Film Thoughts: MANTO [India | 2018]

Manto on the outset shows what biopics should be – whether on cricketers, sportsperson or any actor – projecting the psyche of the central character is vital and crucial. Biopics need to stay true to the actual happenings for it’s not a propaganda material rather a documentation in cinematic form. A big round of applause to the gorgeous Nandita Das for not succumbing to the commercial tastes of Bollywood consumers and projecting Manto much like the way Saadat Hasan Manto was – brutal, truthful and unwavering.

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Film Thoughts: IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE [Hong Kong | 2000]

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE – will make you fall in love with Wong Kar Wai, especially, if this is his first film that you are watching. My thoughts on this sumptuously crafted and subtly woven film can end here for certainly that is the summary of it all. But there is a lot more to talk about the film.

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Commendable Absurdist Independent Cinema from Orissa

Fantastic thoughts on Khyanikaa – The Lost Idea, the second independent film from Odisha. This article almost feels like a handwritten note on one’s viewing experience.

Lonely Canopy

Khyanikaa is all about moments, like snippets from a dream. It is set in coastal Orissa.

Khyanikaa_poster_69x99cms_FFThe characters: Two men, a poet and an idler, in quest of the ever illusive idea. While fate acts judge and jury over their claims.  Glimpses of a skeptical society. Newspaper stories come alive and question the reader, quite literally. Boats become alternate realities and the postman a dream navigator.

The setting: There are several scenes framed through a doorway or broken window … maybe to question ownership and reality itself. A man whiles his time away reading newspapers, immune to the rants of his irate wife. A poet consoles himself with alcohol and imminent international fame. A world leader addresses an impoverished and under-developed world, hints of comments on the divide between the have and have-nots. A mad man goes about his routine of dragging a teacher on a wheelchair, asking…

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‘A Time Elsewhere’ from Penguin Books | Originally written in Odia as ‘Desa Kala Patra’ from Friends Publishers

Author Jagannath Prasad Das | Saraswati Samman, 2006 | Translated into English by Jatindra Kumar Nayak

A Time Elsewhere makes up a fantastic read on the state of affairs of a region which has mostly stayed dormant in fields where the neighbours and others have excelled to various peaks at different generations. It gives a typical window to a narrative spanning 50 years beginning from 1859. This span of history is important in many ways for Odisha, as we know today, where it gives an interesting view to its past and the formation of a society, language and identity stepping out from the shadows of neighbouring regions.

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Death Note of an Insignificant flesh!

I have never technically struggled…(for the essentials). But such are the times that every little unconventional work that one does these days, tendency gathers to seek out gratification from people around us. And in fact, there will be people to establish that false sense of achievement by lauding the effort traditionally using the words – “at least you have been able to do this…” Thus every time I started to look at some of my accomplishments – be it materialistic or artistic – I could not help but wonder and compare with all those men and women who would have struggled harder, toiled more throughout the day and night and even during the sleep in between, who would have tirelessly pursued their goals and ambitions, and would have fought a far greater battle with destiny to turn the tide in their favor – to be where they are,  just to have at the end  in equivalent measures what I have. I couldn’t then help but ask myself – am I still worth the privileges I enjoyed or received.

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Film Thoughts: DAISIES (1966)

Last time had the opportunity to watch ‘Daisies’ during the monthly screenings held by Film Society of Bhubaneswar.

‘Daisies’ is a 1966 film by Věra Chytilová and is highly regarded as one of the distinguished films of the 1960’s Czech new wave era. As the name suggests, it would easily come across as a non-serious and a non-intense film. But just like some of the facts about the film that are very interesting and surprising, the film, similarly had layers of political and ideological statements ready to be peeled off its surface.

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Film Thoughts: THE PEARL BUTTON (2015)

Have had the good fortune to make it to the evening’s first screening at Film Society of BhubaneswarThe Pearl Button” – a magnificent, enlightening and moving film by the veteran director Patricio Guzmán. It is so difficult to define this Chilean film as a plain documentary for it educated, mesmerized, astonished and at the same time put me into a standstill with the cinematic brilliance this film offered.

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