Tag Archives: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Best of Bollywood Thrillers 2017 and 2018 (10+1List)

Best of Bollywood Thrillers 2017 and 2018

written by Souranath Banerjee

Nowadays thrillers are back in demand. But then again there’s always an appetite for thrilling stories in Bollywood, the problem is on the supply end of it.

Let’s face it, well made Indian thrillers are rare to find but fortunately this year we have just enough of Bollywood thrillers to make an entertaining list!

Hope you have seen them all, if not then go ahead and have a thrilling life!

10. The Ghazi Attack (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn2qOnKuOoc

Inspired by true events from the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971.

The film reveals the true story behind the mysterious sinking of the US loaned Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi when it stealthy ventured the shore of Visakhapatnam to destroy Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

Directed by Sankalp Reddy, superb plot, a tad overdramatic but then again an entertaining thriller and surely India’s first ever Submarine war movie.

9. Blackmail (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDF1qdUtbzw

A man finds out that his wife is having an affair. But instead of the typical agitated confrontation, he secretly blackmails his wife’s lover for money!

Directed by Abhinay Deo, a comedy thriller pretty similar to the director’s earlier film Delhi Belly, the characters spiralling down through a vortex of chaos and mayhem. Irrfan Khan makes the film worth your time.

8. Raid (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h4thS-Hcrk

The story of a fearless Income-tax officer who dared to raid the mansion of the most powerful man in Lucknow!

Directed by Raj Kumar Gupta, based on several real accounts of challenging tax-raids where influential people will go to any length to stop the officers from doing their work honestly.

Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla at their best.

7. Mom (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hctApy_i-qg

Veteran actress Sridevi‘s last film as a protagonist, this is a perfect revenge thriller where a ‘mom’ when denied justice in the courtroom seeks vengeance over her daughter’s abusers in her own way.

Directed by Ravi Udyawar, often predictable but with fine performances from Akshaye Khanna and Nawazuddin Siddiqui the film stands out as a decent thriller.

6. Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN_9DnBh3hM

On 13 May 1998 Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee held a press conference to declare India as a nuclear state!

Directed by Abhishek Sharma, this film portrays the story of how Captain Ashwat Raina (played by John Abraham) plans and executes the mission of India’s second confidential nuclear test series at Pokhran.

Not only a thrilling story but a historic moment of triumph for our country portrayed in this film.

5. Monsoon Shootout (2017)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdbAgeowew8

To shoot or not to shoot, that is the question! A rookie cop’s first assignment and he has to take a decision that will affect his life professionally and personally for ever.

Directed by Amit Kumar, good storytelling (structurally innovative), superb performances by  Vijay Varma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Neeraj Kabi and Tannishtha Chatterjee. A must watch thriller indeed.

4. Tigers (2018)

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

Coming from the Oscar winning director of No Man’s Land (2001) Danis Tanovic, this is the story of a pharmaceutical salesman in Pakistan (played by Emraan Hashmi) who challenges a multinational health care corporation realising that they are responsible for the death of hundreds of babies everyday!

Based upon a true tragic incident that took place in Pakistan in late 1990s and early 2000.

3. Ittefaq (2017)

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

Kind of a remake of B.R. Chopra‘s 1969 film Ittefaq, directed by B.R. Chopra’s grandson Abhay Chopra.

One crime scene, two suspects and their two contradicting versions of the same murder, it is time for the detective to decide which story to believe and who to arrest!

Starring Sidharth Malhotra, Sonakshi Sinha and Akshaye Khanna this is one thriller that keeps the suspense till the end.

2. Raazi (2018)

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

A brave Indian woman from Kashmir marries a Pakistani officer with a dangerous motive to spy on the Pakistani army.

Directed by Meghna Gulzar, superb acting by Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal and Rajit Kapoor.

An adaption of Harinder Sikka’s novel “Calling Sehmat” based of true events during 1971 Indo-Pak war. Surely the best spy movie of India till date.

1. Andhadhun (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iVYI99VGaw

A blind pianist must report a crime which he never saw! But then he seems to be always in the wrong place in the wrong time to see what a blind man should never have seen!

Brilliantly crafted by my favourite director  Sriram Raghavan, super cool performances by Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu and Radhika Apte. Undoubtedly one of the best thriller of recent times!

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

+1. Pihu (2018)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhWLhuEhXm4

Here comes an out-of-the-box Bollywood concept – a cute two year old girl who finds her mom not waking up and Dad out at work, tries her best to make herself at home!

