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

Best Indian Films to watch at the 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 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 some of the best Indian films (Fiction) that demands your attention while you get busy with the festival!

  1. A Death in the Gunj

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

a-death-in-the-gunj-posterA unique coming of age film based on a young boy who has some conflicted ideas of masculinity.

Featured in the Section: Opening Film, the film cast includes Gulshan DevaiahKalki KoechlinVikrant MasseyOm PuriTillotama ShomeRanvir ShoreyTanuja among others.

The opening film at the festival and also actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut.

2. Lipstick Under My Burkha

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpHqeHF8NM0

lipstick-under-my-burkha-posterDirected by Alankrita Shrivastava, the film featured in the Section: India Gold chronicles the secret lives of four small-town women who wants to break-free from their regular lives, and rebel in search of freedom.

The film features a very interesting starcast – Konkona Sen SharmaRatna PathakVaibbhav TatwawdiSushant SinghShashank Arora among others. 

3. Idiot (TV Mini-Series)

Ahamaq (original title)

Featured in the Section: The New Medium this film was originally a idiot-postertelevision series based on Dostoevsky’s famous novel by the same name.

Featuring Shah Rukh KhanMita VasishtAyub Khan-Din among others and directed by the acclaimed Mani Kaul in the year 1991, this earlier unreleased movie is definitely one of the prime attraction in the festival.

4. Tu Hai Mera Sunday

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJxbALLv6ug

tu-hai-mera-sunday-posterDirected by Milind Dhaimade, this is the story of five friends who struggle to find a place to play football in Mumbai.

Featured in the Section: India Gold, this movie is not only about missing the every-Sunday football game ritual at the Juhu Beach, but it’s also about growing up, about friendship and about finding one’s own space, and then of course happiness!

 5. Bioscope

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlw58ZW-ViI

Mitraa directed by Ravi Jadhav, Bail by Girish Mohite, Ek Hota Kau by bioscope-posterViju Mane and Dili e Nadaan by Gajendra Ahire – four talented directors and their four short films!

Featured in the Section: Marathi Talkies, this is a highly anticipated anthology film in the festival that is definitely worth your time!

6. Kalpana (1948) 

kalpana-posterThe genius dancer Uday Shankar directed and acted in this classic film which is currently featured under the Section: The New Medium at the festival. 

A unique form of story telling, a real “dance film” – rare and brilliant, such accurate compositions and use of various dance forms makes this film visually breathtaking and highly unconventional as well.

7. Autohead

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

autohead-posterSection: India Gold, directed by Rohit Mittal, this one is a feature length mockumentary in which a documentary crew follows a notorious auto rickshaw driver called Narayan in the suburbs of Mumbai. 

The movie overall has a voyeuristic quality since the film-crew directly becomes the part of this weird, sexually frustrated and often mentally deranged life of the auto driver. Dangerous and realistic at the same time!

8. Maroon

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9g81zbVHA0

maroon-posterThe story is of an insomniac university professor in Dehradun, who betrayed by his loving wife has been marooned into loneliness; where he suffers psychologically and becomes delusional.

A thriller that is being featured under the Section: The India Story, directed by Pulkit – and casting  Manav KaulDevyaniSaurabh SachdevaSumeet Vyas among others.

9. Pinky Beauty Parlour

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KTFUg3YwBs

Directed by Akshay Singh, this film makes a statement on the Indian obsession of fair skin!pinky-beauty-parlour-poster The story revolves around a certain beauty parlour in Banaras run by two sisters Pinky and Bulbul.

But the film takes a different turn when a body is being found and soon two police men come to investigate. Featuring under Section: The India Story, this film is surely something to look out for in this festival.

10. Donkey in a Brahmin Village (1977)

Agraharathil Kazhuthai (original title)

Featured in the Section: The New Medium, this brilliant piece of cinema is a satire told in an uniquely innovative and surreal agraharathil-kazhuthai-posternarrative style!

Directed by the renowned filmmaker John Abraham, the movie is basically on brahminical bigotry and superstitions.

On the brink of being banned and the film was highly ignored for a long time inspite of receiving a national award!

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

+1. Anatomy of Violence (2016)

anatomy-of-violence-posterThough categorised as a Canadian entry, this film is based on an Indian issue, the language is Hindi and it’s also made by an acclaimed director from Indian origin, none other than Deepa Mehta!

The film revolves around the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old girl by six men inside a moving bus in New Delhi, December 2012. A fictionalised take on the incident and the consequences of such a gruesome crime on our society.

A few docu-fictions that also looks enticing and entertaining India in a DayThe Cinema TravellersBurqa Boxers and An Insignificant Man

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

Nil Battey Sannata (2015)

Nil Battey Sannata review

written by Souranath Banerjee

An issue based film double dipped in a cup of sweet mother-daughter-emotions, and it’s totally worth your time!

My Ratings: 4.1/5.

Stardom in Bollywood always guarantees a mega box-office collection but what if, you are in a mood to tell some decent humane tale through a film of real values and quality?

Well, for that all you need is a couple of brilliant actors like Swara Bhaskar and Riya Shukla, a director with a vision similar to Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and an awesome story like Nil Battey Sannata!

Yes, a highly anticipated film (among the non-comercial cinema
Nil-battey-sannata-reviewlovers) Nil Battey Sannata is finally released and it’s superbly entertaining, very emotional and most importantly a film that perfectly resonates our society.

A young mischievous girl Apeksha aka Appu studying for her 10th class board exams, when asked about her future career plans replies to her mom Chanda (who by profession is a ‘bai’ or house maid) –

‘Ek engenier ka beta engenier banta hai, ek doctor ka beta doctor, toh bai ki beti kyaa banegi?’

Now this particular line though delivered in casually by a girl says a lot about our current Indian society. It portrays the general mentality of a kid coming from a family below the poverty line whose dreams to become a doctor, engineer or collector is automatically restrained and are forced to be moulded according to their financial/social status.

Nil-battey-sannata-reviewThe film makes us question that being a single mother and that too from a poor financial background, is it too ambitious for Chanda (Swara Bhaskar) to dream a better future for her beloved daughter Appu (Riya Shukla)?

Though the film essentially revolves around the social issue of education and it’s importance in our community (especially for the women) but the real brilliance of Nil Battey Sannata comes from the  unique relationship between a mother who sacrifices her life’s happiness to give her daughter a decent education and her daughter who being too immature and naive doesn’t able to value her mother’s sacrifice (or so it seems to be).

Nil Battey Sannata though predictable at times has been made with great care and sensitivity, and it does manage to pull the right strings Nil-battey-sannata-reviewto make the audiences all chocked up and teary-eyed by the end.

And then, the superlative acting by Swara Bhaskar (she has always been my favorite and a real performer)Ratna Pathak (sheer perfection)Pankaj Tripathy (brilliantly funny), Riya Shukla (immense potential) and a couple of other child actors – such exclusive natural performances are the real reason for the film’s success.

It ends with a dialogue about achieving your dreams that instantly reminds us of The Pursuit of Happyness, but then Nil Battey Sannata is definitely a film to watch and get inspired from.

If you like good films with simple human sentiments – don’t miss it.

Poster courtesy: www.bollywoodmdb.com