Tag Archives: Anurag Kashyap

BEST INDIAN FILMS TO WATCH AT MAMI 2017 (10+1LIST)

Best Indian Films to watch at MAMI 2017

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Indian Films to watch at MAMI 2017.

As the Mumbaikars bid adieu to the colorful Navaratri and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and await for the dazzling Diwali fiesta to begin, there is another very important Festival that the film-lovers of Mumbai couldn’t afford to miss!

A unique festival of Cinema that promises to entertain us for seven days in a row, from 12 to 18 October!

Yes, the 19th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is here, and it’s raining films from all across the globe! To be more specific there are in total 220 films from 49 countries and in 51 languages!

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Along with a number of prestigious movies under the World Cinema and the International Competition category, MAMI also offers a great selection of Indian Cinema under the sections India Gold and India Story. Other categories are the Half Ticket (for children), Spotlight, Restored classics, After Dark (focused on the horror/fantasy genre) and many others.

Konkona Sen Sharma being one of the Jury member at MAMI this year.

Be specific of which films you pick and I hope this list helps you to choose among some of the Best Indian Films to watch at MAMI 2017. Make sure you don’t miss any of these!

10. Mukkabaaz (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg1CMYVhR9o

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The return of director Anurag Kashyap with his 13th feature which is also the opening film of the festival!

As the title suggests the film is based on the story of a lower-caste boxer from Uttar Pradesh (Vineet Kumar Singh); his career and his love-life, focusing on both his professional and personal struggles.

Already had its world premier at the Toronto International Film Festival, don’t you miss the Asia Premiere of this highly awaited movie!

9. Ajji (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9OZI1SQFJc

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017This film deals with the issue of child-rape and its aftermath; the repercussions of such a heinous crime on the society and also what the child and her family goes through.

Directed by Devashish Makhija, his second feature is a dark and gritty film; bold, brutal and yet with a hint of retribution.

Already screened at the Busan International Film Festival, undoubtedly one of the most interesting Indian films to look for!

8. In the Shadows (2017)

Film trailer: Not available yet.

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Already selected at the Chicago International Film Festival and Busan International Film Festival, and finally ready for the Indian audience!

Directed by Dipesh Jain, the story of a man lost in the maze of the numerous lanes of an old city (Old Delhi), and then his mind plays tricks on him! Manoj Bajpayee, Ranvir Shorey, Neeraj Kabi and Shahana Goswami – with all these brilliant actors put together this one is definitely a film to look forward!

7. Pushkar Puran (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn9xigYlIoo

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Director Kamal Swaroop‘s cult classic Om Dar-B-Dar was a film far ahead of its time!

And after three decades the filmmaker comes back to his hometown (Rajasthan) to film this unique documentary on Pushkar!

The brilliant visuals blended with certain innovative soundtracks and ambiences – this one will be a memorable experience for sure!

6. Kaccha Limbu (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjgTnBIkg0o

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017An emotional movie that tells the story of a family, their joy and sadness. Most of film being shot in black and white, very much set with the overall mood of the film.

Directed by Prasad Oak, and starring Ravi Jadhav, Sachin Khedekar and Sonali Kulkarni guarantees superb performances.

In the Marathi Talkies section this film is definitely worth your time.

5. The Hungry (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfg8gGR-3oA

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017An adaptation of the Shakespearian tragedy Titus Andronicus.

Set in the contemporary New Delhi, the backdrop being an extravagant surroundings of an Indian wedding, this film is a brutal tale of patriarch and corruption.

Directed by Bornila Chatterjee, and starring Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Antonio AakeelSayani Gupta and Neeraj Kabi among others. 

4. Sexy Durga (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07a0pUkktBc

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017A young couple – Durga, a north Indian and Kabeer, a Keralite are running away to catch a train at the middle of the night. But how safe is it to travel in the dark!

Starring Rajshri Deshpande, Bilas Nair, Arun Sol, directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan this is one movie that has managed to create a lot of curiosity and also some controversy regarding the name of the film.

3. Village Rockstars (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTov2nVgXaU

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Based on a 10-year-old young village girl, who has grown up in deprivation, as she learns to fend for herself in the hostile surroundings while nurturing her dream to own a guitar and eventually forming a band with some local boys – the official ‘Village Rockstars!’.

Shot, directed and produced by Rima Das, the film had its world premier at the Toronto International Film Festival!

2. Zoo (2017)

Film trailer: Not available yet

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017The film depicts lifestyles in and around the ghetto co-existing with the people residing in the upmarket, high-rise buildings of Mumbai.

Directed by Shlok Sharma, starring Shweta Tripathi and Shashank Arora this will be an interesting film to watch out for.

  1. The Song of Scorpions (2017)

Film trailer: Not available yet

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Though featured in the ‘Spot Light’ section, but this film is set in the backdrop of the vast deserts of Rajasthan is a brilliant tale from the Indian director Anup Singh.

Starring Irrfan Khan, Tillotama ShomeWaheeda RehmanShashank Arora and the Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani this is a unique story of love, retribution and the power of song. A must watch!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Ask the Sexpert (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yRR1_VU1cQ

Indian-Films-to-watch-at-MAMI-2017Mahinder Watsa, a 92-year-old gynecologist and obstetrician, and also the daily adviser on matters related to sexual behavior in the Mumbai Mirror tabloid for the last 40 years!

Directed by Vaishali Sinha, this interesting documentary is about how the Mumbai’s oldest and best-known sexologist shoots to popularity when the Indian schools in many states puts a ban on comprehensive sex-education!

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Prateek VatsReturning to the First Beat by Surabhi Sharma and Ralang Road by Karma Takapa.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016 (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016 – Curiosity has always been an unquenchable thirst for mankind and that is exactly why so many thrillers are being produced and catered to the audience throughout the year.

And 2016 has been a specially thrilling year for Bollywood!