Directed by Kapri Vinod, beautifully performed by child-actor Pihu Myra Vishwakarma. Shot in one location, one character – a thrilling 1st half that goes a bit repetitive in the 2nd. A very different kind of thriller; according to me such innovative ideas should be encouraged more often!

A few other thrillers though not on the list but still worth your time are BaazaarLove Sonia, In the Shadows AjjiGurgaon, and Long Live Brij Mohan.

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2015

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood thrillers of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

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Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

 Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Best Netflix series you can watch right now (20+1list)

Best Netflix series you can watch right now

written by Souranath Banerjee

In 1997 a new company by the name of Netflix was founded by  Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in California with the idea of providing subscription-based streaming service from its library of Best-Netflix-seriesfilms and television programs. By 2012 they started their content-production of both films and television series under the name ‘Netflix Original‘. And at present they are the largest streaming service with 125 million total subscribers worldwide, operating over 190 countries across the globe!

Needless to say most of the top notch films and series of recent times are available only on Netflix, and don’t know about you but I often get damn confused while choosing from their vast library of awesome content.

And thus to simplify our search for quality binge watching here is a list of some of the Best Netflix series you can watch right now!

P.S – The Golden rule of watching any TV series is to remember that the 1st Season is always the best!

20. 13 Reasons Why (2017) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JebwYGn5Z3E

Best-Netflix-seriesA teenager going through high school is never been easy and this is one show that dares to speak up about the pressure, the temptations, the torments of a young mind and seeks answers to the brutally honest vulnerabilities of today’s youth.

Created by Brian Yorkey, this is about a guy who needs to backtrack in the past and connect the dots in order to know the cause of his friend’s suicide.

19. Dexter (2006) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQeUmSD1c3g

Best-Netflix-seriesA blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police has a secret life of his own – at night he hunts down murderers and kill them!

Created by James Manos Jr., a crime mystery with a twist where you want the serial killer to succeed in his missions.

Awesome performances by Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter. Highly addictive!

18. Sacred Games (2018) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28j8h0RRov4

Best-Netflix-seriesCreated/directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, this is the first Indian Netflix Original TV Series.

(Click for Review)

The story of the intertwined lives of a mafia don (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) nearing the twilight of his life and the struggles of an honest cop (Saif Ali Khan) trying to do right amidst a corrupt system.

17. Gotham (2014) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d1zpt6k5OI

Best-Netflix-seriesSet on the backdrop of the most dangerous city – Gotham, this series tells the story of a young Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his rise through the police force to greatness.

Created by Bruno Heller, this is such an unique show where Batman (only a child) plays  the  second fiddle and you get to watch the beginnings of some of the greatest villain characters like the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), Fish Moony (Jada Pinkett Smith) and even The Catwoman (Camren Bicondova).

16. Arrested Development (2003) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXg2_yExgVY

Best-Netflix-seriesA refreshing comedy drama that enfolds the humorous tensions and conflicts within a so-called dysfunctional family.

Created by Mitchell Hurwitz, and Jason Bateman taking the lead – this is one of the very few witty laugh riots that perfectly fits the limited comedy options in Netflix.

Won multiple Emmies and still one of the highest rated TV series ever made!

15. Fauda (2015) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5zcu25_IG0

Best-Netflix-seriesThe Israeli Special Forces tries to take down the Palestinian Jihad organisation – the only series that narrates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and brilliantly weaves the issue into a thrilling tale of action, violence and emotional loss for both sides.

Created by Avi Issacharoff and Lior Raz, an underrated show yet highly addictive, brilliant performances and an intense storyline.

14. Ozark (2017) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hAXVqrljbs

Best-Netflix-series‘Most people just have a fundamentally flawed view of money’

A financial advisor gets in trouble with a drug cartel and is forced to relocate his family and come up with innovative schemes to make money.

Created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, and starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in the lead – an intense drama with multiple thrilling plot twists.

13. The Punisher (2017) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIY6zFL95hE

Best-Netflix-seriesA Marine veteran (Jon Bernthal) whose family been murdered turns into a vigilante and all he wants is vengeance!

‘Those who do evil to others – the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadists – you will come to know me well. Frank Castle is dead. Call me… The Punisher.’

Created by Steve Lightfoot, an action packed crime drama that promises to engage you till the end!

12. Bloodline (2015) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRnS8FkcXNk

Best-Netflix-seriesAs the black sheep of the family returns home many past family secrets are to be spilled along with a bit of bad blood!

Created by Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler and Daniel Zelman, probably the only 100% family drama available in Netflix which completely engages you through its brilliant characters and unique storytelling. Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn gives amazing performances!

