He he! With the diminishing frequency of updates, I guess you guys already know that I’m not really finding too much time to update.
Me having an absolutely happy hippy time here working hard (ahem ahem) and chilling with buddies from Madras.
Since there’s so much to talk about and little time, I’ll just stick to highlights!
1. Olga: Powerful, poetry in motion, Camila as Olga gives one of the best performances ever. Sure to win the competitive section. My money on Olga. It’s another thing that this studio film on the holocaust quite unfairly competes with independent films like Iqbal, made with a budget probably 1/100th of that of Olga.
2. Deewane Hue Paagal: Shame shame puppy shame. Steals shamelessly from There’s Something About Mary. This movie should have been kept farthest away from Goa instead of premiering it at a festival and tell the world what terrible copycats we are.
3. The Wind (Sri Lankan): Brilliantly simple film about the complexity of truth as seen by different characters in the film. Gritty realism and natural performances see it thru. Poor pace though.
4. Tulipany (Tulips, Polish): A very slow feel good movie about a bunch of friends young and old bonding over the homecoming of their veteran racer friend whose favourite car was stolen when he was away. How do they find or replace it? It’s terribly slow and I sat in the hall just cuz I saw Shreya (Thalaivar’s latesht heroine) walk in to the hall.
5. Kings and Queens (French): One moment, it’s super fun and another, it gets orey serious and tragic… But the two parallel lives of the characters one who seems to have lost it but knows to live it up and the other who seems to be lost in life and its intricacies make this a delightful watch… in the tradition of When Harry Met Sally and Hum Tum.
6. Angel’s Fall (Turkish): It was so slow that I walked out half way. Not my sensibility, so it would be wrong for me to review it.
7. The Hangman (English): Why was this film about a poor Indian hangman made in English. The language totally robs the film of its soul. Nevertheless, this is a pretty decent effort in telling the story of a hangman who wants his son to be a police officer. Only that life has other plans.
8. Parzania (English): Imagine if Mani Ratnam’s Bombay was made realistically… And the lost children are not found? Imagine that explosive premise with Gujarat riots as the backdrop… As seen from an outsider’s (American) point of view, the story of a neutral (Parsi) family caught in the middle of saffron-flavoured genocide. Absolutely gripping, moving tale with superlative performances by Naseer and Sarika… Only crib: Rahul Dholakia should’ve been made in Hindi but at least here, most characters speak convincingly natural Indian English. Apparently, he did not make it in Hindi because he never thought it would clear the censors. But it did!
9. Chandramukhi: Ha ha! Of course, whenever there is a thalaivar movie playing, it ought to be watched. Only that it was incredibly weird to watch it without any whistles, dances and subtitles that went: Crane fly fly, Hen fly fly, Myna fly fly… The kite will fly splendidly because it is superstar’s kite.
10. Antar Mahal (Bengali): Disturbing to say the least but it’s a must watch experience. The lesser said the better the watch. I have never ever seen actors like Jackie Shroff, Abhishek Bachchan, Soha Ali Khan and Roopa Ganguly acting in cinema of this genre … formerly known as “Art film.” I do wanna see more of Rituparna Ghosh after this.
11. Blue Umbrella (English/Hindi): This Ruskin Bond tale brought back memories of Malgudi Days. Such a simple story beautifully told. It’s so refreshing to see a movie made for kids with such a refined sensibility.
12. Iqbal: Since I’ve already reviewed this earlier in my blog, it’s enough to say I watched it for the fifth time and still did not get bored. One of the best Indian films ever, even outsmarting ‘Black’ in a lot of departments.
13. Oridam (Malayalam): It does not tell me anything new. It’s a story about the mental agony of a commercial sex worker. It’s too slow to strike a chord, dunno how it won a National award and many state awards. Maybe cuz its not bad really.
1. Lunch with friends on a boat docked beside the venue. To make the experience even more delicious, it was on the house.
2. Dinner with buddies living in Candolim at a place called Taste of China. Out of this world, especially, the potato tossy (dunno how that’s spelt).
3. Dinner at Calangute beach with a candle-lit table set right next to the waves. Yes, imagine sitting back on the chair with the waves three feet away from kissing your feet and nothingness to stare into. Breezer in hand, Gobi Manchurian and the heaven above and paradise at your feet.
4. An evening at Anjuna sitting between 200 hippies, most of them from different parts of the world… Every second person there had a tattoo. With techno music and Goa trance playing as chillums were passed around, it was an experience of a lifetime. A huge monstrous son of a bitch bit me as I stepped on its tail accidentally. But since it bit me thru the jean and it was vaccinnated, I guess I’m safe. Or at least hope so. Washed it away with Dettol and continued chilling.
5. All of Goa is a haunt now since I hired a Red Avenger! Yay! So I just go around all by myself exploring Goa, doing about 30-40 kilometres a day.
Now, tell me, between all this and attending Shyam Benegal’s masters class and filing stories (another 3 stories are yet to be published) where do I have time to blog?