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Harishchandrachi Factory



This Marathi movie and India's entry to the Oscars in 2009 has been on my watchlist for a while now. I saw it last week and was blown away. 

This is the directorial debut of Paresh Mokashi and stars Nandu Mahadev as Dadasaheb Phalke, Vibhavari Deshpande as his wife Saraswati Phalke and Atharva Karve as his son Mahadev Phalke.

Dadasaheb had split up with his partner in a printing firm and becomes fascinated with the movies. In those days, silent movies were played for the Britishers on the life of Christ and other topics. Dadasaheb decides to make a movie of his own and travels to England to learn more about it. He was not someone rich and has to sell off his furniture at home and leave his pregnant wife alone. Once back, it is quite a task to convince people that the camera will not suck their soul and movies are just moving pictures. He also cannot get even a prostitute to act in the film since it was looked down upon. The movie is called Raja Harishchandra and was the first Indian film ever made. He gets the offer of making movies in England but turns it down to establish the Indian film industry. 

What is commendable is that the movie is not sad or depressing. It is funny and does not linger upon the tragic parts. It is not serious and yet you can feel the kind of hardships Dadasaheb would have gone through. 

I loved the movie. It is a must, must watch. And I watched it with English subtitles because I don't understand Marathi.


Run for your wife


Run for your wife is a 1983 adult comedy play by Ray Cooney which claims to be the longest running play in the world. It has been adapted by Behroopiya Entertainers for the Indian audience. When it played at Epicentre, we booked the tickets. Despite the clich├ęd story, I went to watch it because of good reviews online.

The story is about a cab driver who has two wives and juggles two households. In today's times, a cab driver in Delhi being able to do that is in itself a big surprise. I mean, here we are trying to manage one household with double income. On top of it, one of the wives is a high class lady living in South Delhi. Umm, okay, REALLY? 

That is not even the worst part about the play. It has women wearing loads of make up and everyone talking in Punjabi accents. Cringe. 
We left within 20 minutes. 

WORST PLAY EVER. 

Talvar


I have read articles and articles about the Aarushi Talwar case and Avirook Sen's book on the subject and am convinced that the parents did not get a fair trial. I am also inclined to believe they are innocent for the simple reason that- if I was to commit a murder, I wouldn't hide the bodies in my own house. Especially the servant's because then the blame could be pinned on him. And I definitely wouldn't leave a bottle with blood prints on the table in full view. 

I was reading the reviews for this movie and everyone has mentioned that the movie tries to put forward two cases- one in which Talvars are guilty and another in which they are not. They also comment on how the movie is kind of biased and sympathetic to the Talwars. 

Anyone who has gone through the details of what happened will naturally be sympathetic to the Talwars. A parent killing his/her child is a rarest of the rare case and hence it becomes the judiciary's responsibility to ensure that the evidence is water tight to prove them guilty. 

Anyway, coming to the movie- it starts with Shruti's (Aarushi) death and covers everything that happens till the case is argued in the court. I don't think a 3 hour movie can cover every event and there is enough meat and drama in the investigation itself. Konkona Sen Sharma plays Nutan Tandon (based on Nupur Talwar) and Neeraj Kabi plays Ramesh Tandon (based on Rajesh Talwar). The reason the media started doling out conspiracy theories was that they didn't like it when Nupur Talwar gave an exclusive interview to NDTV. They pointed to the fact that she didn't cry on camera and hence, was the murderer. That part is missing in the movie. It feels like Konkona didn't know how to play the character. Should she be stoic but not too stoic but soft and yet not too soft? Neeraj Kabi does remind one of Rajesh Talwar or atleast what I have read of him. Irrfan Khan plays the first CBI officer who had put forward the theory through narco tests that the servants and compounder killed Shruti (Aarushi) and Khempal (Hemraj) but wasn't given enough time to find proof. He was then removed from the case and replaced by another guy who started investigating the Talwars/Talvars instead. Tabu plays Irrfan's wife but that track is unnecessary. Tabu is looking quite ugly because she has applied loads of make up to hide her wrinkles. 

I found it painful to watch the movie and was hoping they had changed the ending or something. But that was not to be. Even with all its flaws the movie makes an impact. I think it could have been much, much better. Even a not-so-great Hollywood documentary would have been able to cover this case better but by Bollywood standards, it is a must watch. 

A good job done by Meghna Gulzar and Vishal Bharadwaj. Now if only the courts would take note. 


Shuruaat ka interval



I watched this one a while back and so don't remember everything about it. Please bear with me. 
This movie is a collection of 8 short stories which won as part of a contest. Some of the directors were mentored by Anand Gandhi, Vikramaditya Motwane, Vikash Bahl and Imtiaz Ali. 

Nirbaak


Few weeks back I was looking for something to watch on google play and rented this flick. Worst decision of my life. 

Killa


With all the Oscar noise right now, I decided to watch this movie. Many people think Killa should have been sent to the Oscars instead of Masaan. 

Killa is a Marathi movie and I managed to find a good copy with subtitles. 
It has been directed by Avinash Arun and stars Amruta Subash, Archit Deodhar, Parth Bhalerao, Gaurish Gawande and Atharva Upasni.