11. Fargo (2014) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKs8DzjPDMU

Best-Netflix-seriesThis show is as popular as the Oscar winning film by the same name from the Coen brothers on which it is based on, maintaining similar storyline but with a fresh star-cast – Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Kirsten Dunst and Ewan McGregor among others. 

Created by Noah Hawley, definitely the best black comedy TV series ever made. Totally worth your time!

10. Stranger Things (2016) (TV Series)

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

Best-Netflix-seriesThe sudden disappearance of a young boy in a small town begins a hunt which eventually leads to dark government agencies and their rogue experiments that will turn the otherwise peaceful town upside down and put everyone’s life in danger!

Created by Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer (the Duffer brothers), a dark and twisted tale of horror that you can’t miss. Millie Bobby Brown shines as a child actor.

9. House of Cards (2013) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULwUzF1q5w4

Best-Netflix-seriesA cunning and vicious Congressman (Kevin Spacey) and his ever-supporting wife (Robin Wright) makes their way to the top of the political ladder while taking revenge on people who betrayed him in the past.

Created by Beau Willimon and directed by a series of acclaimed directors like David FincherJames FoleyJoel Schumacher and John Dahl – one of the best series ever made!

8. Daredevil (2015) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAy6NJ_D5vU

Best-Netflix-seriesA blind lawyer who transforms into a vigilante by night – this is the story of an unlikely superhero (Charlie Cox) with superhuman senses that allows him to see the world in an entirely unique manner.

Dark and violent, yet highly captivating with a terrific storyline.

Created by Drew Goddard, this Marvel series has some of the best fighting sequences ever!

7. Peaky Blinders (2013) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwXfVGjSz-4

Best-Netflix-seriesSet in 1919 Birmingham, England -this is one brilliant Gangster saga that has become one of the most popular shows in Netflix and rightly so.

Cillian Murphy, Paul Anderson, Sam Neill and Tom Hardy among other in the acting department, top class story telling and brilliant cinematography! Created by Steven Knight, this is The Sopranos of our time!

6. Homeland (2011) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyFmS3wRPCQ

Best-Netflix-seriesA bipolar CIA operative becomes suspicious to the point of conviction that a war prisoner who is being treated as a war hero is actually been turned into an al-Qaeda spy.

Starring Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin and Damian Lewis and created by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, this is a perfect example of a high class espionage drama, thrilling and emotionally captivating at the same time!

5. Orange Is the New Black (2013) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLyUlTu4KbI

Best-Netflix-seriesPrison can be a life changing experience and who knows it better than the lead character of this show, a married woman (Taylor Schilling) who is convicted of a decade old crime of transporting drug money to an ex-girlfriend!

Created by Jenji Kohan, quick paced and quirky, and dealing with LGBT themes, this is one show which manages to be both emotional and funny at the same time.

4. Sherlock (2010) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK7S9mrFWL4

Best-Netflix-seriesOriginally created by Conan Doyle, the ever popular sleuth and his assistant are back and this time Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) are transported to our modern world where they solve unique crimes by the help of Sherlock’s ‘Deductive logic’ of course.

Created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, a thrilling, superbly edited show that guarantees your attention.

3. Narcos (2015) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7elNhHwgBU

Best-Netflix-seriesA series based on the real story of the rise and expansion of the Colombian drug cartels spearheaded by the cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura). And also about the brilliant effort made by a joint team of Colombian and US forces to eradicate the cartel.

Created by Carlo Bernard, Chris Brancato and Doug Miro, this is one of the most addictive series I have ever watched in my life! 

2. Breaking Bad (2008) (TV Series)

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

Best-Netflix-seriesA chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer decides to break bad and starts cooking and dealing drugs.

Bryan Cranston in his legendary performance and such an exceptional storyline – this dark comedy series is as addictive as any drug ever existed. 

Created by Vince Gilligan, this is one show that changed the whole game for the future of TV series!

1. Mindhunter (2017) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gZCfRD_zWE

Best-Netflix-seriesLate 1970s, in order to delve into the psychology of serial murderers two FBI agents (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) while researching on criminal behaviour interview some of the most prolific murderers of the time!

Created by Joe Penhall and some episodes directed by acclaimed David Fincher – this is at present the most exciting and dramatic crime thriller series to watch!

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

+1. Black Mirror (2011) (TV Series)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jROLrhQkK78

Best-Netflix-seriesA British Sci Fi anthology series, each episode a new story mostly based on futuristic worlds where technology have evolved into extreme advanced dimensions and we humans are trying our best to coup up with it.