Enough murder mysteries, conspiracies and suspense dramas, be it fictional or based on real events; most of these Hindi language suspense thrillers have managed to keep us guessing till the end.

So without any more delay, let’s begin the list of the Best Bollywood Thrillers 2016.

10. Rustom

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L83qMnbJ198

Bollywood-Thrillers-20161959, the story of Rustom Pavri as the decorated naval officer who is accused of murdering his wife’s lover – three shots that shocked the nation!

Directed by Dharmendra Suresh Desai, this is a decent crime drama, a court room suspense thriller that reveals itself in time. 

As expected Akshay Kumar gives a great performance.

9. Madaari

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4s3JmLGLCA

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A war against the government, a fight against corruption, and a man seeking his personal revenge!

A thriller directed by Nishikant Kamat, that tells us the story of a man who has lost his family and blames the corrupt government for his loss and now he is out to take his vengeance. 

Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Shergill makes the film a decent watch.

8. Te3n

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeBCB5ERnps

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A remake of the South Korean thriller Montage (2013), the Bollywood version revolves around a grandfather (Amitabh Bachchan), a cop (Vidya Balan) and an ex-cop turned priest (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) – all desperate to solve a case of kidnapping.

Directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, a slow paced yet well articulated thriller that keeps you guessing till the end.

7. Phobia

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBP6rYLfgFE

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A young girl due to some tragic events become agoraphobic – develops a phobia of the outer world. But being indoors also starts taking a toll on her mind.

Innovative storyline, good cinematography, and brilliant performance from Radhika Apte.

Directed by Pawan Kripalani, this is probably the most underrated thriller of this year.

6. Wazir

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdwM7xKOph0

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016A master chess player and a valiant cop become friends but soon they fall prey of some dark conspiracy that threatens to twist their lives forever.

(Click for Review)

Directed by Bejoy Nambiar, this is a thriller that tries it’s best to hold the suspense till the very last scene. Amitabh Bachchan and Farhan Akhtar at their best.

5. Airlift

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb5xCMbMfZ0

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016In 1990, when Iraq invades Kuwait, almost 170,000 Indians lost their homes and were stranded until one Indian businessmen named Ranjit Katyal managed to rescue them all – and it is the largest and the most successful evacuation mission ever attempted by any country, in the history of the world!

Directed by Raja Menon, this Akshay Kumar starrer is one historical drama that can be well qualified as a ‘thriller’ because of it’s tight suspenseful storyline.

4. Kahaani 2

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez4mXaeSKuk

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016After the huge success of Kahaani in 2012, this time director Sujoy Ghosh and actress Vidya Balan has teamed up again to give us another suspense thriller. 

A woman whose daughter goes missing and soon enough she herself is being charged of kidnapping and murder!

Not entirely dependent on logics but then again, a decent entertaining thriller for sure.

3. Pink

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL2TShb6fFs

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, this is a thriller very much in sync with our modern society and it’s issues. 

(Click for Review)

Three girls who were harassed, both physically and mentally, and then wrongly accused of finally got some help from an annoying yet clever retired lawyer.

A thrilling courtroom-drama; and brilliant performances by Tapsee PannuKirti KulhariPiyush Mishra and Amitabh Bachchan.

2. Neerja

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7779JrWy04g

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016In 1986, when Pan Am flight 73 was highjacked the credit of saving  the lives of 359 passengers goes to one courageous Indian girl – Neerja Bhanot.

(Click for Review)

Directed by Ram Madhvani, this is the thrilling biography of Neerja, played superbly by Sonam Kapoor and her heroic story of determination, acuity and sacrifice. 

  1. Raman Raghav 2.0

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq1cEmhVa68

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016Raman Raghav, an infamous serial killer from the 1960s comes to life when director Anurag Kashyap join hands with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal to create one of the darkest film of Bollywood ever!

A thriller that doesn’t shy off from getting all gory and uncomfortable, extreme level of violence not exactly suitable for children and the weak hearted.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Buddha in a Traffic Jam

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkp7br61ixE

Bollywood-Thrillers-2016And finally a political thriller.

A genre rare in India but this one is an effectively constructed story on the how the poor adivasis of our country are being tortured and exploited in the name of different ideologies and political colours.

Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, starring Arunoday SinghAnupam Kher and Pallavi Joshi the film is surely innovative and different from the regular trend of thrillers. 

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Most Influential Films Banned in India (10+1list)

Most Influential Films Banned in India.

written by Souranath Banerjee

In India it is not always enough to make good Cinema; the more challenging part for the directors and producers is to make sure that their movie gets released on big screen!

This year only, the producers of Udta Punjab (a film based on drug udta-punjab-posterabuse in Punjab) had the most highlighted and controversial court fight with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) headed by Pahlaj Nihalani. Finally Anurag Kashyap (representing the Phantom productions) did win the legal battle and the film was cleared with only a single cut. 

But movies being banned is nothing new in India. Due to reasons that may be political or social, it can be for abusive language, use of narcotics or due to explicit sexual content, numerous films have been delayed and some unfortunately have never seen the light of a movie theatre yet!

Here is a list of some of the most influential films Banned in India. Do watch them to know the importance of these films and the real reasons for them being out of reach of their audience.

10. Sikkim (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmSeVvA61xU

Sikkim-PosterDirected by legendary Satyajit Ray, this is a documentary on Sikkim commissioned by the then King of Sikkim Chogyal.

The brilliantly made film is about the sovereignty of Sikkim. But in 1975 when Sikkim became a part of India the documentary was banned by the Indian Government. 

Recently, in 2010 the ban was lifted and the classic is now available for all you film lovers!

9. Fire (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnshN0wqiCo

fire-poster1Directed by Deepa Mehta, this is one powerful Indian film that tells the story of two wives from a middle class family who being frustrated by their loneliness and dissatisfied sex-life ignites a lesbian relationship among themselves.

Bold and thought provoking – though globally appreciated and well received but was predictably banned in India right after its release!

8. Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqztmYen6co

kama-sutra-poster1With numerous candid sexual scenes throughout the film, although artistic and sensual in a very royal-Indian way, this film of course couldn’t manage to pass the morality test of the Indian Censor board.

Directed by Mira Nair, a brilliant piece of storytelling which was too offensive for the audience of a country from where the whole concept of ‘Kama Sutra’ was actually originated. What an Irony! 

7. Parzania (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHWPWsOmoWA

parzania-posterA brilliant film that dares to portray the horrific and painful genocide that took place in the Indian state of Gujarat in 2002, commonly known as the Gujarat riots!

It was banned in Gujarat because of it’s sensitive subject even though director Rahul Dholakia and lead-actress Sarika won the National award for the film!

Great performances by Naseeruddin Shah and Corin Nemec as well.

Another film on the same subject that was banned too was Nandita Das‘s Firaaq (2008)

6. Black Friday (2004)

Film scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1mkPQI9z0

black-friday-posterThe 1993 serial Bombay bomb blasts that shook the entire nation and then, it’s aftermath – a film that managed to portray it all and that too in a brilliant graphic manner.

This Anurag Kashyap film was too dark and realistic to release at the time specially since the trail decisions of the many arrested were pending.

5. Bandit Queen (1994)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66uIVFb6ATA

bandit-queen-posterAbusive language, nudity, sexually offensive content – the biopic on the media-hyped woman-bandit Phoolan Devi was banned by the Indian Censor board due to all those reasons!

But then again the film directed by Shekhar Kapur, is one of the most courageous and dramatic Indian biopic that I have seen till date!

Seema Biswas won the National Award for her stellar performance as Phoolan Devi while Shekhar Kapur won the Filmfare Best director award!

4. Garm Hava (1974)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJqPQjADWGE

garm-hawa-posterScorching Winds, the film that depicts a Muslim family struggling to find their identity as our country was reeling through the repercussions of the partition.

Directed by M.S. Sathyu, and brilliant performance by Balraj Sahni, but the film was banned since the subject matter was considered to be too sensitive for the time. Finally, after 8 months it got released, and yes – the film was also nominated for the Palme d’Or at the prestigious Cannes Film festival!

3. Aandhi (1975)

Film song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-HnmVg0-O8

aandhi-posterDirected by Gulzar, this one was banned during the time of it’s release due to the fact that the lead character played by Suchitra Sen seemed to have similarities with the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Later in 1977 the movie finally got it’s theatrical release; the film won the best critic award and Sanjeev Kumar won the best actor at the Filmfare Awards!

2. Amu (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqGGM8xl3Qw

amu-posterA film based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a brilliant story woven around the genocide that once shook our country.

Directed by Shonali Bose and superb performance by Konkona Sen Sharma, the film got banned of course because of it’s sensitive subject matter but it did get a release with an adult rating  and some specific audio-cuts. The film won a National Award that year!

  1.  Water (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7uM-CbzIAI

water-posterAnother one from the highly acclaimed director Deepa Mehta, a stunning portrayal of the widows in India who are forced into a life of extreme sacrifice and poverty. 

The film was not only restricted from the release by protesters who felt it was too controversial a topic for the Indian audience, even the sets of the film were attacked by fanatics while the film was being shot!

and (The ‘+1 film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Gulabi Aaina (2003)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEWPwrAjgpY

gulabi-aaina-posterThe Pink Mirror – a 40min short directed by Sridhar Rangayan which explores homosexuality in India. Through this unique film the concept of trans-sexuality was addressed probably for the first time in our country.

Needless to say a bold film on gender issues has to be banned by the Censor Board even when it was screened in more than 70 film festivals and been appreciated by the critics all across the globe!

Poster courtesy: sikkimnow.blogspot.inwww.imdb.com.

18th JIO MAMI – the Closing Ceremony and the Awards!

18th JIO MAMI – the Closing Ceremony and the Awards! 

written by Souranath Banerjee

Every thing, no matter how good it is must come to an end!

And thus, with a dazzling star-studded closing ceremony the 18th JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival bids adieu to all us Cinema-ayan-mukerji-and-anurag-kashyaplovers!

The curtain fell on India’s biggest Film Festival, Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star on Thursday, 27th October, 2016. The ceremony took place at Bal Gandharva Rangmandir, Bandra. World-renowned filmmakers, talent and Bollywood stars walked the red carpet to celebrate the end of Mumbai’s very own film festival’s latest edition.

Sonam Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Abhay Deol, Kabir Khan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Abhijat Joshi, Rahul Bose, Kunal Kapoor, Zoya Akhtar, Ayan Mukerji, Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Shakun Batra, Konkona Sensharma, Rajkumar Hirani, Richa Chadda, Neha Sharma and others walked the red carpet at the closing ceremony along with Jio 18th-jio-mami-the-closing-ceremony-and-the-awardsMAMI with Star Co-chairperson Kiran Rao, Festival Director Anupama Chopra. Shweta Tripathi and Vicky Kaushal hosted the event.

Jio MAMI with Star Co-Chair, Kiran Rao said, “We are now at the end of this festival- a Festival that not only showcased work from all over the world but also provided cinephiles a chance to be a part of panels, workshops, and master classes with experts in the field, leaving them with the best of experiences. On this day, I am filled with profound gratitude and satisfaction and I would like to thank all our partners for going out of their way to support us.”

Festival Director, Anupama Chopra said “For the last 7 days, we 18th-jio-mami-the-closing-ceremony-and-the-awardshave all participated in a remarkable film feast. I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our amazing audience, our fantastic sponsors and the fabulous film industry in Mumbai for helping us to make this edition such a success.”

And finally, the winners under various categories were announced.

