Monday, September 25, 2017

Newton: Westminster laughs in the dark deep of Dandakaranya

Cancel you look at India's democracy with a mix of pride, irony, cynicism and gentle humour from a godforsaken corner where Mythology meets Maoism, tribals meet modernists and eternal simplicity meets industrial onslaught in a miasmic play of strong yet vulnerable characters?
India' Oscar entry this year, manages to pull it off in elegant pace, despite its abstract and abrupt end that dents a fabulous build-up.  The rugged landscape of Dandakaranya, the frail ways of small town characters and the idiosyncratic mannerisms of uppity officials make this a dark comedy meets cinema vérité treat. Am not sure if it deserves an Oscar but it is a milestone in a long list of classics exploring the hearts and minds of India's hinterland in its determined tryst with destiny. From Do Bigha Zameen to Newton via Nishant, Aakrosh and Jaane Bhi Do Yaro, truth emerges like the weaves of Khadi. Flawless acting by Rajkumar Rao,Sanjay Mishra, Pankaj Tripathi and the incredible Raghuvir Yadav is topped by Anjali Patil who somehow reminds you of the dusky, earthy beauty of Smita Patil. Amit Masurkar is a director to watch.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan: British sex comedy in desi milieu Jaljeera with Whiskey.

Can Indians laugh at themselves? The answer is finally yes. I loved"Shubh Mangal Saavdgan"  - an unlikely  comedy of manners and behavioural idiosyncrasies in a society transitioning from a moribund sanskari inertia to a more liberated value system.  It is tough to blend British style sex comedy with a small town Indian milieu, but director R.S. Prasanna, who earlier made this movie in Tamil, pulls it off,aided by earthy UP-meets-NewDelhi dialogues. This is what happens when mausis and tayajis meet malls and multiplexes in an age of feminism and the Internet.