Created by Charlie Brooker, brilliantly imaginative, often dark and satirical but thoroughly engaging. Even frightening to some extent as most of the episodes are uniquely scary and believable too.

Similar Interest: Sacred Games Review

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

Sacred Games ( TV Series)

Sacred Games Review

written by Anu Gopinath

The series takes a dark undertone from the word go and it’s highly appreciative of the directive duo for discussing the subjects of sex and violence with such level of authority!

My Ratings: 4/5

Long has been the content driven cinema taken a backseat and was pulled into the eroding deluge of memories of a lost generation who
revelled in their Bajaj and bell bottoms! Long has been the pride of Sacred-GamesIndian cinema taken a beating when the world was presented with the narcissistic, megalomaniacal and voyeuristic version of our life and cinema. The same pride that we earned and the respect that we commanded from the world cinema, which took eons of pain and hard work to achieve but still demanded the sacrifices of the lifetime of works of some of the greatest auteurs of Indian cinema like Satyajit RayGuru Dutt, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and company!

And when I completed watching the new web series Scared Games starring “the content “ in the lead, it is with absolute relief and pride that I can say, that all hopes are not lost for Indian Cinema!

Directed by two of the brilliant visionaries of contemporary cinema, Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, the first Indian Netflix Original TV Series – Sacred Games tells us the story of the intertwined lives of a mafia don nearing the twilight of his life and the struggles of an honest cop trying to do right amidst a corrupt system. The series bears the rare stamp of authenticity and manages Sacred-Gamesto hit all the right tones in its adaptation of the Novel of the same name written by Vikram Chandra.

The series hinges on the story of the rise and fall of gangster Gaitonde, played brilliantly by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and how his life is intertwined with life of the honest cop, Sartaj Singh performed by Saif Ali Khan.

The TV series takes a dark undertone from the word go and it’s highly appreciative of the directive duo for discussing the subjects of sex and violence with such authority that was seldom seen in Indian cinema and has to be considered as one of their masterstrokes. The story deals with religious terrorism with a brilliant screenplay which has a heavy dose of bloodshed, sex, gore and violence and the end product which is devoid of any unwanted transgressions by the censor board, makes it a compelling watch.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the gangster with such elan and composure of an artist who is in control of his creation, taking his Sacred-Gamesown time to paint the shades of white when in love, dark when he’s avenging his enemies and grey, when keeping his comrades in line.

Saif Ali Khan has finally found his calling and he’s absolutely brilliant as the inspector Sartaj Singh and to his credit, underplays his role of a cop who is constantly being harassed, degraded and kicked around by his corrupt seniors. He in no way comes across as a conventional hero who fights the villains single handedly and saves the day. But he is our below average common man who is scared and thinks a hundred times before taking a step, an under performing overweight policeman who has a conscience, a simpleton who runs towards the warm embraces of his mother when things get too tough for him. And he absolutely delivers the goods with an astounding performance and
Sacred-Gamesfinally is given the platform to display his talents – the same talent which we had a few of the fleeting glimpses in the brilliant Omkara and Ek Hasina Thi. The Nawab is back and how!

But, when brilliance of Nawazuddin Siddiqui is always expected and Saif’s performance is worthy of appreciation, it’s the work of the supporting cast that completely steals the show and is what makes this series apart! Such is the depth and brilliance of their acting that one has the feeling of sitting in an Opera House and has been accorded the rare honour of seeing the brilliant performances of one sopran after the other, with each trying to outplay the other with the performances of their lifetime.

Sacred-GamesSpecial mention should go to Jitendra Joshi who was an absolute hoot as the constable Katekar, Rajshri Deshpande as Subhadra, Kubra Sait as Kukko, and then Neeraj Kabi and Geetanjali Thapa. Each and every single one of them gave a performance worthy of an ovation and carries the story on their shoulders and keeps the story moving.

Radhika Apte, the crown jewel of parallel cinema is surprisingly left with a role that is not as meaty compared to her colleagues but the woman holds her fort whenever pitted against the brilliance of Saif and the cast.

Superbly written by Varun GroverVasant Nath and Smita Singh, cool camera work and brilliant editing compounded with unique storytelling and absolutely mind blowing background score by Rachita Arora and Alokananda Dasgupta makes this thriller an Sacred-Gamesedge of the seat affair. Not to forget the perfect casting by Mukesh Chhabra Sacred Games is probably the best thing to have come out of Bollywood since Gangs of Wesseypur!

