Showing posts from August, 2012

Movie Review: The Artist

The 2012 French romantic drama film "The Artist" is a silent film shot entirely in black-and-white. The events are narrated through occasional lines of dialogues printed on inter title cards. The period and setting makes it obvious that the story is set in the early 1930s at the cusp when talkie films became the norm and silent movies were gradually fading out. 

The Artist begins with a premiere of silent movie superstar George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) who is screening his latest film to a rapturous audience. He is in every frame like an actual silent movie actor. Following the premiere, he is clicked with Peppy Miller, who wins  a small role in his next film. George is proud of his fame and tries to get the maximum attention when on stage, leaving behind his co-stars. He helps Peppy Miller (Benerice Bejo), a young lady to enter stardom and on the run, scripts his own downfall with her rise. Sound comes to Hollywood and the industry is transformed and Peppy Miller becomes an …

A Flawed Freedom

We inch closer to another 15th August and I think this is the right time for us to introspect on the very idea of "freedom". Theoretically, we are taught to believe that we are free but think of it on a deeper level, are we really free? Hence, it becomes important for us to reflect and debate who is technically free a man/woman and who isn't? Freedom holds different meanings for different people. For me personally, real freedom would when we overcome obstacles such as censorship, manual scavenging, repressive laws and moral policing and to live without being mocked at. 

Our Government loves censoring content. In Iran, we have a talented filmmaker like Jafar Panahi who has been banned from making films till 2030. Closer home, the Government here often talks about censoring online content and filtering "obscene" content floating online. A film like "Paanch" is termed being radical in approach and is accused of having a communal colour hence it is not all…

Movie Review: Balgandharva

The 2011 Marathi film "Balgandharva" by filmmaker Ravi Jadhav is a biographical film on Narayan Sripad Rajhans popularly known as Balgandharva. The name was bestowed to Narayan by Lokmanya Tilak after listening to his public performance in Pune while he was very young. The film has been produced and designed effectively by art director Nitin Desai. 

The film is set in a period before the advent of cinema. Hence, the most popular medium for entertainment was sangeet nataks (drama based music). Balgandharva won many hearts in his roles he played as a woman because women did not perform roles on stage then. The film is set in between the real plays performed by the actor-singer. On the opening day of his play "Sangeet Manapmaan", his infant daughter dies. The determination to continue despite his daughter's death is one of the most poignant scenes in cinema I've come across lately. He enthralls the audience with his performance as Bhamini and fully devoting him…