Tag Archives: Shoojit Sircar

BEST BENGALI FILMS 2015 – 2016 (10+1list)

Best Bengali Films 2015 – 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

Hello to all you Bengali ‘nak uchu’ snobs who consider Bengali Cinema/Literature/Music as the epitome of art and creativity – well, glad to announce that I am exactly like you!

And when ever we Bengalis talk about Cinema, we time travel to the memorable glorious past of Bengali Cinema – the days of Satyajit RayMrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak and then coming back to the present we proudly allude to the likes of Rituparno GhoshBuddhadev DasguptaGautam GhoseAparna Sen.

Such legendary directors and their invaluable contribution to World Cinema make us feel honoured and content, and why not?

Similar Interest: Best Bengali Films 2012 – 2014

Similar Interest: Best Bengali Classic Comedies of all times

However this current list is of more recent times, the last two years to be exact (2015 – 2016), a list of the best Bengali films from exceptionally talented directors who are very much the present and the future of Bengali Film Industry!

Best Bengali Films 2015 – 2016 – let the countdown begin!

10. Double Feluda (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1V7VWYKbeI

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016Sandip Ray have made his latest film on none other than two back to back mystery stories originally written by Satyajit Ray, based on the famous detective character Feluda!

And guess what, Sabyasachi Chakraborty is back in and as Feluda and still rocking! And then of course we have Saheb Bhattacharjee as Topshe and Paran Banerjee as Sidhu Jetha. I only wish that somebody could replace Mr.Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu aka Santosh Dutta as well. I guess some people are just irreplaceable!

9. Belaseshe (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0zUrtioA2g

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016Directed by Shibprasad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy, probably the best film that explores the intricate emotional values of various human relationships, be it married or unmarried, short time or a life-long companionship!

Brilliant chemistry between Soumitra Chatterjee and Swatilekha Sengupta straight after they shared the screen in Satyajit Ray‘s Ghare-Baire in the year 1984.

8. Byomkesh O Chiriakhana (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjc4ogHSOo0

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016It seems that the Bengali-audience can never have enough of their favourite detective Mr.Byomkesh Bakshi.

Directed by Anjan Dutt, this thriller revolves around the murder of a judge and this time Jishu Sengupta plays the role of the typical ‘bhodrolok’ sleuth to perfection. And Saswata Chatterjee as Byomkesh’s friend/assistant Ajit and Usashi Chakraborty as Byomkesh’s wife Satyabati.

7. Shankhachil (2016)

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

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016Acclaimed director Goutam Ghose‘s latest film won the National Award for Best Bengali film of 2016!  

It’s a India-Bangladesh joint venture and the story is also based on consequences of partition and how people get affected by it still today.

Commendable performances by child artist Shajbati and then of course Prasenjit Chatterjee, Kusum SikderDipankar Dey all have given their best. 

6. Eagoler Chokh (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oZZkXdFRS0

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016Based on Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay‘s story and directed by Arindam Sil this is the best detective thriller among the endless Bengali-detective movies that had been churned out in the last year.

The investigator Shabor Dasgupta played perfectly by Saswata Chatterjee slowly connects the dots as he cracks a murder case of a young woman.

Ebar Shabor, by the same director and based on the same detective character is also worth your time.

5. Chotoder Chobi (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8xRKKtL2Oo

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016An emotional heart-touching love story between two people born with genetic defect causing dwarfism.

Directed by Kaushik Ganguly, this slow-pace drama won a National Award in the ‘Best Film on Other Social Issues’ category.

Unique concept, superb direction and brilliant natural performances by Debalina Roy and Dulal Sarkar. Mr.Dulal Sarkar was also awarded best-actor at Goa International Film Festival last year.

4. Nirbashito (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iang3nizjTE

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016A biography of a writer in exile, a story about her isolation, her hopes and her helplessness – officially not based on the life of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen but rather inspired by her life post exile.

Directed and also performed by Churni Ganguly, the film won the National Award for Best Bengali film of 2015 and also was India’s Oscar nomination in the category “Best foreign film” in 2015!