Sacred Games is, by no means over and with the serious talents of the likes of Pankaj Tripathi waiting in the wings and with a plot line left at an interesting juncture, one can expect a cracker of a second season in the cards!

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com, Sacred Games Facebook page

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times (10+1 list)

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Offbeat Indian Cinema, huh?

The term ‘offbeat’ generally conveys a certain idea of non-commercial, arty, not-for-the-masses kind of movies; those
intellectual films which almost invariably wouldn’t do much business in the box office but will probably travel around several festivals and Offbeat-Indian-Cinemasurvive exclusively on the blessings of a handful of niche audience and critics.

Well, that more or less covers everything except for the most essential fact, that most often these so-called ‘offbeat’ films are the real trendsetters, so unique and revolutionary in their treatment and storytelling that they are responsible for the evolution of meaningful Cinema around the globe!

And this particular list of Offbeat Indian Cinema (many are in regional languages), although some of them might have been lost in the popcorn-culture a tad too quickly for my personal discomfort, but then again, all of these films are undoubtedly the most important Indian Cinema of our recent times!

Here we go! (Listed according to their year of release)

10. Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yKUHI2mE4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaRevolves around a simple yet philosophical concept of a man’s belief, as he decides to believe only what he sees with his eyes!

Brilliantly written, directed and acted by Rajat Kapoor, the film that succeeds in recognising the true talent of performer Sanjay Mishra.

And most importantly this movie sets the stage for one of the most prominent Indian producer of today – Manish Mundra,  who in the following years have given us such brilliant films like MasaanDhanakWaiting and Newton.

9. Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Language: Punjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pAByInA4kM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaAn uniquely metaphorical film based on the post-partition era of India and Pakistan. A Sikh desperate for a male heir, but then when his fourth daughter is born, he declares her to be a boy and obsessively brings her up in the same fashion!

The first collaboration between director Anup Singh and actor Irrfan Khan which resulted in such a brilliant piece of story telling and powerful acting.

Tillotama ShomeTisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal – absolute brilliant performances by all!

8. The Lunchbox (2013)

Dabba (original title), Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK3R0rvnlPs

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Ritesh Batra, this film is essentially a love story between an unhappy housewife and a middle-aged man, and they depend on the Mumbai’s famous ‘dabba’ delivery system to share their delicious little love-notes.

Probably the most commercially popular in this list, this unique love affair is crisp, real and yet as romantic as a fantasy.

The performances of Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes the movie a true memorable experience.

7. Ottaal (2014)

Language: Malayalam

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNuJPc8u8WM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaVisually the most eye-pleasing film in the list; a soulful story of a little boy and his grandfather and their beautiful fishing village somewhere in the backwaters of Kerala. But then there is ‘The Trap’ that awaits.

Superb direction by Jayaraaj, the story adopted from Anton Chekhov’s story Vanka.

The songs, the water, the innocence of the village – and the beauty of nature captured by M.J. Radhakrishnan in the most cinematic way ever!

6. Court (2014)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sc8z7zav9A

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, the film which won the National Award (Golden Lotus Award) and was the official entry from India for the Oscars 2016! 

(Click for Review)

The film is a sarcastic take on the Indian dysfunctional legal system that revolves around a folk-singer’s prosecution!

A script so powerful and so confidently executed, superb performances, the most unique court-room drama ever made.

5. Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)

Language: Bengali

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFObwB9TAwc

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaLabour of Love, winner of two National Awards and many International ones, probably the most sensitive and poetic film in this list.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, the story of a married couple who yearns to meet and spend time together but couldn’t because of their work timings. The best thing that happened to the Bengali Industry in the recent times!

4. Visaaranai (2015)

Language: Tamil

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mnzK2KIz9U

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaDirected by Vetrimaaran, this was India’s official entry for the Oscars last year!

Based on a true story, four state-immigrants who experience the tragic police brutality as they were forcefully arrested, illegally detained, tortured and threatened to admit crimes of which they have no knowledge whatsoever!

Dark, gritty and dangerously realistic, the movie emphasises on the corruption of the Indian police department and the helplessness of the common man.

3. Chauthi Koot (2015)

Language: Panjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFS-ETnMSw4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaMid 1980s, politically turbulent Punjab being the backdrop, the film focuses on one particular family that (like most of the other Punjabi families of the time) gets crushed in-between the Indian Army and Sikh separatists.

Brilliantly written and directed by Gurvinder Singh, (his debut film being Anhey gorhey da daan), this movie brilliantly portrays the agitation and terror of the innocents of that era.

