read More…]

by 08/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Mistaking Cut-Glass For Diamond

Mistaking Cut-Glass For Diamond

Sairat(2016) was a huge commercial success that is still being much talked about. But, whichever way you look at it, Sairat is a far cry from Nagraj Manjule’s debut film, Fandry, which deservedly enjoyed much critical support. Sairat is tailor-made to seduce the younger generation of viewers, meaning roughly those in the age-bracket of 15 to 30. The film’s mounting[Read More…]

by 05/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Netflix’s The Social Dilemma tells only half the story

Netflix’s The Social Dilemma tells only half the story

If you’re wondering what the hell is going on right now – the “Why is the world turning to shit?” thought – you may find Netflix’s new documentary The Social Dilemma a good starting point for clarifying your thinking. I say “starting point” because, as we shall see, the film suffers from two major limitations: one in its analysis and[Read More…]

by 01/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Cinema of Insurrection – Rebels, Gentlemen and Other Players

Cinema of Insurrection – Rebels, Gentlemen and Other Players

“Ritwik Ghatak’s stint as Vice-Principal of FTII left something of him in his students. A John Abraham would never have happened were it not for the tutelage of Ghatak. John did what he did because Ghatak validated his angst. Similar was the case with his other protégés, but besides these few men, the legacy of Ghatak seems to have terminated.[Read More…]

by 26/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Andrei Tarkovsky, Satyajit Ray And Mani Kaul

Andrei Tarkovsky, Satyajit Ray And Mani Kaul

Endurance of pain is an idea directly drawn from Christianity. However, in the Indian context, historically, endurance of pain is regarded as un-knowledge, avidya (in Sanskrit an antonym of knowledge, but not ignorance) and nonexistent. It is just not there, here, or anywhere. When the “I, myself” does not exist, who is left to endure pain?  This is how the[Read More…]

by 24/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Enduring Relevance of Garam Hawa

Enduring Relevance of Garam Hawa

Mysore Shrinivas Sathyu, who turned ninety on July 6 this year, is an important figure in the annals of New Indian Cinema by virtue of just one film- Garam Hawa (Hot Winds, 1974), a scathing dissection of the diseased mentalities that caused the Partition of the country (read, Partition of Bengal and Punjab). Garam Hawa achieves its purpose by portraying[Read More…]

by 15/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Dalit Cultural Identity – A Re-Renditioning

Dalit Cultural Identity – A Re-Renditioning

Cinematic aesthetic in a public space is defined by the sensibilities of such a space. Dictating these sensibilities becomes the privilege of a dominant hegemonic group. Consequently, it panders to clichés and tropes that simultaneously borrow from and lend to a collective imagination – strengthening it with each rendition. Eventually, repeat renditions become the unchallenged mainstay of a popular narrative,[Read More…]

by 14/09/2020 1 comment Arts/Literature
Who Owns Cinema? : The story of the unparalleled holy triumvirate of Malayalam cinema 

Who Owns Cinema? : The story of the unparalleled holy triumvirate of Malayalam cinema 

  The simplest form of a question, addressed by indefinite horde communities from hitherto. The reply always varied spatially and temporally. ‘A FILM BY’, a hackneyed yet modish way to address a cinema by the film makers, is a lesser film maker ideology, suggests Nasruddin Shah, a prominent mainstream actor of the era. A complete filmmaker, Charlie Chaplin, never used[Read More…]

by 09/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Confusion of Tongues, and a Film

Confusion of Tongues, and a Film

Human beings distinguish themselves from other animal species by, inter alia, their ability to communicate elaborately through multiple languages. Over time, the spoken languages have also been transformed into written languages, bringing a visuality and cognition to the language which also made possible recording of history and creation of literature, essentially extending the reach and precision of language over time,[Read More…]

by 05/09/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
 ‘Venom’ Can Be No Honourable Artist’s Middle-Name!

 ‘Venom’ Can Be No Honourable Artist’s Middle-Name!

