Ghosts of Ganga and the Dazzling Display of Death in Masaan

When I try to paint a picture of the Ganga in my mind, I mostly imagine a pristine river with the rising Sun at the horizon. That’s how we all have been conditioned to imagine the holy river. Ganga stands for purity, tranquility and piousness; a river that may have been abundantly polluted over the centuries but, as per the millions’ belief and reverence, still holds the magical power to purify the polluted. Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan paints such a contrasting picture of the holy river and its mythical home –Varanasi that it shakes your conscience and unravels the ghosts that lie quietly somewhere deep inside the river bed.Continue reading “Ghosts of Ganga and the Dazzling Display of Death in Masaan”

Masaan: Poetic Closures

As human beings, I find it impossible for us to not seek closure. In every aspect of our life, there is a desire to connect all the dots and conclude. Without conclusions, we hang free, unable to move forward or finish a part of our life, a relationship or even a simple task. The greatest of closures is death which guarantees flight from every open problem. Masaan or crematorium is the home for the ultimate closure. Neeraj Ghaywan’s debut feature, deals with life in a small town – Benares; through two tales. It is about love, heartbreak, morality, casteism, small town modernity and also about closure.Continue reading “Masaan: Poetic Closures”

Masaan Movie Review: From the Heartland with a lot of Heart

If you are a movie buff then it’s highly unlikely that you’ve not heard of Neeraj Ghaywan and his debut film Masaan which has released today, after all the film has been in the news right from the very beginning. Be it for winning the 2014 Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award or much later for making it as an official entry to Cannes this year under the Un Certain Regard section where it even won a couple of awards, Masaan or (Fly Away Solo as it was called earlier) has been making the right kind of moves everywhere, not everything by design of course. It isn’t often that a filmmaker manages to make his debut with all these aspects. Added to it is the fact that the film has an impressive cast and crew and is supported by producers who make things matter. So eventually it won’t be surprising when you hear people interested in knowing if Masaan deserved all this and if Neeraj Ghaywan has made a convincing debut, after all its to do with human nature.Continue reading “Masaan Movie Review: From the Heartland with a lot of Heart”

Masaan: The Soundtrack

Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan which releases on 24th July has music by popular band Indian Ocean. The soundtrack which has 3 songs written by Varun Grover is already quite popular,very different from the regular songs we get to hear in Hindi films of late.

Masaan Dialogue PosterThe first video that has been released is for the song ‘Tu Kisi Rail Si’ which is sung by Swanand Kirkire and the lyrics by Varun Grover are inspired by a ghazal by Dushyant Kumar.Continue reading “Masaan: The Soundtrack”

Katiyabaaz Movie Review: Fact and Fiction, Deliciously Mixed

Katiyabaaz, a 84-minute documentary fiction film, released in theaters this past Friday, thanks to Phantom Films which backed it religiously. While I have been itching to watch it all weekend, people around me were not even aware that such a film came out. And we claim to be cinephiles. A ‘katiya’ is a cut or a hook manually made on electricity transmission wires to steal electricity from the running lines and a ‘katiyabaaz’ is the artist who executes this for his customers. The film is set in my hometown, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and it would be a shame if I did not get around writing about the film. Continue reading “Katiyabaaz Movie Review: Fact and Fiction, Deliciously Mixed”

Inam: An Insider’s Perspective

You might not know me. I am just like you. I am one among you. I even speak your language. Just that, like some of your friends,  I was born in a different place! You can call me by any name…it doesn’t matter. There are a number of other things which ‘does matter’. Eighteen years back, I was born in a countryside hut- an unattended labor happening as a result of an army soldier forcibly raping my mother when she was 16 years old.  My mom was so naive that she failed to even notice that she was pregnant until I was 6 months in the womb and lo and behold, three months later her paunch was getting bigger. She attempted suicide at the ninth month of her pregnancy and I was born unassisted. She won and I started loosing that moment. While you were busy being born in air conditioned rooms, tendered to by loving parents. I didn’t go to school till I was seven, that too until a foreign missionary forced my uncle to.  I was made to work all evening and in the mornings to provide for myself. I was termed a ‘orphan’ and ridiculed by the world. While you were busy playing video games and having fun at school.Continue reading “Inam: An Insider’s Perspective”

Satyagraha Movie Review: What truth are we looking for?

Ajay Devgn in Satyagraha. The movie is pretty much like his expression here.
Ajay Devgn in Satyagraha. The movie is pretty much like his expression here.

In “Satyagraha”, in one of the later scenes of the film, Ajay Devgn asks Arjun Rampal to start a political party, who in turn was thrown out of the school by Amitabh Bachchan because he was found involved in antisocial activities.Continue reading “Satyagraha Movie Review: What truth are we looking for?”

Satyagraha: Trailer

Satyagraha PicEver since Prakash Jha comfortably turned to commercial cinema with a vengeance with Gangaajal, he started becoming successful and slowly moving away from the cinema that he once stood for.Continue reading “Satyagraha: Trailer”

Anurag Kashyap: An Auteur Demystified

Anurag article cover image
Anurag article cover image

Introduction

Auteur‘is a French word which translated in English means ‘author’,  the creator of the work. Having said that, cinema unlike the other arts like poetry, painting etc. is a collective art and includes contributions from other artists to make it a completed film and is not the work of a sole artist. However, the ‘Auteur Theory’ suggests that there is one prime force that leads to the creation of the film and that individual guides all the processes of filmmaking. It is the vision and worldview of this individual who makes the film special and thus a work of art. Continue reading “Anurag Kashyap: An Auteur Demystified”