One of my three pending stories on IFFI finally appeared today.
Will post the other two once they are published.
Meanwhile, quick update on films I’ve seen in the last three days.
1. Apaharan: An exciting premise ruined by poor casting, no one other than Nana Patekar seemed to have any idea of what they were doing in the film. Devgan was good, but this is a role that ought to have gone to someone more younger and vulnerable. And why would anyone want to watch Bipasha in salwar kameez? Result: A subject with explosive potential gets watered down in the trappings of mainstream commercial cinema.
2. Good morning to Dad (Bolivian): Absolutely brilliant in portraying change in attitude of a country towards Che and works wonderfully in deconstructing the myth of a hero given demi-god status. As the film goes back ten years at a time as each act unfolds, the director quite cleverly shows what went into shaping public attitude and the subtle transformation over a period of time.
3. Silver Salt (Brazilian): I have loved every single Brazilian film I’ve seen till now, starting from Celeste and Estrela. Like Celeste and Estrela, this one too is about the making of a film as it draws parallels betweens filmmaking and reality. There were some wonderful lines in the film, which I now forget because of the overdose of films here. But I strongly recommend this film, if at all you come across it.
4. Hasina (Kannada): This won Tara a National award and you can see why. Truly world-class cinema as Girish Kasarvalli brings to life characters that are as real as they get, while telling a story of an oppressed Muslim woman and her wait for justice. Only crib: Could’ve been tighter, especially the portions where the director tries to split the film into five acts with the five times of namaaz does during the day. By the time the fifth prayer comes up, you can feel the brakes on the film.
5. Tiny Snowflakes (Iran): Iranian films surely know how to make the simplest slices of life look so beautiful, moving and engaging on the big screen. And this one despite its very slow pace, captivates you with its imagery and honesty. As I think back, there was hardly any visible plot or conflict, but the cinema works, just to once again demonstrate the power of visuals.
6. Dubai Return (Hindi): Ah! Don’t films with great scripts made poorly disappoint you? Aditya Bhattacharya (the guy who made Raakh 17 years ago) teams up with a pretty talented ensemble and as actor Irrfan put it, the film does “have a lot of moments” indeed. But like a line in the film goes: “Raita achcha hai, lekin raita khana nahin hai.” (The salad is good, but it aint food right?)