HALF TICKET

  • The Golden Gateway Award (Feature) – ‘Hang in There, Kids!’ By Laha Mebow
  • The Silver Gateway Award (Feature) – ‘At Eye Level’ by Evi Goldbrunner and Joachim Dollhopf.
  • Special mention (Feature)– ‘Colours of Innocence’ by Mrinmoy Mondal and Shupratim Bhol.
  • The Golden Gateway Award (Short) – ‘A Town Called Panic: Back to School’ by Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier. 
  • The Silver Gateway Award (Short) – ‘We Make Images’ by Nina Sabnani.
  • Special Mention (Short)- The Best Sound in the World by Pedro Paulo De Andrade.

Book Award

  • The Special Mention for Excellence in Writing on Cinema (Hindi) went to ‘Naye Daur Ka Naya Cinema’ by Priyadarshan.
  • The Special Mention for Excellence in Writing on Cinema (English)went to ‘Kanan Devi: The First Superstar of Indian Cinema’ by Mekhala Sengupta.
  • The Excellence in Writing on Cinema Award (Hindi) went to Anil Bhargava for ‘Bhartiye Cinema ka Itihas’.
  • The Jury announced The Excellence in writing on Cinema Award (English) in favor of Jai Arjun Singh for ‘The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’.

Festival Director Anupama Chopra along with Stephanie Zacharek, Film Critic- Time Magazine handed over the Young Critics Award to Matthew Vetticad.

  • Young Critics Choice Award went to ‘Cinema Travellers’ by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madhesiya.

Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality went to ‘Lipstick lipstick-under-my-burkha-posterUnder my Burkha’ by Alankrita Shrivastava.

Porush Singh, Country Corporate Officer, India and Division President, MasterCard South Asia handed over the ‘Mastercard Best India Female Filmmaker 2016 Award’ to Konkona Sensharma for the film ‘A Death in the Gunj’.

 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui gave away the ‘Audience Choice Award’ to the movie ‘The Salesman’ by Asghar Farhadi.

DIMENSIONS MUMBAI

  • The Golden Gateway Award was bestowed to Santosh Ganpat Kamble, Director of ‘Mumbai’s Mahuwa’ by Mr Mehmet Akay (General Manager- Western and Southern India, Turkish Airlines)
  • The Silver Gateway Award went to Tabu Kaariya, Director of ‘Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh’.
  • ‘Bombai’received The Special Mention (Dimensions Mumbai) Award by Director Yashwardhan Goswami.

INDIA GOLD

  • Haobam Paban Kumar received The Golden Gateway Awardfor ‘Lady of the Lake.’
  • The Silver Gateway Awardfor India Gold went to ‘The Narrow Path’ by Satish Babusenan and Santosh Babusenan.
  • The Jury Grand Prizewent to Aicheng Jai Dohutia for ‘The Hidden Corner.’
  • The Special Mentionwent to ‘Autohead’ by Deepak Sampath.
  • The Special Mention went to ‘Cinema Travellers’ by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madhesiya.

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

  • David Chou received The Golden Gateway Awardfor ‘Diamond Island’.
  • The winner of The Silver Gateway Awardfor International Competition was Ralitza Petrova for ‘Godless’.
  • The Jury Grand Prizewent to the movie ‘Everything Else’ by Natalia Almada.
  • Special Mention for Political Commitment of the Filmwent to ‘When Two Worlds Collide’.
  • The Special Mentionwent to Macarena Arias for the film ‘Alba’.

Photo courtesy: mumbaifilmfest.com

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

18th JIO MAMI Opening Ceremony 2016 – the glamour and the glitz!

written by Souranath Banerjee

JIO MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival 2016, it’s happening right now, right here and it’s a heaven for film lovers!

And this time MAMI had one of the most grand Opening Ceremony ever!

The Venue:

Mumbai, October 20, 2016: Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star kicked off its 18th edition with a grand ceremony at the iconic Royal Opera House as world-renowned filmmakers, talent and 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bollywood stars walked the red carpet to celebrate the city’s very own film festival.

The Royal Opera House is the last standing Baroque building in Mumbai. The royal family of Gondal – the owners of the venue – have worked towards ensuring the complete restoration of this centre under the watchful eye of conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah. The iconic structure has a long standing association with art, literature, theatre, music, and has hosted operas and live performances of many celebrated artists.

The stars:

Bollywood came in full support at the 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016 Red Carpet which was attended by Amitabh 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Poonam Dhillon, Ayan Mukerji, Vinod Chopra, Genelia Dsouza, Shabana Azmi , Zoya Akhtar, Kalki Koechlin, Shobha De,  Rajeev Samant,  Reema Kagti, Ashutosh and Sunita Gowariker, Huma Quershi, Rahul Bose, Harshvardhan Kapoor,  Kunal Kapoor, Nandita Das, R Balki, Abhishek Kapoor, Mini Mathur, Imran Khan, Diya Mirza, Richa Chaddha,  Abhay Deol, Vicky Kaushal and many more.

Jacqueline Fernandez hosted the event. Also present were Festival Director Anupama Chopra, Co-Chairperson Kiran Rao and other 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016Board of Directors including Anurag Kashyap, Rohan Sippy, Riteish Deshmukh, Siddharth Roy Kapur and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Star quotes:

Mrs. Nita Mukesh Ambani, Festival Co-Chair said, “We are all privileged to be here at the resurrected Royal Opera House in its new avatar, a quintessential Mumbai Icon that has been lovingly brought to life for all of us. We really could not have asked for a more befitting venue to open this festival. In the true tradition of the Mumbai, Jio MAMI continues to delight us and surprise us.  Each year they are raising the bar higher and higher for themselves. The festival has put together a truly 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016incredible program and a stellar line-up of films this year. Today is my proud privilege to announce and introduce a new category of award- ‘The Jio MAMI Award for Excellence in Digital Narrative Content’. Through this award we want to discover and celebrate, the talent and potential of our youth. This award will be presented from next year onward. We hope this award will encourage young talent to reimagine their creative promise and take Indian cinema to newer and greater 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016heights, especially in the digital space. Jio MAMI is of Mumbai, by Mumbai and of Mumbai.”

Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India said, “Mumbai Film Festival stands out as a more celebratory event than a ceremonial one. It celebrates great stories and serves as a podium for young talent. In our third year of association with MAMI, our endeavour is to make world-class cinema an accessible and organic experience to the people of Mumbai – a city with deep roots in cinema and its 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016history.”

Festival Director, Anupama Chopra said, “The 18th Edition of the festival will celebrates stories and cinema traditions from around the world. We hope that people enjoy this film feast.”

Creative Director, Smriti Kiran said, “Dazzled by the elegance and grandeur of the Opening Ceremony of the festival at the Royal Opera House. At one point I think I was not even breathing. Over 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016500 film lovers ringing in the festival for 2016. It was a dream come true.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema-India’ was presented to Director and screenwriter Sai Paranjpye by Mrs. Jaya Bachchan. Paranjpye has won numerous awards, both National and International for her writing and films. She was conferred with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2006 and has served on numerous juries and has been the Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society of India.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema-India, Filmmaker and Screenwriter Sai Paranjpye said, “It is wonderful to see the program being made here, encouraging new directors and women directors. I really feel privileged to receive this award from Mrs. Jaya Bachchan 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016in the magnificent Royal Opera House.”

The Award for ‘Excellence in Cinema- International’ was presented to Chinese Filmmaker, Jia Zhangke known for his cinematic representation of his country’s post-Mao and post-globalization cultural history. His recent films A Touch of Sin, 2013; Mountains May Depart, 2015), has offered a unique perspective on a transitional generation whose commonplace lives evoke universal resonance. The award to Jia Zhangke was presented by Actor Aamir Khan.

On receiving the Award for Excellence in Cinema- International, Chinese Filmmaker Jia Zhangke said, “It is the first time I am coming to Mumbai and India and really thankful to MAMI film festival and the film fraternity.  No matter if its China or India, we have really good 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016audience and we should continue to produce good movies for them.”

Also present at the Opening Ceremony were the esteemed jurors of India Gold section – Head of Jury Reha Erdem, Mychael Danna, Stephanie Zacharek, Yonfan and Tomasz Wasilewski. Head of International Competition Jury, Miguel Gomes was present along with other jurors Tala Hadid, Chris Mcdonald, Anurag Kashyap and Christine Vachon.

The special guests of the evening were nine delegates from Bhutan who were especially flown down to Mumbai to experience this 18th JIO MAMI Opening Festival 2016festival. The Hon’ble Secretary of Ministry of Information and Communications – Mr. Dasho Karma W Penjor, Librarian, Department of Information and Media – Mr. Thinley Dorji, Assistant Information and Media, Department of Information and Media- Mr. Phub Wangdi, and other members from the Bhutan Film Association were present to grace the evening.

Four-time National Award winner, Shankar Mahadevan gave a mesmerising performance at the opening ceremony!

Photo courtesy: mumbaifilmfest.com

Best International Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016 (10+1list)

Best International Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

And finally that moment is here, that very event for which we all Cinema-Lovers have been impatiently waiting for – the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL 2016 starts from 20th Oct!

And so, it’s time to check out the best of World Cinema – International films (Fiction) that demands your attention while you get busy with the festival!

1. I, Daniel Blake

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: UK, France, Belgium | Year: 2016. Language/s: English | Time: 100 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahWgxw9E_h4

i-daniel-blake-posterA middle aged carpenter who after a heart attack requires state welfare, befriends a single mum and her two kids and it’s their brilliant emotional story of friendship and survival.

Directed by Ken Loach, the film won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year!

Dave Johns incredible performance, certainly one of the must watch films of this festival!

2. Personal Shopper

Fiction | Section: RendezvousCountry: France | Year: 2016 Language/s: English | Time: 105 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIRGyoyBHS8

personal-shopper-posterThe fashion underworld of Paris, a young American woman making her living as a personal shopper for a celebrity may have some psychic ability to communicate with the spirits!

A brilliant performance by Kristen Stewart, and directed by Olivier Assayas who shared the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year along with Christian Mungiu!

3. The Salesman

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Iran, France | Year: 2016. Language/s: Farsi | Time: 123 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPdkCB7sKY

the-seperation-posterEmad and Rana, a young couple who happen to be performers rehearsing for Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” living in Tehran had to move to a new apartment, a rented one.

But then their relationship gets complicated in more ways than you can imagine.

Directed by Asghar Farhadi, one of the most anticipated films in the festival!

4. Graduation

Bacalaureat (original title)

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Romania | Year: 2016 Language/s: Romanian | Time: 128 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VimmuogOOks

graduation-posterA unique father-daughter drama that circles around various intricate emotions and compromises related to parenthood.

Brilliant performances by Adrian Titieni and Maria-Victoria Dragus as the father daughter duo.

Directed by Cristian Mungiu who shared the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival this year along with Olivier Assayas.

5. The Woman Who Left

Ang babaeng humayo (original title)

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Philippines | Year: 2016 Language/s: Tagalog | Time: 226 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiciSsltTFw

the-woman-who-left-posterA stylishly shot black and white revenge drama directed by Lav Diaz.

A woman plans to take revenge on her former lover, after she had to endure 30 years of wrongful imprisonment.

Incredibly slow, extensive long takes, a nearly four hours long movie – but this one won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival this year!

6. Aquarius

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: Brazil, France | Year: 2016. Language/s: Portuguese | Time: 145 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zln78CcFkA

aquarius-posterAquarius, a two-storey old building and Clara, a 65-year-old widow is the only resident left in that apartment. And she is not ready to sellout at any cost to the company desperate to buy out the whole building.

Nominated for Palme d’Or at the Cannes – directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, a superbly engaging drama and a brilliant performance by Sonia Braga.