Adoor Gopalakrishnan is, unfortunately, ‘at it’ again. Kerala’s best-known filmmaker was recently at his favourite pastime of hitting a contemporary below the belt; trying to belittle someone with whom he started out on his filmmaking journey almost half a century ago. Honestly, I have noted with a mixture of disappointment and disgust, Adoor’s venomous remarks against K.P. Kumaran, as made[Read More…]

Mira Nair As A Documentarist

Mira Nair As A Documentarist

Some time ago, another edition of International Women’s Day was observed with the right amount of feistiness. Among other things, women-related films were screened and discussed in some places in this or that city. Two early documentaries by Mira Nair could perhaps have been profitably included in such programmes. Unfortunately, her documentary films have been little seen and less discussed.[Read More…]

by 30/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Velutha Rathrikal: This Malayalam film set in tribal Kerala will make you rethink bisexuality

Velutha Rathrikal: This Malayalam film set in tribal Kerala will make you rethink bisexuality

The overwhelming triumph of the film is its portrayal of same-sex love. It is arguably India’s first serious film about bisexuality. Muhammad Razi’s Velutha Rathrikal (White Nights) is one of the most exciting debuts in recent times among independent film-makers in South India. From the looks of it, the film seems unpromising. Yet another adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s story ‘White Nights’ (there have[Read More…]

by 28/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Remembering Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay ( ‘DG’) — Bilet Pherat (England-Returned) Turns 100

Remembering Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay ( ‘DG’) — Bilet Pherat (England-Returned) Turns 100

A hundred years ago, a silent film called Bilet Pherat (England-Returned) was made. That pioneering work placed its maker by the side of such greats of early Indian cinema as Dadasaheb Phalke and Hiralal Sen. The example and exploits of Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay, or DG, as he was popularly known, were been recalled on many occasions by Mrinal Sen or Dinen[Read More…]

by 28/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Review of “Thupaki Ramudu”

Review of “Thupaki Ramudu”

As a protagonist of Telangana state, it was a kind of a dream movie for me. There are many reasons for it. One of the first reasons was the “local accent” of the movie.  I was never comfortable with the Andhra accent that smacked of “internal colonialism” in the Telugu movies both in accent and content. It reflects the urge[Read More…]

by 28/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Poet,Goutam Sen, a City, Kolkata, and a Footballer, Pradip Kumar Banerjee

A Poet,Goutam Sen, a City, Kolkata, and a Footballer, Pradip Kumar Banerjee

Review of “A Poet, a City and a Footballer” “Men, music, light, landscape, color and motion brought into one integral whole by a single piercing emotion, by a single theme and idea – this is the aim of modern cinematography.”  Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948)[1] Introduction A/ Musical foreword The movie begins with a song of Rabindranath Tagore, a song interpreted[Read More…]

by 27/08/2020 1 comment Arts/Literature
Revisiting Tamhane’s ‘Court’ in the post-Covid moment

Revisiting Tamhane’s ‘Court’ in the post-Covid moment

With Chaitanya Tamhane’s second film, The Disciple, headed to the Venice International Film Festival in September, it may be worthwhile recalling, Court, his first film that bagged the National Award for Best Feature Film in 2015. As we live through the COVID moment witnessing the targetting of students, teachers, and poets, Court’s damning testimony of caste oppression and its tribute[Read More…]

by 24/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
In search of the common man

In search of the common man

Every time I returned to Mumbai, I looked forward to reading the pocket-cartoons of RK Laxman. Though everything changes around him, the common man, with his studied silence witnessing twists and turns, had looked the same for decades, in the pocket cartoon of THE TIMES OF INDIA front page.  It gave me a sense of permanence. Every time I made[Read More…]

by 24/08/2020 1 comment Arts/Literature
Mrinal Sen: Pioneering A Movement

Mrinal Sen: Pioneering A Movement

It is difficult not to miss the irony in the timing of Mrinal Sen’s passing on, roughly coinciding as it did with the fiftieth anniversary of perhaps his best-known film, BhuvanShome. It is generally agreed that it is with this film that the seminal movement called ‘New Indian Cinema’ began. The movement was an ideological/political body of work that questioned[Read More…]

by 20/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Sivakasi, An Unlimited scourge

Sivakasi, An Unlimited scourge

 Sivakasi is a curse, a blight, an abomination that India could do without. Here, workers, especially children, are routinely killed or scarred for life in fires and explosions while making crackers and bombs to feed the fireworks industry. A devastation in Sivakasi, 700 kilometres from Chennai, on September 5, 2012, claimed 54 lives. Between January 2011 and September 2012, there[Read More…]

by 15/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Screening of the Documentary “Fabricated” by K.P.Sasi

Screening of the Documentary “Fabricated” by K.P.Sasi

Ethical media practices have constantly engaged with creating more space for under-privileged, and under-represented voices. With the advent of the pandemic, social distancing, and the necessary isolation of quarantines and containment zones, representing and communicating the common man’s woes and perspective has become a daunting, but doubly urgent,task. This is especially exacerbated when those in power take advantage of the[Read More…]

by 14/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Corporate As Predator, State As Accomplice