3. Open Tee Bioscope (2015)

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

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016Adolescence, adventures and experiences, friends and infatuations – Kolkata seen through the eyes of a young boy.

Superb performances by the young actors Riddhi Sen,  Surangana Banerjee,  Dhee Majumder.

Directed by Anindya Chatterjee and Shoojit Sircar, if you want to experience the nostalgic North Kolkata of the 90s, this is the film you should watch!

2. Cinemawala (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9_lUiinpFo

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016This film beautifully takes on two different tussles – one, as the digital media threatens the single screen movie theatres specially in the small towns and the secondly, the universal clash between a father and his son.

Brilliantly performed by Paran Banerjee and Parambrata Chatterjee and directed by Kaushik Ganguly, an emotional tale that Cinema-lovers cannot miss. 

  1. Praktan (2016)

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

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016

A married woman meets her ex husband while they are on a journey from Mumbai to Howrah by train – a beautiful film about relations and relationships.

Directed by Shibprasad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy, probably the most popular Bengali film of the last couple of years portraying a brilliant chemistry between Prasenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta.

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

+1. Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)

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

Best-Bengali-Films-2015-2016Also known as Labour of Love, this is one unique film that won two National Awards and was appreciated in many festivals around the world.

(click for the review)

Directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, starring  Ritwick Chakraborty and Basabdatta Chatterjee this is one of the best non-comercial visual treat that happened to the Bengali Industry in the recent times.

A few other films that are also worth your time are Srijit Mukherji‘s Rajkahini (2015), Suman Mukhopadhyay‘s The Last Poem (2015), Pavel‘s Babar Naam Gandhiji (2015) and Suman Ghosh‘s Kadambari (2015).

 Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

18th JIO MAMI – The Events and The Star-struck Moments!

18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016 – the Star-struck Moments!

written by Souranath Banerjee

To engage and communicate with the film buffs of our country Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival for the last few years has been amitabh-and-jaya-bachchanincluding multiple interactive sessions and events that make the overall experience of the film festival all the more interesting!

So here are some of the best events of this year!

MOVIE MELA:

Jio MAMI Movie Mela with Star ended on a high note with three panel discussions and up close and personal chats with some of the most celebrated names in the Indian film industry.

Panel One: VR discussion with Gabo Arora, Raja Koduri, Anand karan-johar-and-aishwarya-rai-bachchanGandhi and moderator Shakun Batra pondered upon current usage of virtual reality.

Panel Two: In conversation with Directors – Rohit Shetty, Zoya Akhtar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Gauri Shinde and Shoojit Sircar, moderated by film critic Rajeev Masand and Jio MAMI with Star, Festival Director Anupama Chopra.

Panel Three: Actor Shahid Kapoor in conversation with Rajeev Masand and Anupama Chopra about his journey in the industry so far.

PLAY SECTION ON WEB SERIES

Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star had an exciting day at PLAY, the youngest section which celebrates the digital narrative through the best of web series of India.

Panel one: The Writers Panel saw some interesting insights on how the web series content is driven to the young audience and how 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016writers want to connect to the youth of India because television as a medium has nothing for them. This panel had Sumeet Vyas (TVF- Permanent Rommates & Tripling), Nidhi Bisht (TVF), Sattvik Mishra (ScoopWhoop), Varun Grover (Writer), Preetika Chawla (Actor-Producer), Naveen Richard (Writer-Actor) in conversation with Shreevasta Nevatia.

Panel two: The Business Panel had some industry experts talking about the business of web series and how profitable the model is? This panel included Sameer Saxena (TVF Originals), Anand Tiwari (Actor-Writer), Rohan Sippy (Producer), Ashish Patil (Y-Films), Samir Nair (Balaji Telefilms) and Swara Bhaskar (Actor) in 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016conversation with curator Nikhil Taneja.

The Best of PLAY saw the team of TVF Permanent Roommates, TVF Tripling, Y-Films Sex chat with Pappu and Pappa, Not Fit by Dice Media and many more.