 

7. The Wailing 

Goksung (original title)

Fiction | Section: After DarkCountry: South Korea | Year: 2016 Language/s: Korean | Time: 156 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43uAputjI4k

the-wailing-posterA stranger appears and the horrific rumours starts to spread throughout the village. And then there is death – a series of gruesome killings without any logical reasons!

(Click for Review)

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Hong-jin Na, this is a perfect horror thriller which will keep you guessing till the end! 

8. The Red Turtle

La tortue rouge (original title)

Fiction | Section: RendezvousCountry: France, Belgium | Year: 2016. Language/s: French | Time: 80 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw7BggqBpTk

the-red-turtle-posterAn animation film without dialogues!

It’s about a shipwrecked man on a deserted tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds – a brilliantly beautiful film like a fable or a fairy tale!

Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit, this is one of the prime attraction in the festival since it is the first non-Japanese film to be produced by Studio Ghibli.

9. Under the Shadow (2016)

Fiction | Section: After DarkCountry: Jordan, Qatar, UK | Year: 2016. Language/s: Farsi | Time: 83 Mins

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVFP80Upxw

under-the-shadow-posterSet in Tehran, 1988 during the Iran-Iraq war, a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the war. But then the war is not the only horror they have to endure.

Great acting and superb storytelling, directed by Babak Anvari; this one is a slow paced horror film that lets the tension built up in its own time and yes – the effect is damn scary. 

10. Swiss Army Man

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: USA | Year: 2016 Language/s: English. Time: 97 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrK1f4TsQfM

swiss-army-man-posterA young man named Hank (Paul Dano) gets stranded in an island all alone – yup, exactly like Tom Hanks in Cast Away but instead of a floating Volleyball named Wilson, Hank gets a farting dead-body named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe)!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert comes an imaginative, humorous and cinematic satire.

 

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most interesting one. A must watch)

+1. Madly

Fiction | Section: World CinemaCountry: USA, UK, India, Australia, Japan, Argentina. | Year: 2015. Language/s: English, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish| Time: 105 Mins.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJbO8FY3o9U

A global anthology consisting of six short films made by filmmakers madly-posterrepresenting Japan, Argentina, the UK, the USA, India and Australia with a common goal to dissect love!

Directed by Gael García Bernal,  Anurag KashyapNatasha KhanSebastián SilvaSion Sono and Mia Wasikowska – definitely one of the prime attractions of this festival.

A few other films that are totally worth your time are Endless PoetryAfter the StormNerudaThe Lovers and the DespotElleManchester by the SeaAusterlitz and Hounds of Love.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com and mumbaifilmfestival.com.

Best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption (10+1list)

Best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption.

written by Souranath Banerjee

I have noticed that the police officers in Bollywood are rarely taken seriously, i mean in a realistic manner.

Either they are shown as the corrupt sadistic nuisance with no honor, conscience or sense of duty (generally villain’s sidekicks who will be bashed up by the hero towards the end of the film).

Or else they are fabricated into these caricatured super heroes who can singlehandedly beat up an entire town of bad guys (the likes of DabanggSingham and Rowdy Rathore).

In such glorious history of Bollywood only a few handful films portray a cop in the right perspective; someone who has dignity, honesty, the will to fight against corruption and most importantly a common man with no superhuman powers.

And here’s some of the best of Bollywood police officers fighting against corruption, a list that celebrates all those real life brave Indian police officers who respects their uniform and we respect them.

Let’s get started.

10. Sehar (2005)

Film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uzJPW7qqxE

Sehar-posterAn uncorrupted cop, Ajay Kumar (Arshad Warsi) when transferred to Uttar Pradesh, clashes with the brutal mafia don Gajraj Singh (Sushant Singh).

Ajay Kumar leads a team of daring officers who took up the mission to stop organized crimes in Lucknow.

Directed by Kabeer Kaushik, the film is a dramatic take based on the real lives of gangster Shiv Prakash Shukla and gallant SSP Arun Kumar. Also watch Pankaj Kapur in a unique role as Prof. Tiwari. 

9. Yeshwant (1997)

Film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yPO2EA_YEE

Yeshwant-posterMaverick, tough and committed Inspector Yeshwant Lohar (Nana Patekar) is the man to watch out for in this film.

Directed by Anil Mattoo, this is a cop who struggles in-between his professional and personal lives; a man who is too straightforward and undiluted for surviving our current work system.

Basically, a one man show for Nana Patekar and a must watch for his superb energetic performance.

8. Gangaajal (2003)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf5mD-Q05_8

Gangaajal-posterSP Amit Kumar (Ajay Devgn) is given the charge of Tezpur police station in Bihar, where law and order is known by the name of a corrupted politician Sadhu Yadav (Mohan Joshi).

But of course the situation changes by the time our strict and honest SP is done with the notorious Yadav gang.

As with most of Prakash Jha‘s films, this one too tries to restore our faith in law, constitution, and democracy by the end of the film.

7. Mardaani (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04E-jHtWrDA

Mardaani-posterA girl goes missing and eventually senior inspector of the criminal branch Mumbai, Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji) takes up the case.

Soon she is confronted by the child trafficking mafia kingpin Walt (Tahir Raj Bhasin) who wants her to stop the investigation.

Directed by Pradeep Sarkar, this lady cop drama is one of the pretty realistic sketch of a devoted cop trying to accomplish her duty at any cost.

6. Sarfarosh (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlULorEPMig

Sarfarosh-posterA personal tragedy makes Ajay Singh Rathod (Aamir Khan) to join the police force to fight against terrorism.

And soon famous Pakistan-based Ghazal singer Gulfam Hassan (Naseeruddin Shah) becomes a suspect of Ajay’s hunt for terrorists.

Directed by John Mathew Matthan, this one is a fine crime drama that is portrayed in a very realistic manner, a thriller at its best.  