Corporate As Predator, State As Accomplice

W.H. Auden, the British poet, once wrote that many lives have been lived without love, but none without water – or words to that effect. Auden couldn’t possibly have written about the utter necessity of water without thinking of the billions and trillions of farming families who contributed since time immemorial to the making of human cultures and civilizations. If[Read More…]

by 12/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
John Was More Naked Than Adam

John Was More Naked Than Adam

Hell is not God’s idea, I believe. I also believe that John Abraham and God had an erratic relationship with each other. But then, why the hell didn’t John invest in full the coins that God had entrusted him so dearly ? I first met John when I was a fresh graduate and a culture -vulture apprentice at Kochi. One[Read More…]

by 11/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Philosophers Of Patience

Philosophers Of Patience

            Fifty two years ago, on 20th August, Russian tanks moved into Prague to suppress what has passed into history as the ‘Spring of 1968’ when artists, intellectuals, public personalities and reforms-minded politicians joined hands in an attempt to secure freedom of expression. Among the sufferers was the great long-distance runner, Emil Zatopek, who was dismissed from his senior position[Read More…]

by 08/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Indian Matchmaking: Decoding India’s love affair with arranged marriages

Indian Matchmaking: Decoding India’s love affair with arranged marriages

Indian Matchmaking, Netflix’s recent show on arranged marriages in elite families, has spawned countless memes and conspiracy theories. It has also put the spotlight on reality shows and how they spin a particular narrative at the cost of others. The show seems to be tailor-made for a western audience and portrays arranged marriages in a positive way while underplaying issues[Read More…]

by 03/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Diaries of Life, Death and Life Anew – Enduring Legacy of Bangladesh Liberation Cinema

Diaries of Life, Death and Life Anew – Enduring Legacy of Bangladesh Liberation Cinema

(This essay is in commemoration of the birth centenary this year of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation; and the fiftieth anniversary of the making of Zahir Raihan’s Stop Genocide, with which the history of short filmmaking in Bangladesh begins.) A road accident on August 19, 2011, robbed Bangladesh of its most exceptional filmmaker, and this writer[Read More…]

by 03/08/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Athithi, Sayanam – Stories Of Attractive Misfits

Athithi, Sayanam – Stories Of Attractive Misfits

K. P. Kumaran made his first film, Athithi (b/w, 35 mm., 112 mins.) in 1974. I was able to catch up with it in 2017, thanks to a retrospective devoted to the veteran director at the 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala. Athithi is a tense family drama that unfolds, for the most part, within the ghostly[Read More…]

by 27/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Indian Matchmaking- the ugly side that is not streaming on Netflix

Indian Matchmaking- the ugly side that is not streaming on Netflix

Netflix’s recently released web television series ‘Indian Matchmaking’ is whistleblowing a lot to the West. In its trailer, the real-life elite matchmaker Sima Taparia herself list some well-known facts about the Indian marriages: In India, the marriages, they are between two families. So the parents guide their children, and that is the work of a matchmaker. Matchmaking has become a[Read More…]

by 24/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Thank God For The Commune!

Thank God For The Commune!

The first edition of what began as the Bombay International Film Festival for Documentary & Short Films (there was no mention of animation in the naming then) was held between March 1 and 7, 1990. I had no place to stay in Bombay, yet the will to attend the festival was strong. One evening, over a cup of tea at[Read More…]

by 21/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
The picaresque parables Federico Fellini created around lives lived on society’s margins

The picaresque parables Federico Fellini created around lives lived on society’s margins

In ‘La Strada’ and ‘Nights of Cabiria’, Fellini’s boundless formal and narrative energy is married to his profound humanism                                                  A still from ‘La Strada’ (1954) To most cinephiles, Federico Fellini’s reputation rests on his triple masterpieces from the 1960s and early 1970s– La Dolce Vita (1960), 8 ½(1963) and Amarcord (1973). Each of these later films is a[Read More…]

by 18/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Journeys Into Caribbean Consciousness

Journeys Into Caribbean Consciousness

“Beyond the geographic and cultural identity that defines the Caribbean, is the more complex question of a Caribbean cinema aesthetic which has captured the imagination of some writers and critics. The search for the essence of Caribbean cinema has included theories of Créolité, diversity and Negritude from Martinique and Guadeloupe; Negrismo from Cuba; Indigenisme from Haiti; and Pan-Africanism from the[Read More…]

by 15/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Death In The Time Of ‘Development’

Death In The Time Of ‘Development’

In ways more than one, Quarter Number 4/11, a documentary about demolitions and displacements and resultant miseries to a defenseless but defiant working class family, is reminiscent of Anand Patwardhan’s epic Hamara Shahar, made a quarter century earlier. “Quarter Number 4/11 is a ground-zero perspective of urban real estate development, narrated through the plight of ex-factory worker Shambhu Prasad Singh,[Read More…]

by 11/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
A Love Story in a Turbulent Time

