Cultures and families clash in Mira Nair’s exuberant Monsoon Wedding, a mix of comedy and chaotic melodrama concerning the preparations for the arranged marriage of a modern upper-middle-class Indian family’s only daughter, Aditi. Of course there are hitches—Aditi has been having an affair with a married TV host; she’s never met her husband to be, who lives in Houston; the wedding has worsened her father’s hidden financial troubles; even the wedding planner has become a nervous wreck—as well as buried family secrets. But Nair’s celebration is ultimately joyful and cathartic: a love song to her home city of Delhi and her own Punjabi family. Continue reading
The plot of Ajantrik (Pathetic Fallacy) revolves around Bimal and his battered taxi, an old Chevrolet, he calls Jagaddal. Because he treats his car as a living being, many consider Bimal to be mad.
Said Ritwik about the film: “You can call my protagonist, Bimal, a lunatic, a child, or a tribal. At one level they are all the same. They react to lifeless things almost passionately. This is an ancient, archetypal reaction….The tribal songs and dances in Ajantrik describe the whole cycle of life – birth, hunting, marriage, death, ancestor worship, and rebirth. This is the main theme of Ajantrik, this law of life.”
Music by Ali Akbar Khan.
Fandry is a 2013 Indian Marathi language film, written and directed by Nagraj Manjule in a directorial debut. It stars Somnath Avghade and Rajshree Kharat as the film leads. The story focuses on a romance amidst caste-based discrimination. The film set in Akolner, a village near Ahmednagar is about a teenager from a Dalit (lower caste) family, who lives at the village fringe, and falls in love with an upper caste girl.
One of the most exciting films of 2009: Amit Duttas first feature is based on three short stories by Vinod Kumar Shukla and Saadat Hasan Manto. Maybe it indeed is about the problems of masculinity in the modern world (the director says so, at least), but there’s so much more to find in these images. There isn’t one conventional moment in the film. Dutta, one of the most idiosyncratic directors working today, makes every single shot completely his own. Continue reading
Plot synopsis from AMG:
Shot on-location on the streets of Bombay, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay is the gritty tale of Krishna (Shafiq Syed, a runaway discovered by Nair), a boy kicked out of his home, and abandoned by the traveling circus he had joined. In desperation, he uses the little money he has to buy a one-way ticket to the nearest city, which turns out to be Bombay. “Come back a movie star,” the ticket agent tells him mockingly. In Bombay, Krishna joins a small community of street kids, and gets a job delivering tea. Soon, everyone in the downtrodden neighborhood knows him as “Chaipau” (tea boy). Krishna wants to save five hundred rupees, enough money to get back into his mother’s good graces and return home. Chillum (Raghubir Yadav), a streetwise young man who deals drugs for the local kingpin, Baba (Nana Patekar), takes Krishna under his wing. The sly but cruel Baba has a mistress, Rekha (Aneeta Kanwar), who works as a prostitute. She has a young daughter, Manju (Hansa Vithal), who has a crush on Krishna, but Krishna only has eyes for the girl they call “Sweet Sixteen,” a virginal teenager who is being forced into prostitution. Eventually, Baba fires the surly Chillum, and Krishna finds himself struggling to keep Chillum alive by supporting his drug habit. Many of the roles in the film are played by non-actors, including the street kids, and an actual madame who allowed Nair to film scenes in her brothel. The Harvard-educated Nair began her filmmaking career working on documentaries. Salaam Bombay, her narrative feature debut, won worldwide critical acclaim, and was awarded the Camera D’Or at Cannes.
— Josh Ralske Continue reading
Mary and Peter fall in love with each other and are about to get married, when Peter is asked to re-join his regiment to go to war. Shortly thereafter, he is missing, believed to be dead, leaving behind a devastated Mary who subsequently gives birth to twins, and leaves them on the doorsteps of two Goan households, and becomes a nun. Twenty four years later, India is a free country, while Goa is under the rule of the Portugese, Mary is the Mother Superior; Peter, who is still alive, is the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Goa, who has been entrusted the task of apprehending two revolutionaries by the name of Ram and Rahim – none other than his very own sons. Watch what happens when duo unleash a series of attacks against the oppressive Portugese regime, including robbing the Bank of Portugal, disrobing an arrogant Superindent of Police, Alburqueue, then setting his house on fire, joining hands with dreaded bandit Daler Singh, and abducting the daughter of the Goa’s Hakim, Rita. Continue reading
Playwright, actor, director, and theatre scholar Girish Karnad conceived this film as a popularly-accessible tribute to the glories of Sanskrit drama, turning one of the most beloved of classical plays, the ca. 5th century “Little Clay Cart” (ascribed to Shudraka) into a contemporary spectacle with A-list stars and music by major filmi composers. Lavish sets and costumes, jewelry and hairstyles, all inspired by classical paintings and sculptures, evoke the glories of the Gupta age, while saucy dialog in contemporary (if properly Sanskritized) Hindi recreates the playwright’s satirical vision of the demimondaine world of the city of Ujjayini. By reminding viewers that, for ancient Indians, “pleasure” and “profit” (kama and artha) were right up there with “virtue” (dharma) among the principal Aims of Life, the film can serve as a refreshing antidote to the over-emphasized philosophical and mystical preoccupations of the much-studied texts of the classical period (e.g., Bhagavad-gita). Its Rabelaisian cast of characters — the voluptuous and talented courtesan, witty cat burglar, pompous monk, wild-eyed revolutionary — mirror those found in the worldly-wise story anthologies of the classical period (such as those translated in J. A. B. van Buitenen’s Tales of Ancient India), and thus bring to life their urbane world of fleshly delights. Continue reading