5. Khakee (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuo5cq2QBcg

Khakee-posterDirected by Rajkumar Santoshi, this is the story of DCP Anant Shrivastav (Amitabh Bachchan), who is responsible to escort a terrorist Iqbal Ansari (Atul Kulkarni) from Chandangarh to Mumbai.

Though determined to accomplish his mission, he faces tremendous resistance from the terrorist leader Yashwant Angre (Ajay Devgn).

Along with Akshay KumarAishwarya Rai Bachchan and Tusshar Kapoor this one is a cool police drama to consider.

4. Ab Tak Chhappan (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tKzKJko34A

Ab-Tak-Chhappan-posterWith Inspector Sadhu Agashe Nana Patekar is back as the encounter specialist, who believes that its better to eliminate the rouges of our society than taking them into custody.

Directed by Shimit Amin, this is one gritty tale of how the volatile equation between the police and the underworld is maintained.

Probably Nana Patekar’s best performance till date.

3. Shool (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqU4vpL-0LA

shool-posterInspector Samar Pratap Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) is transferred to Motihari, in the Indian state of Bihar along with his wife (Raveena Tandon) and kid.

And there, the officer’s honesty and diligence is tested against the local MLA Bachoo Yadav (Sayaji Shinde).

Directed by Eeshwar Nivas, outstanding performances and the film also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

2. Zanjeer (1973)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfvbZsPsBZU

Zanjeer-posterBollywood has never seen such an honest cop story told with such conviction before the release of this super hit film.

The film that made Amitabh Bachchan a super star and gave him the iconic screen name ‘Vijay’!

Along with Jaya BhaduriAjit and Pran, and directed by Prakash Mehra, this film established the well known ‘angry young man’ image!

  1. Ardh Satya (1983)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EesInevxpAs

Ardh-satya-posterWhen talking about a lone honest police officer fighting against the odds of the system, this is the first film that comes to my mind!

A newly appointed Sub-Inspector Anant Velankar (Om Puri) wants to make the world a better place but soon finds out the reality of how our system works.

Directed by Govind Nihalani, along with Smita PatilAmrish Puri and Sadashiv Amrapurkar, this is a film that perfectly depicts an honest cop’s humiliation and frustration as he is sucked into the whirlpool of corruption.

and now, (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Black Friday (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1mkPQI9z0

Black-friday-posterThe film (though it’s not exactly a story based on an honest cop’s struggle) shows the thorough investigation process that followed the 1993 serial Bombay bomb blasts.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap, one of his earlier films and of course the most controversial one.

A superb thriller and Kay Kay Menon as DCP Rakesh Maria is an absolute delight to watch.

Poster curtsey: en.wikipedia.orgwww.imdb.com, www.koimoi.com/www.filmiclub.com.

Bombay Velvet (2015)

Bombay Velvet review.

My Ratings: 2.5/5.

Bombay Velvet is my favorite director Anurag Kashyap‘s latest feature and one of Bollywood’s most anticipated films of 2015. 

bombay-velvet-poster4The story of an ambitious young Johney Balraj (Ranbir Kapoor) who wants to be called a ‘big-shot’ after his death; who falls in love with a beautiful club-singer Rosie (Anushka Sharma) and who also makes the mistake of betraying the notorious newspaper tycoon Kaizad Khambatta (Karan Johar).

Based on Indian historian Gyan Prakash’s book Mumbai Fables – Bombay Velvet claims to be a thriller, a crime drama and also a love story all at the same time.

But unfortunately it doesn’t match up to the audience’s expectation level – primarily because it lacks a dignified story line and intelligent dialogues.

Bombay-Velvet-poster1First of all, the basic plot is very much clichéd and many a times illogical. The film desperately attempts to create the old fashioned ‘film noir’ kind-of mood (dark and tragic) but after the second-half Bombay Velvet becomes predictable and in a way simply refuses to entertain.

The mad-lover in outrage (we have seen better in Dev.D), the police/CBI chasing suspects (seen better in Black Friday), slow motion firing of machine guns with heavy background music (seen better in Gangs of Wasseypur), suspense and unexpected twists in the story (seen better in Gulaal) – honestly even Anurag Kashyap‘s unreleased debut film Paanch (2003) had more zing than Bombay Velvet (story wise).

But again the mood and lighting is brilliant. Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi has done a great job with the colors and texture of the film.

bombay-velvet-posterThe production designers Errol Kelly and Sonal Sawant along with the art director Sameer Sawant recreated the grander of old Bombay with perfection.  

Amit Trivedi‘s music is decent but nothing extraordinary. 

Now for the acting part – good performances all around. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma seem to have a great on-screen chemistry.  

Unfortunately, after achieving great success in Barfi! and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani actor Ranbir Kapoor‘s luck seems to have taken a summersault. In spite of giving worthy performances, his last three films BesharamRoy and Bombay Velvet (included) somehow fail to hold the audience’s attention.

bombay-velvet-poster3An under-exploited Kay Kay Menon as the CBI officer, Satyadeep Misra as the trusted friend, Vivaan Shah as the lover-boy driver, and even the debutant villain Karan Johar (who seems to have charged only Rs 11 as his acting fee) has done pretty well. 

Overall Bombay Velvet (149 min long) could have been much better with a tight script and crisp dialogues. May be a budget constraint does work better in case of certain directors!

Note: Though Martin Scorsese is given special thanks and Oscar winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker (who has many a times worked with Martin Scorsese before) did edit the film – but Bombay Velvet is nothing close to any of Martin Scorsese’s films. So please stop comparing and unnecessarily escalating your expectations.   

Best of Bollywood 2014.

Best of Bollywood 2014.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

It’s time to ride the flashback roller coaster in search of some meaningful cinema in Bollywood that released in the year 2014.

The phase ‘meaningful cinema’ itself is debatable since everyone interprets cinema in their own way. For me a film that successfully walks the thin line between quality content and entertainment always wins the race.

So, let the race begin.

1. Queen

queen-posterMost entertaining film of the year and an award-winning performance by Kangana Ranaut.