PLAY also world premiered some of the web series which included Little things (Pocket Aces), NRI (OML), Qisson ka Kona (OML), Ramsay Reloaded (101 India), Sneh (ScoopWhoop) and Yes Kaneez (OML).

SPECIAL SCREENING FOR THE UNDER PRIVILEGED YOUTH OF THE COUNTRY

Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star, in association with Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), presented a special anupama-chopra-and-kiran-raoscreening for the under privileged youth of the country. Le Reve (Globus), Bandra hosted the screening of ‘Shree Devi Phataka’, directed by Navin Chapade on October 23rd, 2016 for youth from the deprived areas of Mankhurd, Ambujwadi, Jogeshwari, Wadala, Chembur and few other parts of Maharashtra.

WOMEN IN FILM

Day Five at the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star saw some great sessions for film as well as television audiences.

Starting from the Oxfam and Jio MAMI with Star Women in Film Brunch at JW Marriot saw some powerful like MAMI Chairperson, Kiran Rao, Oxfam head, Nisha Agarwal, Konkana SenSharma, Richa Chaddha, Poonam Dhillon, Ekta Kapoor, Leena Yadav, Deborah oxfam-women-in-film-pannelYoung, Maanvi Gagroo, Nidhi Singh and more.

Oxfam discussed Women and Films with Oxfam Head, Nisha Agarwal, Christine Vachon, Leena Yadav, Rucha Pathak, Tala Hadid, Vibha Bakshi, Tillotama Shome and moderator Rahul Bose. The discussion covered topics like the portrayal of women in Indian cinema and how it affects the way we portray their roles in our society.

And then there were some very interesting events to follow:

18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016Television Vertical screened the world premiere of ‘P.O.W.’ The panel included Primetime Emmy Winner Cary Fukunaga, Gideon Raff, Gaurav Banerjee and Nikkhil Advani in conversation with Nikhil Taneja about the changes in the way TV series have evolved over the years.

Mani Kaul’s tour de force, Ahamaq, was on the big screen for the ahamaq-reunion-posterfirst time. Uncut and in its pure form Ahamaq a nostalgic celebration. Present for the screening were cast including Mita Vashisht, Ashish Rajadhyaksha, D Wood, Vikram Joglekar and others.

Remembering Bimal Roy was a special tribute to someone who has a 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016big contribution to our entire cinema heritage. Joy Bimal Roy, Jaya Bachchan, Apurva Asrani, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Namrata Joshi in conversation with Rauf Ahmed.

Events and Films, 18th JIO MAMI MUMBAI FILM FESTIVAL with STAR 2016 a heaven for all you Cinema-Lovers. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy: mumbaifilmfest.com

Pink (2016)

Pink review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Powerful message in Bollywood style, and yet very entertaining!

My Ratings: 4/5.

‘Perfect film for our society boss, aise film aur banne chahiye yaar’ – these were the exact words of a man sitting in front of me in the cinema hall right after the end titles of the film Pink.

According to an Indian Express Article dated at the beginning of this damini-posteryear, the number of rape and molestation cases in India were recently at it’s peak. Unfortunately it’s a known fact.

Inspite of maximum cases not being reported, in Delhi alone last year (2015) there were six cases of rape and 15 cases of molestation registered every day!

Indian filmmakers have been tackling such grave and challenging social issues for a long time now; portraying them in a sensible manner and creating awareness through films like Ankush (1986), Insaf Ka Tarazu (1980), Damini (1993), Dahan (1998), Bawandar (2000), Grahan (2001) and more.

But then, coming back to the latest release Pink, this movie has somehow managed to sum up all the significant problems of our current Indian society and put them raw on a platter. And furthermore the film also succeeds in reminding us that the solution to these problems are very much within us (basically our mind-set) and can be countered only if we realise and act on it.

The story-line doesn’t seem too complicated at the first glance – three independent working-girls Minal, Falak and Andrea (Tapsee PannuKirti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang) get mixed up in a brawl pink-poster1with a group of rich influential guys (Angad BediVijay VarmaRaashul Tandon and Tushar Pandey) who had the intention to sexually harass them. The girls did protest but can they eventually fight back against the corruption and the feudal mentality of our current male-dominated society?