A Love Story in a Turbulent Time

Egyptian actor Omar Sharif poses for a photograph in 2009. Photo: Reuters. He passed away on July 10, 2015 Egyptian born debonair actor Omar Sharif’s passing on July 10th marks the end of an era. After hearing the sad news, I immediately sent a text to my best friend Maryam (a diehard fan of Omar Sharif). She immediately texted me[Read More…]

by 10/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Desperation As Art: 50 Years Of  Güney’s ‘Hope’

Desperation As Art: 50 Years Of  Güney’s ‘Hope’

Yilmaz Güney’s phenomenal many-sided genius made him a force to reckon with when he came to direction after a long stint as Turkey’s most popular film hero. But in the post-Second World War history of the Turkish State and society, Güney occupies a higher place than just that of a trail-blazing film personality. His strong sympathies for the inhabitants of[Read More…]

by 08/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Gulabo-Shitabo In The First Place

Gulabo-Shitabo In The First Place

I am not a polyglot. I am unbeknownst to Urdu-my mother’s language for I am the unfortunate generation who learnt English as well as Urdu sonnets but without Urdu in its script and is one who can hardly scramble through Urdu in its Persian form, just by virtue of tying its tit-bits conforming ever to their orthographic details. But, I[Read More…]

by 06/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Rhetoric of Victimisation in Delhi Crime and Unbelievable   

Rhetoric of Victimisation in Delhi Crime and Unbelievable  

The explosion of the #MeToo movement, the burgeoning discussion around sexual predators and the vulnerability of victims of sexual assault makes it even more pertinent to carefully and minutely examine the vocabulary of sexual assault in popular culture.  Rape narratives that pervade literature, newspapers, popular culture, law, activism etc, help “organize, understand, and even arguably produce the social world” (Sara[Read More…]

by 06/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Patriarchy
Film And Family: Revisiting An Early Patwardhan Classic

Film And Family: Revisiting An Early Patwardhan Classic

 It has been said of Anand Patwardhan, who turned 70 on February 18 this year, that he is ‘a kind of phenomenon in that he has all along faced official apathy, disapproval and, at times, censorship and open discrimination’. Perhaps, this is the way it should be for any creative artist wanting to grapple with political abuses, social injustices and[Read More…]

by 03/07/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Mahanagar –  Formidable Body, Pathetic Tail

Mahanagar –  Formidable Body, Pathetic Tail

In 1963, Satyajit Ray directed Mahanagar, commonly considered to be his first ‘Calcutta film’. True, there is a little of the ‘Big City’ in Apur Sansar (1959). Equally true, Parash Pathar (1958) is about an elderly Calcutta clerk who comes into a sudden fortune, only to lose it in no time. But Parash Pathar is a fantasy film, can perhaps[Read More…]

by 30/06/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Nema-ye Nazdik

Nema-ye Nazdik

In 1989 an incident happened in the prosperous suburbs of North Tehran that inspired the making of a movie. The movie took exactly 40 days to shoot, edit and then release and had no functioning script. It may be the most amazing movie you will ever see, (if you have not seen it already) and could be the best 97[Read More…]

by 28/06/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
‘Axone’ movie review: Political insensitivity derailed a potential pathbreaker 

‘Axone’ movie review: Political insensitivity derailed a potential pathbreaker 

Axone (‘akhuni’- a fermented soy bean dish), which revolves around the quirky premise of misadventures with cooking a ‘smelly’ and ‘tasty’ delicacy and has an unusual cast, majority of being the residents of northeastern states hold promises to a niche audience. ‘Northeasterners’  or people belonging to the northeastern region of India rejoiced to finally see a film that  did not[Read More…]

by 22/06/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Walking Over Water: Do you see, what I see?

Walking Over Water: Do you see, what I see?

