Konkona Sen Sharma: Stories are made of fact, fiction and memory

Storytelling is a craft that has to be honed bit by bit. When we read a story that captures our imagination we can visualise it in our head. We create an image of the protagonist. Visuals have a way of becoming rigid and freezing. So very often when I see a movie that is based on a book that I have read, I am often disappointed.  What I seen the […]

A Death in the Gunj

A Death in the Gunj

Director Konkona Sen Sharma’s debut film is a thriller that opens with Nandu and Brian trying to stuff a body into the trunk of a car. They need to carry the body all the way to Calcutta (since the film is set in the seventies, it would be Calcutta and not Kolkata).
Family gatherings are always great settings to show the human dynamics. An event brings several family members together. Stuff happens, and the cracks begin to show in the seemingly “happy family”. This is the way this story unfolds too.

Dangal

Dangal

The father is obsessed with vicariously representing India at an international event (not Olympics) and will not let anything come in the way. He gives them a crew cut and makes them wear shorts and wrestle their male cousin. When his neighbors in the village mock him, he just digs his heel in. This is the bit that Aamir Khan does well. He depicts grit and determination that can inspire anyone. In a state which has battled with female feticide and low levels of women’s literacy, Dangal breaks the stereotypes and does it well.

Film Review: Pink

Film Review: Pink

The film opens with three girls Minal, Falak and Andrea (played by Tapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Andrea ) taking a cab back home after a rock concert. The story is set in Delhi. There is tension in the air. It is very late. They need to get home safe. The cab driver narrowly misses hitting an approaching vehicle. One of girls asks the driver to stop the cab and […]

Waiting: Movie Review

Waiting: Movie Review

The decisions that happen as people wait for their loved ones who are battling their odds of survival are beautifully sketched out. Should she let the doctors operate on her comatose husband? What if he dies on the table? What if he lives but in a vegetative state? Everyone around seems to be so unhelpful. The snippets of conversations between Shiv and Tara are ever so natural and spontaneous.
“Do people dream when they are in coma?” Tara asks Shiv and then adds, “He better be dreaming about me.”

Wazir – Movie Review

Wazir - Movie Review

The story of Wazir is supposed to have been brewing in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s mind for the past several years. When Chopra met his writer Abhijat Joshi in 1994, he told him about the idea of setting a thriller around two chess players.

Beyond Apu – 20 Favorite Film Roles of Soumitra Chatterjee

Beyond Apu - 20 Favorite Film Roles of Soumitra Chatterjee

Soumitra Chatterjee’s association with Satyajit Ray started with Apur Sansar (1959) – the last film in the Apu Trilogy. His association with Ray spanned over three decades. The most popular Ray films are associated with Soumitra Chatterjee. While Uttam Kumar, the other superstar of Bengali cinema, attempted (unsuccessfully) to carve a place in Hindi films, Soumitra remained known only to regulars in the film festival circuit or those who watch […]

Masaan

There are two parallel stories that run through the film Masaan (the colloquial term for Shamshaan or a burning ghat). They are studies in contrast. The first protagonist Devi (played by Richa Chadha) is a girl who is seeking a release from the clutches of a greedy cop and from being judged because of a personal choice she made.
The other story belongs to Deepak Choudhary (played brilliantly by Vicky Kaushal) is set on the famous Harishchandra Ghat of Banaras. The son of the dom (the people who cremate the dead) wants to escape the chains that his being born in that family limits him to. He dreams of being an engineer and stumbles upon love.

Inside Out

Inside Out

Riley is eleven. She is moving from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents. Inside Out is her story and the emotions that the eleven year old experiences as she leaves behind her friends and familiar world.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Movie Review

Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Movie Review

Tanu Weds Manu 2 scores not for the storyline which is fairly over the top but the dialog really connects with the audience. Four years of marital life has done what marriage often does to couples. Manu (played by Madhavan) has fattened up like a sacrificial lamb and the four years of marriage have left no zing in the relationship. That seemed so realistic especially because Madhavan’s emotions remained visible under his adipose tissues. That verbal sparring session resonates with the audience and the film goes off to a rocking start.

Piku: Movie Review

Piku: Movie Review

Piku is an endearing tale of a young lady in her thirties who looks after her seventy year old father who is a hypochondriac. Very specifically he is obsessed with his “morning ablutions”… What makes it so watchable is the ordinariness of the story.

Margarita With A Straw

Margarita With A Straw

The best movies tell stories that leave an aftertaste. Margarita With A Straw is that film. The taste lingers on long after you have watched it and mulled over the story again and again. That’s because Margarita With A Straw (MWAS for short) tells you so many untold stories.