Who will help these girls win their battle for justice? (Hint: an actor named Amitabh Bachchan)

Superb performances by Mr.Bachchan as the cranky lawyer Deepak Sehgal wearing his spooky mask and all, probably one of his best roles in the recent times!

Tapsee Pannu and Kriti Kulhari have also displayed such amazing acting capabilities, subtle yet so natural!

Then of course we have Piyush Mishra as the challenging lawyer
pink-posteragainst Amitabh Bachchan in the dramatic court scenes, always a delight to watch him perform!

Also we have acting stalwarts like Dhritiman Chatterjee and Mamta Shankar in brief yet important roles.

But according to me the true success of Pink is not because of the film’s overall brilliance in the acting department; the real heroes are the writer Ritesh Shah and of course the director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury who has managed to balance such a sensitive topic so well. 

Shantanu Moitra‘s music perfectly complements the film while Shoojit Sircar rocks the show as the creative producer.

A few unnecessary dramatisations and distractions here and there, but overall pink is a film that connects to the audience and shoots it’s message across from a point blank range.

Go watch it.

Poster courtesy: www.bollywoodmdb.com

Best of Bollywood 2015 (10+1list)

Best of Bollywood 2015.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Bollywood cinema essentially means films made in Hindi language, generally produced and distributed in and around the Bombay Film Industry.

Last year 2015, according to me, was a good year for Bollywood.

Films, some of them of finest quality have been made or released, which successfully maintained the thin line between aesthetics and entertainment, and kept both the critics and the audience content.

And so, here is the list of Best of Bollywood 2015. Hope you agree with me on this. (If not, then let’s at least disagree on it)

10. Drishyam

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

Drishyam-posterA 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 very last shot of the film.

9. Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyX4toD395U

Bajrangi-Bhaijaan-posterA Salman Khan film, that has a realistic story line, enough scope for acting and most importantly high on emotions and less on dramabazi!

Directed by Kabir Khan, this one is about a big hearted man who went all the way to Pakistan to unite a cute little girl (who is also mute) with her parents.   

A perfect family entertainment clubbed with fun-filled sentiments.

8. Tanu Weds Manu Returns

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

tanu-weds-manu-returns-poster1With a double role (playing the sexy Tanu and the tomboyish Datto) Kangana Ranaut yet again shows that she is currently THE best actress in Bollywood.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aanand Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma Tanu Weds Manu Returns guarantees a smile on the audiences face as they leave the theaters. And believe me that’s a huge achievement. 

7. Nh10

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

nh10-poster1A 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.

Raw, edgy, gritty and very much realistic, and undoubtedly Anushka Sharma‘s best performance till date.

6. Bajirao Mastani

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHOc-4D7MjY

Bajirao-Mastani-poster2A take on the life of Baji Rao Ballal Balaji Bhat, a Maratha general of the early 1700!

(Click for the review)

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, there are rarely any Bollywood films (if any) that are so pleasing to your eyes that the story, content and characters almost get sidetracked by the sheer beauty of each and every frame.

5. Margarita, with a Straw

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

Margarita-with-a-Straw-posterDirected by Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniyar this is an exceptional film about a young girl with cerebral palsy who is not afraid to fall in love!

(Click for the review)

Kalki Koechlin – her innocence, her vulnerability, her dialogue delivery, her body language, expressions, her smile – she is the reason to watch this film.

4. Talvar

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

Talvar-Poster2Directed 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)

A gripping tale that often makes it difficult for the audience to remember that after all, it’s a fictional representation of the dismal crime and its aftermath.

3. Piku

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeiKUlUUNQ8

piku-poster1Directed by Shoojit Sircar, one of the best entertaining films of the year, emotional, real and so much fun.

(Click for the review)

Amitabh Bachchan as the selfish constipated dad,  Deepika Padukone as the devotedly caring yet tired of taking-care-of daughter and Irrfan Khan as the suitable suitor (perhaps).