They say “the art of art, the glory of expression, and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.” And indeed, there is something mystic about simplicity. And watching “Walking Over Water” was a similar kind of experience for me. It was earthy and fresh. A child always gets stuck in between the never ending quarrel of parents. This[Read More…]

by 20/05/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Article 15 

Article 15 

“We became Harijan (Mahatma Gandhi used to address Dalits as people of God, Harijan) or bahujan (many people) but we never became the people, “says the activist. And so the Dalits remain marginalized in our Bharat & never mainstream. The film Article 15 by director Anubhav Sinha is overflowing with such innumerable dialogues which are right on spot .And there are many scenes, which are symbolic[Read More…]

by 05/07/2019 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Searing Scenario in Seraing for All of Us

Searing Scenario in Seraing for All of Us

Special note: Don’t read about any of the films mentioned here prior to watching them. This “review” won’t spoil anything. “I remember loving The Promise over twenty years ago.” — Annapurna Tosca Sriramarcel “The Son is my favorite work of theirs.” — Rachel Olivia O’Connor When we first meet Jenny Davin (Adèle Haenel) of the Dardennes brothers’ The Unknown Girl (La Fille Inconnue) — the smart, uncompromising[Read More…]

by 15/05/2018 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Victoria and Abdul—The Empire Rewrites Itself Back

Victoria and Abdul—The Empire Rewrites Itself Back

Director Stephen Frears’s Victoria and Abdul, based on the book of the same name by Shrabani Basu, draws upon the diaries of Abdul Karim (1863–1909) that were published in 2010. Karim was an Indian clerk who shared an unusual bond with Queen Victoria in the last fifteen years of her life, which shook up the royal household and British upper[Read More…]

by 07/11/2017 3 comments Arts/Literature
Watch Dangal, Uncover The Logic Of Contemporary Right-Wing Ideology!

Watch Dangal, Uncover The Logic Of Contemporary Right-Wing Ideology!

  Dangal has captured the imagination of an average middle-class Indian. Yes! It is a fantastic movie. Yes! There should be positive reviews of the movie. Obviously, both critiquing and praising. It is indeed a good movie which has a lot to say about contemporary Indian social reality. Unlike the social media proclamations of Dangal, what fascinated me is the[Read More…]

by 09/01/2017 1 comment Arts/Literature
Dangal: An Overrated Movie Of Ideals

Dangal: An Overrated Movie Of Ideals

Primary job of any movie is to act as an anchor of conscience in a given society. This could be intrinsic or could be methodical. The purpose of movie or any art is to leave an impression, possibly a desirable one, on the minds of audience. Stronger the mark of impression, stronger the attachment to the movie and stronger the[Read More…]

PINK: No Pinkwashing Here…The Film Is Sincere And Grounded In Indian Reality

PINK: No Pinkwashing Here…The Film Is Sincere And Grounded In Indian Reality

As a researcher in Film and Gender Studies, I had great expectations of the movie PINK. I must say, the positive audience and critical reception to the film is well deserved, while it also reflects on the perfect timing of its making and release, when public discourses on issues of rape and gendered violence come down heavily on the side[Read More…]

by 29/09/2016 1 comment Arts/Literature
Questioning The Patriarchal Attitudes: A Review Of The Film Pink 

Questioning The Patriarchal Attitudes: A Review Of The Film Pink 

  Instances of rape are quite common in India. According to National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB), about 93 rapes take place in India every day. Two different perspectives emerge in relation to cause of rapes. There is a prevalent patriarchal view with a base in feudal mindset, which blames the victim.  It argues that rapes do happen due to lack[Read More…]

by 26/09/2016 1 comment Arts/Literature, Patriarchy
Lakshman Rekha: A Sensitive Film On Public Discourses On Sexual Assault

Lakshman Rekha: A Sensitive Film On Public Discourses On Sexual Assault

Lakshman Rekha, a film by Geetika Tondon looks at how conversations in the media are played out in cases of sexual assault in India. This twenty minute short premiered in July 2016 at the inaugural session of the Film Club, Centre for Women’s Studies, University of Hyderabad, in the presence of the film maker. The film was followed by an[Read More…]

by 13/09/2016 1 comment Arts/Literature
 Review Of Movie “A Bitter Lime” – Disenchanted First World Couple Escape To Third World Guyana

 Review Of Movie “A Bitter Lime” – Disenchanted First World Couple Escape To Third World Guyana

“A Bitter Lime” is a variously funny to  Kafkaesque movie about a rich and young but disenchanted First World couple leaving Los Angeles for Georgetown in Third World  Guyana. A beautifully filmed and poetic movie, “A Bitter Lime” touches on escapism, existential angst, North-South, Man-Nature and love.  Directed by Australian Max De Bowen (Max Orter) , “A Bitter Lime” is[Read More…]

by 01/08/2016 3 comments Arts/Literature
Social Facts In An ‘Off-Day Game”

Social Facts In An ‘Off-Day Game”

It is more often a rare experience to be a part of a ‘critical insider’ while being with a movie. Politics is also very rarely seen in the ‘foreground’ in the ‘making’ of a movie – the most widely visible practice is to place it in the ‘background.’ What politically goes in between these spaces (background and foreground) is also[Read More…]

by 19/06/2016 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature