Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Bengali«

Prasun Chatterjee’s Dostojee is a moving, lyrical drama about a childhood that struggles to transcend communal tensions

November 24, 2022


Spoilers ahead… This Bengali drama, set a few months after the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Bombay blasts, resists emotional manipulation and rings true. The title of Prasun Chatterjee’s Dostojee is an affectionate term for a friend, and the film revolves around Palash and Safikul (Asif Shaikh, Arif Shaikh), who are best friends […]

Interview: Kamal Haasan (on the ’50th day of Vikram’ event organised by Galatta)

August 5, 2022


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Readers Write In #468: Song of the Road – Novel and Film

June 16, 2022


By Deepika Santhanakrishnan Bends in the Road is what the translators of Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s novel ‘Pather Panchali’ (1929) found it apt to name. They attributed the suggestion to the horizontal bends of a w(o)andering life’s journey. Well, I attribute it to the vertical bends in life as well. The former in the case of the […]

On Satyajit Ray’s 100th birthday, a Top 10 list

May 2, 2021


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Readers Write In #352: Revisiting Ghare Baire (1984)

April 10, 2021


(by Sidharth Malhotra) Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Victor Banerjee, and Swatilekha ChatterjeeDirector: Satyajit Ray The film is based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel that came out in 1916 and carries the same name. Set in 1907’s colonialized India, Ghare Baire (English Title: The Home and the World) is a story that revolves around three major characters: Nikhilesh, […]

Berlinale Talents participant Tathagata Ghosh: ‘Through my films I try to freeze the rapidly changing corners of rural Bengal’

March 3, 2021

0 113 women, 84 men and 8 who preferred to not state their gender — 205 film professionals in all, from 65 countries — have been chosen for Berlinale Talents. An interview with Tathagata Ghosh from Kolkata, one of the nine Indian talents selected for the programme. Spoilers ahead… Tathagata Ghosh, director and screenwriter, gained […]

Indranil Roychowdhury’s moving, minimalistic Mayar Jonjal (Debris of Desire), with Ritwick Chakraborty, Aupee Karim, Chandrayee Ghosh, Sohel Mondol

February 9, 2021

1 In this drama playing at the International Film Festival of Kerala, the women aren’t afraid of hard work. The men, on the other hand, are losers. Spoilers ahead… Indranil Roychowdhury’s Mayar Jonjal (the international title is Debris of Desire) opens with the sight of a powerful man called Joga da (Joydeep Mukherjee). So powerful […]

Readers Write In #238: What the fish! (‘Maacher Jhol’)

August 7, 2020


(by Vikram MN) Some movies just happen. As if the whole universe conspires towards it. On a fine midweek which has become a new Sunday due to the full lockdown restrictions on Sundays, where one goes off to buy non veg. One such morning of ours was reserved in selecting what fish to buy. Apart […]

Nagarkirtan on Hoichoi, with Riddhi Sen and Ritwick Chakraborty: A tender, sensual, beautifully acted drama about unconventional love

July 22, 2020


The director equates this “unconventional” love story between two men to the one between Radha and Krishna. They’re both Krishna. And they’re both Radha. Spoilers ahead… Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan centres on two people, two states of mind. First, there’s Parimal (Riddhi Sen), a young man who feels he belongs to the opposite gender. He runs […]

Hemant Kumar: On his birth centenary, a musical flashback

June 16, 2020


Recalling some of the composer-singer’s music, from the sombre Guru Dutt films to Girl Friend, which had ‘Boom booma boom’. When it comes to films, we may admire the choices an actor makes, but there’s always a doubt: Is this great bit of dialogue delivery the actor’s own choice, or did the director prompt him […]

‘Jyeshthoputro’, now streaming on ZEE5, is a classy melodrama with Prosenjit Chatterjee and Ritwick Chakraborty

December 15, 2019


The screenplay expands on the theatre- vs-cinema conflict that was a small part of ‘Nayak’ and ‘Autograph’. Here, the theatre artist becomes an entirely different person. Spoilers ahead… When Srijit Mukherji did a take on Nayak, in Autograph, he got all kinds of tricky with the narrative. It’s a film with two layers. In the […]

FC@Berlin 2019, Dispatch 1 – Before Zoya Akhtar and Rima Das, these Indians were at the Berlinale (yup, Ram Gopal Varma’s in the list)

February 7, 2019


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Mainstream ventures like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Paruthiveeran, Dil Se. Art-house classics by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen. And Shah Rukh Khan seems really popular. In a review dated May 15, 1977, India Today characterised Shyam Benegal’s Manthan as “a valid contribution in sociological terms”. True […]

Baradwaj Rangan, let’s talk about bias!

June 14, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Because it’s impossible to have a proper conversation on Twitter, I imagine a chat with critics of my ‘Kaala’ review and argue why form is important and why ‘Mani Ratnam’ isn’t a bad word. There may be spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen ‘Kaala’. So you’re […]

Caught at Cannes: Aneek Chaudhuri’s film is silent about rape

May 10, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: With no dialogues and only music and images, ‘White’ – which will be screened on 11 May, in Marché du Film (Film Market) – is a unique take on a universal subject. “Have you ever been blindfolded?” Aneek Chaudhuri asks, when I wonder about the title […]

The contentious nature of the National Awards

April 14, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Musings on the country’s most prestigious film awards – and this is not about whether X deserved to win over Y. Another year. Another set of arguments over the National Awards. For instance: Did Sridevi deserve Best Actress? Indeed, under normal circumstances, would her performance in […]

Tamil cinema, English thoughts

January 25, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: In which I make a case that there needs to be more writing about non-Hindi cinema in English, if this cinema is to break through ghettos. I interviewed two authors at this year’s edition of the The Hindu’s Lit for Life. One of them was a […]

Communities of cinema

November 26, 2016


Thoughts on a book on India’s film society movements, with a guest appearance by Jawaharlal Nehru. When was the first official film society movement started in India? Where? And why? If the answers intrigue you – 1940; Bombay; to expose budding Indian documentary filmmakers to the best documentaries in the world, so they could make […]

Movies, memories and everything in between

September 24, 2016


Watching old films on the big screen is a form of travelling through time. Why don’t we have revival theatres? The US has them. Among the coming attractions at the Texas Theatre in Dallas is a screening of The Fly, to commemorate its 30th anniversary. The point isn’t that the film can be seen on […]

The games city people play

July 16, 2016


The recent Malayalam drama ‘Ozhivudivasathe Kali’ is the latest in a line of films that involve game-playing in the wilderness. I caught Ozhivudivasathe Kali (An Off-day Game), Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s acclaimed Malayalam drama, when it was released in Chennai last week. The story is set during an election day, a dry day, and it’s about […]

Mad visuals and melodrama

January 16, 2016


Brief notes from the 13th Chennai International Film Festival. Where are the great images? I kept asking this question during this year’s edition of the Chennai International Film Festival, usually a December fixture in the city’s cultural calendar but postponed a month due to the floods. When I say “great images,” I’m not talking about […]