Amidst the treasure trove of films to be screened from around the world in this fabulous festival of cinema, it so happens that the desi gems tend to get neglected; especially the tinier ones which would be as lost in the theatres (i.e. if they do miraculously manage to get a theatrical release) as they are in the glossy catalogue of the 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
Let me begin by honestly admitting that 2016 was a lukewarm year for Indian Cinema, at least that would be something that I firmly believe in. Be it Bollywood/Hindi cinema or any of the regional language film industries, things were largely subdued for a major part of the year. Be it businesswise or with respect to the quality of output, 2016 definitely seemed to lag behind 2015, forget going anywhere beyond that for a comparison. It’s not that the year was totally beyond redemption, there were some positives as well, but they were not sufficient enough to completely lift up the spirit of Indian cinema overall. Let’s begin by taking a look at Bollywood to start with. 2016 saw only 2 big blockbusters, Sultan and Dangal, none of the other successful films were runaway hits as such. So while Salman Khan and Aamir Khan delivered big time with Sultan and Dangal respectively, SRK came up withFan which met with a mixed response, while gaining back some traction with one of the better Hindi films of the year, Dear Zindagi.Continue reading “The Best of Indian Cinema in 2016: A Perspective”
We all must be aware that in terms of filmmaking, ‘Path-Breaking’ is an adjective used for films which in a way opens up a different genre/style/theme or redefines a previously known genre/style/theme. In case of Marathi cinema, ‘Path-Breaking’ could be a title used to honor films that broke the mould of conventional ‘Marathi’ genres/styles/themes & while doing so also succeeded in overall aspects, expected from a good film. Comedy & family drama have always been the most conventional genre in Marathi, not to forget ‘melodrama’! There are people who have recently recognized Marathi cinema & have also coined the term ‘The Marathi New Wave’ which includes any random popular Marathi film (like Natsamrat or Katyar..) of recent times. Is the ‘Wave’ really there? Even if it’s there, is it even averagely substantial? Well, let’s examine it!
Sairat is a very easy movie to respond emotionally. Nagraj exhibits tremendous control on the craft of mainstream cinematic tropes in the first hour, that the viewers have no choice but to surrender and submit themselves to the movie. And in doing so they are at the mercy of Nagraj, who takes advantage of this and takes unsuspecting casual movie viewers on a stark journey leading to a soul crushing defeatist ending. It took me almost 3 days to recover emotionally, gather my thoughts and make sense of things intellectually. Like many of us, I crave to relive the movies emotionally. Sometimes I get desperate and watch a movie multiple times in a theater just to relive the emotion I felt for the first time. I fail most of the times.Continue reading “Sairat Movie Review”
As the film begins we see a wrinkly old man with a world weary face sit outside his home. It is the place where he spends most of his day by calling people names, passing snide remarks and getting into petty squabbles with passerby’s on the road. If we look around, we can spot many such people who spend their entire day often with groups with quite a few people of their age discussing every possible topic under the sun. The scenario is not too different in villages, where one can find elderly people indulging in similar trivial discussions about many things and passing judgments on the same. Of course not all of them may get into an argument with the people on the road or pass snide remarks at them, for not all of them are Century Gowda – the 100 year old man (hence the name) with whom the film begins and whose demise kick starts the story.Continue reading “Thithi Movie Review: A Celebration Of Life In Rural India”
Most romantic movies shout from the rooftop that they are a ‘different love story,’ but only Nagraj Manjule makes you realise what the difference is with his ‘Sairat’. If his first movie ‘Fandry’ spoke about the caste system with a school boy following his unrequited love, his second movie leaps way beyond expectations in this seemingly simple love story with unexpected twists, unprecedented in the Indian film industry.Continue reading “Sairat: A Quick Review”
The review below contains mild to heavy spoilers. You are warned in advance.
Sairat is a love story, a love story set in India and not in imaginary mustard fields where people do not ask your surname or caste.While Fandry focused on the seething anger in an oppressed child who is not given his due, here Nagraj goes a step ahead, here he asks can love be a solution?
Nagraj introduces us to Bittergaon (Bitter Village) and when we see Prashant (Akash Thosar) for the first time on screen he is literally flying, a metaphor for the upcoming events in his life. Prashant has a crush on Archana aka Archie (Rinku Rajguru).Nagraj creates a Bollywood like land, in his own Bittergaon. He uses slow- motions, dance and colours. There are hints of tension or violence, but nothing which our hero cannot beat.Continue reading “Sairat (2016) Movie Review: Love in Modi’s India”
Plot: Parshya (Akash Thosar) and Archie (Rinku Rajguru), two eighteen-year-olds in Bittergaon, fall in love.
Director: Nagraj Manjule
Writer: Nagraj and Bharat Manjule
My brain balks at writing about Sairat. I’ve already watched a movie (the incredibly fun Mr. Right) and had a work discussion trying to save a failing idea, in attempts to find something else to do. Where does one even begin? I’m in danger of just writing “AAAAAAAA” and leaving it at that. That’s what my brain does when too many things rush into it at the same time, especially if the things rushing in are emotionally upsetting.Continue reading “Sairat Marathi Movie Review: The Birds of Bittergaon”
Nagraj Manjule’s debut film Fandry was a darling of the festival circuits. Zee picked it up and gave it a solid release. It did well at the box office, but many among the masses went to the film expecting the song that had been used in the promotions to be in the film and were left disappointed.
Nagraj and Zee have teamed up again for their latest venture and this time, however, they have included the songs in the film that have already become widely popular.
There is no official release of its synopsis but we have managed to get this from the official website of the 66th Berlinale where it was screened: ‘The love that binds clever Parshya and beautiful and self-confident Archie is as passionate as it is socially taboo. Breaking away from the narrow-mindedness and violence of convention is the only way out for the young couple. With powerful imagery and epic scope, Nagraj Manjule tells the story of an impossible love.’
Sairat has been written and directed by Nagraj Manjule. Much like Fandry, Nagraj has again casted non-actors in the lead role. Rinki Rajguru (Archie), who has already won a National Award for her performance in the film, and Aakash Thosar (Parshya) play the leads. The music is by Ajay-Atul and the camera department is helmed Sudhakar Yekkanti Reddy. Kutub Inamdar is the editor for the film.
Here’s the trailer. Only if it had subtitles it would have reached a much wider audience. The film releases on 29th April, 2016.