(Click for the film review)

Girl power punched with fun and friendship.

Awesome music by Amit Trivedi, Vikas Vahl’s superb direction – a great story of a girl who learns to live her life Queen style!

film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGC6vl3lzf0

2. Highway

highway-posterBrilliant performance by Alia Bhatt – so natural and spontaneous that she has even managed to eclipse a much senior actor like Randeep Hooda.

(click for the film review)

The film takes you in a tour of the whole North India; the combination of Imtiaz Ali’s direction and A.R.Rahman’s soulful music – a treat for film lovers.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o66nNnGZ5Rg

3. Haider

Haider-poster

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider is a film that doesn’t shy off from it’s attempt to show the real Kashmir (set around 1995), the daily agony of the locales and their struggle to survive the police, the military and the numerous violent groups inflicting terror.

(click for the film review)

A combination of Hamlet and Kashmir that is definitely worth your time.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xakmvJ0WPa4

4. Ankhon Dekhi

ankhon-dekhi-posterThis film deserves a lot more appreciation, a beautiful story of a man with a strange conviction – he wants to believe only what he sees with his own eyes!

Rajat Kapoor skillfully directs this family drama and Sanjay Mishra gives the best performance of his life.

A rare gem – entertaining and thoughtful cinema.

film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yKUHI2mE4

5. City Lights

Citylights-posterAfter the National Award winning film Shahid, (director) Hansal Mehta and (actor) Rajkummar Rao comes together with yet another promising film.

(Click for the film review)

A remake of the British film Metro Manila, uncomfortably real and raw, the film forces us to look at poverty and despair from disturbing proximity.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyO8OFK9yw

6. Ugly

Ugly-poster

Anurag Kashyap‘s Ugly is a thriller that revolves around the kidnapping of a little girl and the rigorous search that follows. A nasty tale of mayhem, greed and corruption that doesn’t spare anybody – no one comes out clean and innocent.

(Click for the film review)

Probably the most dark film recently made in Bollywood.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyO8OFK9yw

7. PK

pk-poster

The much awaited film PK is the latest Aamir Khan flick directed by none other than Rajkumar Hirani; a blockbuster that seems to have broken all the records in box-office collection.

(Click for the controversial film related article)

A light-hearted comedy with an important social message! A film surely worth a watch.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fyO8OFK9yw

8. Miss Lovely

Miss-lovely-posterThe underground sleazy film industry of the 1980’s is never been explored before in such gritty details.

Ashim Ahluwalia (the director) has captured the dark underbelly of the C grade industry with brilliant realism.

Anil GeorgeNawazuddin Siddiqui and Niharika Singh have all given superb performances.

film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzoAOoHdACk

9. Filmistaan 

filmistaan-posterA fresh take on the popularity of Bollywood and also the India-Pakistan tension.

(Click to see the film review)

Filmistaan deals with pretty sensitive issues but always with a divine comic touch.

Great acting performances overall; especially the dynamic and hilarious Sharib Hashmi.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-0LWnz8Ut0

10. Children of War

Children-of-War-posterHistory often gets blurred with time but such courageous films revive them and voices the truth.

(Click to see the film review)

The film successfully recreates the horrific crimes orchestrated by Pakistan over the Bangladeshi (Bengali) people in the pre-independence era of Bangladesh in 1971. Great effort by director Mrityunjay Devvrat.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzIa0wYfUwU

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most crazy one. A must watch)

+1. Mary Kom

Mary-kom-poster

Mary Kom, the biographical film on a farmer’s daughter from Manipur, who become a boxer and creates history by being the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.

(Click to see the film review)

Directed by debutant Omung Kumar and produced by Snajay Leela Banshali – one of Priyanka Chopra‘s best performance till date.

Film trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzIa0wYfUwU

And some honorary mentions are Finding FannyMardaaniKya Dilli Kya Lahore2 StatesBhoothnath ReturnsDedh IshqiyaHolidayHawaa HawaaiLakshmi and of course Sulemani Keeda

Ugly (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

People are like coins and when they are tossed up in the air, there is a good fifty percent chance of them falling their ugly side up.

The film Ugly reveals this hidden side of us, the rotten core of our human nature, the ugly truth of our society; and who better can orchestrate such a dark film with such perfection than Anurag Kashyap?

Director Anurag Kashyap has this exceptional talent of illuminating those gloomy, dark tunnels of our human minds where other filmmakers seldom dare to focus their beam. His debut film Paanch then Black FridayNo SmokingDev.DGulaal, even the Gangs of Wasseypur series – the characters in all these films seems to celebrate the violence and the dark passion in them.

And Ugly is no exception and probably the most dark film recently made in Bollywood. 

A thriller that revolves around the kidnapping of a little girl and the rigorous search that follows. A nasty tale of mayhem, greed and corruption that doesn’t spare anybody – none of them comes out clean and innocent.

Ugly contains hardcore violence and abusive language – not at all advisable for the children.

But then again there are a few awesome moments of black humor that serves as the much needed relief moments for the audience.

The only known faces are the ever-angry Ronit Roy and to some extent Tejaswini Kolhapure (she was launched in Anurag Kashyap’s Paanch which unfortunately never released). 

Most of the other actors are relatively new but every one gave very natural performances – especial mentions Rahul Bhat (the estranged father), Vineet Singh (the friend) and Girish Kulkarni (the ideal local police head).

The background score does it’s job i guess but i wouldn’t complain if it was more on the grungy side. The camera angles, especially the typical ‘chase sequences’ have the trade mark of an Anurag Kashyap movie.       

Overall a very real, hard-hitting film made with enough passion and courage; though it’s difficult to admit but Ugly is a perfect snapshot of our current society.

P.S – the film Ugly was waiting to release for almost a year now since Anurag Kashyap was fighting a case in Bombay High Court against the Censor Board as he refused to add the anti-smoking disclaimer in the film.