Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Bengali«

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 […]

Common men, uncommon stories

August 15, 2015


On the eve of the release of ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’, Baradwaj Rangan traces the journey of our biopics, which are no longer just about larger-than-life achievers. It all began in 1959, when a landless Bihari from the Musahar community, a scheduled caste that traditionally made a living as rat catchers, decided to make […]

A daylong duet

August 8, 2015


Thoughts on a beautiful (and near-wordless) Bengali movie that won a couple of National Awards this year (Best First Film, Best Audiography). In the last week, approximately 1200 people have lost their jobs in West Bengal. In a state of fear, panic and rage, people are taking to the streets to rally and protest. The […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “All the world’s a screen…”

September 12, 2014


In light of the upcoming ‘Haider’, a look at a 60-year-old Hindi version of ‘Hamlet’. Plus, ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan and Uttam Kumar as Othello. When we think of non-Western (and non-Vishal Bhardwaj) adaptations of Shakespeare, the mind settles, instantly, on Kursosawa. Throne of Blood. Ran. But a quick Google search reveals some fascinating Indian productions. A […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Sex… and the city-based thriller”

November 1, 2013


On seeking out, um, interesting films at the Mumbai Film Festival. And how the Bengali film industry seems to have managed a viable middle-of-the-road cinema. The most interesting film I saw at the Mumbai Film Festival was Srijit Mukherji’s Baishe Srabon. I didn’t expect it to be the most interesting film. That slot, I thought, […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “And the Oscar doesn’t go to…”

September 27, 2013


Some thoughts on cricket and baseball and the movies we send out for Best Foreign Film consideration. So the powers that be chose The Good Road over The Lunchbox, and Twitter exploded. I thought, first, that this was an overreaction. (Then again, what’s Twitter for if not overreacting?) After all, isn’t this the same system […]

Masters of different mediums

April 3, 2012


The essay that inaugurates Filming Fiction: Tagore, Premchand, and Ray (edited by M Asaduddin and Anuradha Ghosh) makes a persuasive case for the existence of this anthology, which, at first glance, presents itself as simply yet another book on Satyajit Ray. In a disquisition titled His Films, Their Stories (whose name, of course, looks back […]

Films & Feni: The Big Bong

December 2, 2009


THE BIG BONG DEC 2, 2009 – THE PHRASE “FILMED PLAY” HAS, by now, entered the lexicon of moviemaking as an embarrassing pejorative, an indication that declamatory acting and theatrical mise en scène has been foisted upon us in the name of cinema. But the Brazilian director, Daniel Filho, in his thrillingly dramatic Tempos de […]