2. Thithi (2015)

Language: Kannada

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_NltD4Stv4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaA man, 101-year-old – dies. His sons and their sons and their family (the next three generations) prepare for his funeral, after the customary eleven days. The film is based on their actions and reactions over the old man’s death.

Smooth flowing, realistic and immensely engaging; a story of a seemingly every-day village life but told with such conviction.

Superb direction given by Raam Reddy, impactful performances, winning multiple awards – probably the best film in the list!

  1. Aligarh (2015)

Language: Hindi

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

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaBased on a true story of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor who taught Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University, and was suspended from his job because of his sexual orientation!

(Film Review)

Masterfully directed by Hansal Mehta and such powerful performances by Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao.

Manoj Bajpayee (according to me) deserved the National Award for his role as Professor Siras.

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

+1. Kaul (2016)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsR8pclAW1Y

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Vasudev Keluskar, this film is one of a kind – experimental, surrealistic, mysterious and stunningly visual!

The tale of a village school teacher who tries to maintain his sanity when assigned with an incredible responsibility that might change the fate of our universe!

Exceptionally well edited, shot in style playing with lights and shadows, sold performances – overall an exceptionally courageous example of story telling!

A few names of Offbeat Indian Cinema which are deserves the applause are Shahid (2012), Ship of Theseus (2012), Titli (2014), Killa (2014), Margarita with a Straw (2014), Talvar (2015), Haraamkhor (2015), Hotel Salvation (2016) and Trapped (2017).

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Lion (2016)

Lion Review

written by Souranath Banerjee

 A passionate narrative that celebrates both emotions and technology at the same time!

My Ratings: 4.1/5

80,000 children go missing in India every year never again to be reunited with their families, unfortunate indeed.

But then how many of these lost children are fortunate enough to get adopted by some kind-hearted couple from Tasmania, who are lion-poster1not only willing to give them their family name, but also enough love and affection, education and freedom to relive their own lives?

Well, Saroo a kid from rural India who loves Jalebis, happened to be one such unfortunate, yet fortunate soul!

At the age of five an unintentional train journey took him to an unknown city, alone in the streets, miserable and hungry, missing his family, and on the verge of getting exploited. But then, he survives, was sent to an orphanage and from there taken for adoption by Brierley family from Tasmania!

The first half of Saroo’s tale is dramatic enough to be made into a motion picture but the story doesn’t end there!

lion-posterAfter 25 years Saroo decides to find his roots, his village, his people, his family – he comes back to India in search of his brother and mother!

Exceptional performance by Dev Patel as Saroo, supposedly he had spent eight months preparing for his role! But more surprising was debutant Sunny Pawar‘s role, who played the part of young Saroo and stole the show!

Then of course Nicole Kidman (a great come back for her), David Wenham and Rooney Mara all made their presence felt. The Indian actors – Tannishtha ChatterjeeNawazuddin SiddiquiDeepti NavalKoushik SenAbhishek Bharate all shined in their cameos. But again the performance of Priyanka Bose as Saroo’s mother deserves a special mention, she is so natural yet subtle!

lion-poster2Brilliantly shot by Greig Fraser and edited by Alexandre de Franceschi. And also well complemented by the music of Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O’Halloran.

Since Saroo used Google Earth to try and locate his origins, Google have helped in the production of the film and gave the crew satellite imagery access and other technical support.

Director Garth Davis‘s Lion will remind you of Slumdog Millionaire but then for me it’s an entirely different treatment and story, after all it’s based on a true story!

P.S. – But why does the film named ‘Lion‘? Well, for a very good reason but you have to watch it to find it out!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.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

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Poster courtesy: www.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

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2015 (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Thrillers 2015.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Bollywood Thrillers 2015 – People in general are instinctively curious by nature, which obviously makes them so very fond of thrillers.

And 2015 has been indeed a thrilling year for Bollywood!

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

So without any more introduction, let the list begin Bollywood Thrillers 2015.

10. Charlie Kay Chakkar Mein

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHzVCdpXBDc

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Multiple homicides caught on camera and now it is the job of the Commissioner of Police (Naseeruddin Shah) and his rookie assistant (Auroshikha Dey) to connect the clues and decipher the mysterious case. 

Directed by Manish Srivastav, a classic suspense drama based on the many definitions of truth, or may be the multiple perceptions of it.

9. Main Aur Charles

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOF9MlEOfuE

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A biographical film on the charismatic con man and a deadly serial killer Charles Sobhraj. 

Directed by Prawaal Raman, the film focuses on his jail break, and also his master plan where every other person is a pawn in the game.