The Artist



I try and travel by Air India while going to my destination (and Indigo while returning because I like to reach home without delays) because they still have the TV screens on their flights. Most of the times, I pick something I have never seen before. I don't know what attracted me about the The Artist but I started playing it while travelling to Kolkata.

It is a silent movie, without dialogues, though it has background music. It may seem strange and boring but this is one of the best movies I have seen and brimming with creativity. 

One on One 2



We watched this play 2 weeks back when Anu Menon tweeted about it. What would I do without twitter? This is part 2 of One on One and has 8 sketches/monologues. Basically, each sketch has only 1 person performing.

Bigger, Stronger, Faster



I didn't know what steroids do and I didn't care. I am never taking them. But this documentary directed by Christopher Bell is very interesting. As someone who is interested in fitness and reads quite a bit about it, this documentary was an eye opener about a lot of things.

Manjhi The Mountain Man


It is a trend these days to appreciate "non commercial" films to seem smart. What will be your intellect level otherwise? Nothing else can explain why critics have unanimously given this movie a good rating and it is running to packed houses. Hell, even we felt guilty about walking out mid way instead of acting like we give a damn. 

Manjhi is based on true story. Dashrath Manjhi, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, breaks a mountain for 20 years to make a small path so that his villagers can access the next village easily. He does this when his wife Phaguniya Devi, played by Radhika Apte, falls down a mountain and dies. 

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation




I have a simple rule of thumb- I avoid movies where I can predict what is going to happen. And that is why I don't watch action movies. We watched Mission Impossible because KC's friend was staying with us and expressed an interest in watching it. He is a fan and has seen all the parts while I haven't even bothered to watch the first part itself. 

I also fell asleep once I realized there is no sex and Tom Cruise does not strip. I always thought the action was just foreplay for something better coming up. Apparently, that isn't how action movies work. Or maybe am confusing action with porn. 

The Gift


I read good reviews online and we watched this flick on Friday night. I knew the movie was a thriller of some kind but didn't know if it was a ghost movie or not. 

The flick stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall and Joel Edgerton. It has been written, produced and directed by Edgerton. 

The scariest part about the movie were the bunch of girls in the theater who would scream in anticipation of the action that never really happens. 
This is supposed to be a psychological thriller- whatever that means. 

Monster



I watched "Monster" eons back and was moved by everyone else. After watching all the documentaries on Aileen Wuornos (read the review here and here) and knowing atleast half the truth, I am dismayed.

The movie has been written and directed by Patty Jenkins. It stars Christina Ricci as Selby Wall and Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos. 

Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer



This is part 1 to the documentary- Life and Death of a Serial killer. Check out review here.

Aileen Wuronos, also called the first female serial killer of USA, killed seven men in one year. She had help from her lesbian partner Tyria, who was never prosecuted because she helped the cops get a confession from Aileen. 

Rahasya


I watched this movie on the flight yesterday. I had read decent reviews when it released. According to the promotions before it released, the movie was supposedly based on the Aarushi Talwar case. In fact, the Talwars had gone to court to stay its release. 

The movie stars Kay Kay Menon, Ashish Vidyarthi, Tisca Chopra, Mita Vasisht, Kunal Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar and Sakshi Sem. 

Aileen: Life and Death of a serial killer



I watched this documentary on Netflix. It is about Aileen Wuornos- the first female serial killer to be given capital punishment. Have you seen the movie Monster? Remember Charlize Theron? That character is based on Aileen. This is the 2nd documentary made my Nick Broomfield (I haven't seen the first) on Aileen. 

Nick is called as a witness after his first documentary where he shows Aileen's lawyer being high when consulting with her. The documentary covers the time till she is given a lethal injection and dies for her crimes.

Drishyam


I had the misfortune of watching this flick yesterday. I had read "ok ok" reviews online and didn't want to waste my money but KC was keen on watching it. So I downloaded it. 

The Bollywood movie is based on a Malayalam movie and is supposedly brilliant. No such luck in the Bollywood version. 

The flick has been directed by Nishikant Kamath and stars Ajay Devgan, Tabu and Shriya Saran in lead roles. They are supported by Rajat Kapoor, Ishita Dutta and Mrunal Jadhav. 

Iti Mrinalinin


I watched this flick on google play over the weekend. The movie has been directed by Aparna Sen and she has written it along with Ranjan Ghosh. 
I am Aparna's fan and have watched 36 Chowringhee Lane (one of my favourite movies), Mr and Mrs Iyer, 15 Park Avenue and The Japanese Wife. 

Iti Mrinalini is a Hindi movie also but I watched the orginal one in Bengali with English subtitles. 

Terms and conditions may apply



Last night I was looking for something interesting to watch- nothing dark though and I came across this documentary on Netflix. 
Wow!!! This is going to sound very ironical- this documentary is about our right to privacy and am the least private person on this planet. Or am I? 

This piece has been directed by Cullen Hoback who was crazy enough to go to Mark Zuckerberg's house, film him, pretend to turn off the camera and then film him- just like he does to all of us. 

Chasing Beauty


I watched this documentary on Netflix the other day. It is about the modelling industry in USA but mirrors the one in any country. 

Directed by Brent Huff and written by Brent and Pete Sepenuk, it interviews beauty pageant winner Kelly Anderson, make up artist Jo Baker, actress Dawn Ann Billings etc etc. 

 
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