2. Titli

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

titliA 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, and this is his story of freedom.

(Click for the review)

Superbly directed by Kanu Behl, the film even got a nomination at the Cannes Film Festival!

  1. Masaan

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVZzYa0MxM8

masaan-posterBrilliantly directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, there is a certain honesty about Masaan that eventually grows on you and within it’s 100 min screen time, the film compels you to relate to it’s characters.

(Click for the review)

Shot in Varanasi, stories and incidents are threaded together like precious little pearls and the thread being the holy Ganges!

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

+1. Manjhi: The Mountain Man

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9KAoTQlEWs

mountain-man-poster-1Directed by Ketan Mehta,  a brilliant biopic of Dashrath Manjhi, a man who single-handedly (with only a hammer and a chisel) sliced open the mountain to make a passage through it, reducing the distance from his village to the nearest hospital to minimal.

(Click for the review)

It took him 22 years but he made the impossible possible.

Poster courtesy:  www.bollywoodmdb.com

Piku (2015)

Piku review.

written by Abhikendu Deb Roy

Ratings: 4.5/5.

Shit happens, probably the reason Piku was ever filmed. There are certain films where one aspect of the script gets more importance than the characters present in the film. Shoojit Sircar, who always comes up with out-of-the-box ideas for his films, gives life to ‘Constipation’ in his new film ‘Piku’. Not only does the film explore more on bowel movement, it also sheds light on the beaut father-daughter relationship.

Piku-poster1To be honest, Piku doesn’t really have a story. It is simply an assemblage of the daily fights we have with our parents, the skip-a-beat moments when we receive romantic vibes from another person or maybe the arguments families have regarding property sale. It is these nuances which make the film highly relatable. You will, however, never feel the absence of a story, because the premise keeps you engaged all throughout the road journey from Delhi to Kolkata. Screenwriter Juhi Chaturvedi collaborates such moments and stitches a well knit script out of it.

‘Bhaskor Banerjee, Bangalee’ – the prudent selfish constipated 70 year old widower effortlessly emanates ‘Hypochondriasis’ or illness anxiety disorder from every organ of his body. Amitabh Bachchan delights us time and again, sometimes irritating us with his stubborn attitude and at times being the sweetest white-haired child ever. Deepika Padukone has proves herself again as ‘Piku’, her eyes emoting tiredness alongside care and affection for her dad. Piku is the sole person ‘Bhaskor Babu’ can depend on. Irrfan Khan is one of the gifts to Bollywood which shall be cherished for life. Jishu Sengupta and Moushumi Chatterjee get into the skin of their characters with ease, as well.

Cinematographer Kamaljeet Negi frames the locales of Delhi, the bylanes of Kolkata and the Ganga ghats of Banaras with utmost passion which is exhibited on screen. The scenic beauty of the Delhi-Kolkata Expressway does snatch your attention at times from the cute little fights between the father and the daughter. Editor Chandrashekhar Prajapati makes the film as crisp and tight as possible, limiting the duration to around 2 hours 5 minutes.

Piku-posterThe greatest gift of the film, after the cast, is its music. Anupam Roy’s first Bollywood work leaves us mesmerized. Each and every track comes up right at the correct situation, at the correct time. The Journey Song is the jewel of all the songs, the only complaint being that the full song is never played in the film. The background music, again by Roy, is apt for the film and sets the mood of the scenes quite justifiably.

Final Verdict: The ‘Bangalee’ biasness shall always remain. A certain ‘Ei Poth Jodi Na Shesh Hoye’ sung by Bachchan, the father-daughter duo dancing their hearts out to ‘Jibone Ki Pabona’, the ‘Angry Not-So-Young Man’ mouthing cuss words like ‘Shuorer Bachcha’, there’s too much bangalianaa screaming out from the pages of the scripts. This light-hearted family entertainer, which also allows us to learn to take responsibilities of your parents after a certain age, is the perfect mood fixer for the weekend. Go and watch the film, you shall walk out of the theatres mesmerized and ‘Bezubaan’.