Randeep Hooda brilliantly played the lead, supported by Richa ChaddaTisca Chopra and Adil Hussain

8. Baby

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yu_2nyOP5o

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015As part of a Counter Intelligence Unit, an elite team is desperate to prevent a terrorist attack on India.  

Directed by Neeraj Pandey, this one is a thrilling espionage drama full of tense heart racing moments and well choreographed action.

Akshay Kumar taking the lead, the film also has Danny DenzongpaRana DaggubatiKay Kay MenonAnupam Kher and Rasheed Naz among others.

7. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG–GOpi_0g

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Saradindu Bandopadhyay’s renowned Bengali detective is back in action; he is young, ambitious and ready to learn from his mistakes.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Dibakar Banerjee, and Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead; set in the 1940’s Calcutta, a mysterious case needs the attention of Mr.Byomkesh.

6.  Badlapur

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KEoZanqlOE

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed by Sriram Raghavan, a unique thrilling tale of injustice and revenge.

The film is unusually realistic with strong and well motivated characters.

(Click for the review)

Brilliant performances by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Varun Dhawan, accompanied by Radhika ApteVinay Pathak and Divya Dutta.

5. Nh10

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9icNqWlylw

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A perfect romantic trip turns into a nightmare.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Navdeep Singh, this is one hard hitting thriller where a urban woman experiences the brutal face of rural India, as she unintentionally becomes involved in a case of honor killing.

Anushka Sharma‘s best performance till date.

4. Rahasya

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvm-KpdRrbk

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed by Manish Gupta, a film that is loosely inspired by the Arushi murder case.

A doctor accused of killing his own daughter, but the evidences somehow doesn’t add up. Kay Kay Menon as the CBI investigating officer finally brings justice to this mysterious case.

A perfect thriller with solid performances by Ashish Vidyarthi and Tisca Chopra

3. Drishyam

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuuX2j14NBg

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A thrilling tale of a common man who by his intellect and imagination tricked everyone in order to save his family.

Directed by Nishikant Kamat, a south remake starring Ajay DevgnShriya Saran and Tabu.

A thriller that keeps you on the edges of your seat and doesn’t reveal the suspense till the last shot of the film.

2. Talvar

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQNMsw8Ljjc

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed by Meghna Gulzar, this one is a well researched version of the Noida Double Murder Case of 2008, also known as the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case.

(Click for the review)

Very natural performances by Irrfan KhanKonkona Sen SharmaNeeraj Kabi and Sohum Shah among others.

One of the best realistic thrillers of this year. 

  1.  Titli

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOqiQiMkXDA

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015A family whose family-business is car-jacking, often violently abusing the passengers and looting their valuables.

The youngest member of this family is named Titli (Shashank Arora), and this is his story of freedom.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Kanu Behl, the film is nominated in the Cannes Film Festival, a gritty thriller that shouldn’t be missed.

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

+1. Kajarya

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_1jBPqL9K8

Bollywood-Thrillers-2015Directed by Madhureeta Anand, this one is not the ideal Bollywood thriller you expect but nevertheless, a very significant film of this year.

(Click for the review)

It focuses on the issue of female infanticide and tells a dangerous tale of murder, betrayal and injustice. Brilliant performance by Meenu Hooda

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of 2016

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers

Similar InterestBest Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Poster courtesy: filmywave.commovies80.com

Haraamkhor (2015)

Haraamkhor review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My Ratings: 4/5.

Haraamkhor recently won the Silver Gateway Award at the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival and according to it’s producer Guneet Monga of Sikhya Entertainment, the film is all set to release in the theaters very soon.

It is a rural tale of a teacher-student liaison.

Till now Bollywood has always played the safe game while portraying the ‘sacred’ emotions of a teacher-student relationship; such relations have always been handled delicately, from a safe distance and that too often dipped in deliberately dramatized dignity.

Haraamkhor-poster1But in the film Haraamkhor, the only emotions that are taken into consideration are unprocessed and raw, intense, realistic, and devoid of any kind of sugar-coating for sure.

Set in a small town of Gujarat, a school teacher named Shyam (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is said to be having an affair with one of his student Sandhya (Shweta Tripathi).

At the initial stage though, it all seems to be just a rumor, a small-town gossip but as the film reveals itself along with it’s characters, it soon becomes pretty evident that Shyam and Sandhya’s relation is way beyond the usually expected tutor-pupil correlation. It’s a strange mix of lust and passion, of naive innocence and also a bit of love.

And then, Sandhya being underage (15-year-old) and Shyam being a 35-year-old married man makes their relationship more of a taboo!

