IIM Calcutta

Archive for July, 2010

Udaan


It’s beautifully made.

The subtle humour.

The emotional surges.

The poetry and the young mind.

The little kid and his quiteness.

The small place called Jamshedpur.

The ‘Kanti Shah ke Angoor’

The friendship and tears.

The music.

The wisdom.

The memory.

But the climax of the movie wasn’t up to the mark of what it had set initially. He took flight but from what and to where? I waited patiently for a  conquered dream. I waited patiently for a future that takes to flight but with the feet firmly on the ground. Waited for a meaning to life and an inspiration. But a run away?

Peepli Live


By Arun Ramachandran

P Sainath, in one of his cynical observations on the corporate media once commented that there were truckloads of journalists covering the Lakme India Fashion Week, in Mumbai, but only a handful covering the farmer suicides in Vidarbha a few hours away. Years have passed by, neither has Sainath changed nor has the Indian mainstream media.

But interestingly, Aamir Khan has produced a movie – Peepli Live, “a satire on the farmers’ suicides and subsequent media and political response”. Slated for release on August 13th, Peepli Live is being marketed heavily. It is already the first film from India to compete in the Sundance Film Festival in the US. With music score composed by
Indian Ocean, Aamir is not leaving any stone unturned. They have come up with a slick website – http://www.peeplilivethefilm.com/ It is a must visit for anyone remotely interested in Film Marketing.

The movie is directed by a débutante, Anusha Rizvi, an obscure lady. I have exhausted Google search, but couldn’t find any valuable info on her. The cast includes Raghubhir Yadav and Naseerudin Shah.

Meanwhile, controversies never seem to leave Aamir. He had to take responsibility for delayed payment to a musical group from a village in Madhya Pradesh for using their folk song. It has also been reported that BJP has asked permission for using a song from Peepli Live for their anti price rise campaign. Interesting!!!

It would be nice to see a low budget, off-beat movie making it big in Bollywood. But after all, its about an issue the urban middle-class little cares about. No marks for guessing whether it would stay on theaters for more than a fortnight.


Road to Sangam


A movie which speaks a lot from just a little.

A movie like an a Ruskin Bond story but for adults.

A movie about small things in life that matter even when larger things loom in front.

I would like to say it was Paresh Rawal at his best. But then I always say that.

It talks of how patriotism sometimes comes out of little corners and lights up a person.

I feel its a one man show. And one worthy man he is !

You can read up the story at wiki if you like. But watching it from the beginning without any idea is nicer. Just watch it.



Nuovo Cinema Paradiso


By Arun Rahim

Cinema Paradiso
To be frank, the first time I saw this movie I felt it was a bit of a drag. But this was in stark contrast to the second time I saw it. For me, a perfect movie is one with a great storyline, a well written script, characters that fit the role and handy camera work. Giuseppe Tornatore is one director who can get all of this right. What amazes me most is the way in which he discusses important matters of life in a simplified manner laden with humor. Even when Alfredo tells Toto to get out of town by cheating him and after 30 years when Toto abuses Alfredo after he realized that he had tricked him, there is a slight humor element to it. I somehow think this is just what Tornatore wants all of us to know. That life is a tough game and it should always be taken with a tinge of humor.

Tornatore has used a good number of characters in the movie who have brilliantly brought the screen to life. Each has a story of its own and although Toto is the central character I couldn’t’ cease to wonder what the other characters were about. Toto’s mother and her fight against reality, the regular movie goers in the hall, the prostitute in the cinema hall and even Alfredo’s wife are all so nicely portrayed in this movie, that it is a like a well cooked up Indian curry that has got all the spices in the right proportion. In spite of the humor, it is tough to not feel sad about Toto as he is. The naughty but intelligent Toto had a lot of promise in him as a child and I felt that only Alfredo was able to spot this. His promise turned out to be the undoing for his love life as Alfredo wanted to see him realize his full potential. Again I just cannot but imagine how things would have turned out if he his life hadn’t been diverted by Alfredo. Constraints and optimization is what comes to my mind now. Alfredo analyzed the constraints that Toto had, but forgot about the time period Toto lived in. He probably did not want Toto to end up as a slave to the projector and in his mind did what was the best for Toto. But as in real life rarely do plans go your way.

On the whole I think this is another must watch movie for any cinemaphile and certainly one which arouses a whole range of emotions in you.


Amelie


By Arun Rahim.Amelie

I haven’t seen many French movies before this, but was always lured by how French is spoken. There is always a poetic versatility and romantic touch to it. The character of Amelie played by Audrey Tatou is one which can easily spark a reminiscence in every one of us. Being misdiagnosed with a heart ailment in childhood by her father, she was not sent to school and was alone in childhood. She kept herself occupied with her vivid imagination and developed a shyness that was the outcome of her emotional separation from her father. What is different with Amelie is that all these idiosyncrasies follow her to adulthood where she entertains herself with self-devised fantasies. The external world created in this movie as I have read is very akin to a modern Parisian society in full rigor. Although there is always a scent of romance in the air, Amelie is a love-failure and as before mostly keeps to herself.

She works as a waitress in a restaurant and goes through her daily routines dotted with self-fulfilling fantasies until one day when she made a discovery. This discovery turns out to be her epiphany. It opened a whole new world for her. One where happiness is found in scheming little plans to help others in their lives. Yet Amelie likes working in the background and quietly enjoys the moments of glee that she has been able to gift others. In the midst of all of this Amelie does find that ‘someone’, but her introverted nature turns out to be the spoil sport. The movie is a must watch and I am not revealing more on the storyline.

Audrey Tatou who plays Amelie has given a more than brilliant performance. She personifies Amelie and gives that extra edge and life to the role. It is inevitable that after the movie you simply end up loving the character. The narration was innovative and the pace of the movie was good.Add to that some awesome camera work and music and you get an awesome movie on the whole.


All About my mother


By Priyanka.

All About my motherConsidered to be one of Pedro Almodovar’s masterpieces, All About my mother is the story of a single mother trying to cope with the loss of her only son. She then decides to confront her past and meets a colourful group of women around whom her life begins to revolve. As she looks for closure in matters of the past, she finds herself beginning a new chapter of life. The film deals with a host of themes including motherhood, friendship, prostitution, lesbianism and transvestism. It is interesting to see the way the director fills the blanks in the life of the protagonist throughout the course of the movie, but deliberately leaves spaces missing in the lives of the other women to keep you guessing. Cecilia Roth gives an emotional performance as the titular mother who is strong, independent, kind, compassionate, forgiving, and funny. A wonderful tribute to mothers all around the world.