The premise is simple but the execution is savagely precise and gritty and very entertaining as well.

Now of course, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the selling point of the film as undoubtedly he is the most gifted actor of our recent times. And yes, he has done a tremendous job with his character in Haraamkhor; the cunning, libidinous, occasionally violent school teacher who at the same time is desperate to maintain his reputation!

But this film is not a one man show.

Haraamkhor-posterThe stage is been shared by another very talented actor Shweta Tripathi, who already appeared earlier in a soulful film called Masaan, and yet again in this film has proved herself to be one of the best upcoming talents of our industry.

Along with the two child actors who added enough humor to the script, Trimala Adhikari‘s performance is also much creditable as Sunita, the wife of the flirtatious school-teacher Shyam.  

Written and directed by debutant Shlok Sharma, the film is an unique combination of serious adult drama and numerous fun-filled moments. An awesome debut film!

Though the ending is not the part to be particularly proud of but overall the film is based on a taut script, beautifully portrayed emotions, attention given to every little details in preparing the characters and superb acting.  

If you prefer realistic films and aren’t shy of looking into an illicit relationship between a minor girl and a much older married man, this film is definitely worth a watch.

poster curtsey: www.clickmaza.comwww.ibnlive.com

JIO MAMI – DAY6 AND 7 (Nawazuddin’s Haraamkhor and much more)

JIO MAMI – DAY6 AND 7.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Every good thing in this world comes to an end and so did the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival.

Featuring 200 films from over 35 countries and this is what the last two days of the festival had in store for me.

 

Day 6 (4nd NOV)

The first film that was waiting for me on the sixth day of the festival was Haraamkhor (2015). A very interesting film to start the day.

haraamkhor1Directed by debutant Shlok Sharma, a film that though gives an impression of light comedy (specially looking at it’s poster) but then it’s not.

A few comic moments here and there, but essentially the film is based on the illicit relationship between a teacher and his student and it’s brutally realistic. 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is as usual the heart of the film, his acting skills are currently the best in the Indian film industry and we all know it. But Shweta Tripathi is one actress to look forward to. She is brilliant in the film and has all the potential of becoming a great actress.

 

And then there was this animated gem of a beautiful film called Belladonna of Sadness (1973).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cdp85x9d0A4

Belladon-posterA peasant woman who has a pact with the devil and challenges the social norms!

Directed by genius Eiichi Yamamoto, a master of visual art and animation.

A film that is considered to be as a classic and why not? Extraordinary visuals and spectacular color play, powerful erotic imagery and a very thin narrative structure.

A must watch for people who are more into visual arts and animation.

 

And then there was The Club (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wqv8PPDfiyw

club-posterDirected by Pablo Larraín, this is both an innovative and a disturbing film.

In a Chilean beach town, the disgraced priests and nuns (suspected of crimes in their past) are sent to stay in a house. And then one day a crisis counselor comes in and everything changes!

Beautiful images and great acting, a terrific story that is too real and hard hitting at times. Something that lasts an impact on you.

 

And the day ended with a superb film called Mia Madre (2015) aka My Mother.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWiFif96t3Y

mia-madre-posterDirected by Nanni Moratti, this one is a film so sensitive and emotional that it makes you miss your own mother/parents.

A film director whose mother in in the hospital, and in-between her busy schedule she visits her and try to comfort her.

Brilliant performances by Margherita BuyNanni MorettiGiulia Lazzaroni and some well deserved comic reliefs by John Turturro – a film that that is complete in it’s own unique way.

 

Day 7 (5nd NOV)

On the last day i watched the only 3D animated film in the festival, Monster Hunt (2015).

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR6JRIlf1jM

monster-hunt-posterThe monster’s world and the human’s world collide and two humans become responsible to protect a baby monster (the future monster king).

The film boasts of awesome animation and superb use of VFX.

Directed by Raman Hui, this Chinese animated film reminded me of my all time favorite film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

A bit kiddish of course but a good watch.

 

And then, there was this soulful film Ottal (2014) aka Trap.

Ottal-posterDirected by Jayaraj, this one is about a poor, young boy whose grandfather wants him to study and become somebody respectable.

But instead of going to a school, the boy ends up as a child worker in a distant town away from the love and protection of his grandfather.

The film is the voice of thousands of such children who are illegally being forced to work under inhuman conditions.

 

Well, this ends the spectacular journey of films and also the JIO MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival. I was glad to be a part of it and will eagerly wait for it the next year.

Thank you.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.ibnlive.comisammakesstuff.tumblr.comwww.cinenews.be.