19th Mumbai Film Festival- Day 7 Roundup (MAMI 2017)

The last day of MAMI is a relief in a way. The assault on your senses of movies, no matter how wondrous and exciting is too much to process after a point. I have been a witness to 31 stories over the past week, two of which I was glad to abandon and one I want to complete soon. Here's my roundup of the final day.

Beauty And The Dogs- A film organised with technical precision and some incredibly tense moments, Beauty And The Dogs tells a story we already know. All of the film's male characters save for one, are unsympathetic or passive with a sordid cruelty; a choice which could be a symbolic representation of the reality for women or lazy characterization. I was gripped till the last frame but I failed to take away anything new from the story which could easily have been based in India.

Omerta- A film which I didn't plan on seeing at MAMI initially, Omerta will work for you if you are aware of the political events of the 90s and early 00s. The dialogues seem stale with hard…

19th Mumbai Film Festival- Day 6 Roundup (MAMI 2017)

The feeling of walking into films you know might underwhelm isn't a good one. But playing down one's expectations also helps as I found in the case of Scary Mother but found it to be accurate for Bad Lucky Goat. Here's my roundup of Day 6-

Funeral Parade Of Roses- I probably shouldn't rise about this film as I had to rush before it could end but whatever I saw on the screen was so awe inspiring, I cannot help it. The classic film, which is said to have inspired Kubrick's Clockwork Orange flashes mesmerizing imagery within a non-linear story. I cannot wait to revisit the film and complete it.

On The Beach At Night Alone- Hang Sang-soo's On The Beach Alone At Night is longer than Claire's Camera and seems more complete in its realisation and execution. Conversations dominate a large part of what you see in the film and they work to a great effect due to their organic flow. I was frequently reminded of Linklater during the film, the master at creating engaging …

19th Mumbai Film Festival- Day 5 Roundup (MAMI 2017)

What is the word to describe the perfect joy and balance you feel when you get center seats for a movie? Can we invent one? How about Movielilibrium? No? I will keep trying. Until then, here's my Day 5 roundup.

Centaur- A story based in Kyrgyzstan merits some attention due to our ignorance of their lives and culture. But that's not the only thing which works in the favour of Centaur. A well shot film with endearing performances, Centaur delighted me with its humor and narrative revelations. I concur that the story might end up being predictable and underwhelming for some, but the final scene left me thoroughly concerned about the characters.

Winter Brothers- The Danish film is not an easy watch. The lives of brothers who work as miners is explored with sporadic outbursts of violence. The cinematography is beautiful and immersive, taking one into the experience of miners but the narrative choices seem out of place and confusing to viewers as well as the choices the characters ma…

19th Mumbai Film Festival - Day 4 Roundup (MAMI 2017)

As I write this, I am currently going through a glow of watching two phenomenal films in one day. The joy and peace that inspires is incomparable to anything. Here's my roundup of day 4-

Lover For A Day- Philippe Garrel's film is one of the shortest at the festival but it still manages to tell us plenty. A story on love, heartbreak, and fidelity may seem predictable but is elevated by some great dialogues. The film will do little to counter the French stereotype but is a delightful addition in their unique exploration of love and its effects.
Call Me By Your Name- I can hardly believe that Luca Guadagnino has made this film after A Bigger Splash. The director reins in his instincts for the absurd and dramatic akin to his previous film in this adaptation of Andre' Aciman's novel. A phenomenal film I am still processing and trying to place in my zone of attachment (which The Florida Project seems to have satiated for now), it holds astounding performances from the cast ( …

19th Mumbai Film Festival- Day 3 Roundup (MAMI 2017)

Five films are a task in this festival and six the method of the resilient. The first attempt to do five films this year proved to be arduous as sleep invaded my senses as the fourth film ended. The fifth film tested my patience and sleep, thereby causing the first walkout for this edition of the festival. Here's my roundup of the films I did manage to watch-

The Workshop- The political meets the personal in French film 'The Workshop'. A coming of age of teenagers is made into an affecting reflection of the times we live in. The film personally resonated as a struggle to create fiction post 2016, when reality has pervaded in all aspects of one's life.

Claire's Camera- Hang Sang-soo's 'Claire's Camera' was shot at Cannes during the 2016 edition of the festival. Isabelle Huppert and Kim Min-hee star in this story of friendship and love told with smart narrative choices. The film ends up leaving a sweet after-taste in its short run-time but fails to har…

19th Mumbai Film Festival- Day 2 Roundup (MAMI 2017)

There is nothing quite like the Versova section of the Mumbai Film Festival. The word which constantly surfaces in my mind in my third year of MAMI at the Andheri cinemas is entitlement. I had just one screening in PVR ECX today but it helped me warmup for the arduous days ahead. Gossip you didn't ask for, gossip which you already knew, factoids you want to ask more about but aren't part of the conversation, and countless opinions fill the time between the screenings. Here's my roundup of the films for Day 2 while the conversations will need a few years to be analysed and documented.

Most Beautiful Island- Ana Asensio's Most Beautiful Island has some of the most intense final minutes you will see on film this year. Mediocre dialogues and cliched characterizations make the journey to these fulfilling minutes a struggle but once there, the film grips you in with a tight hold. An unconventional peek into the immigrant experience in America deserves a one-time watch despit…

19th Mumbai Film Festival- Day 1 Roundup (MAMI 2017)

I spent the day watching all films playing at Regal. Here's my verdict on all the 4 watches in what has been a punctual and brisk festival so far.

Patti Cakes: Good music and great performances elevate a by the numbers story of following one's dreams. Danielle Macdonald is terrific as the lead with a strong support cast offering an endearing story, even if  it settles for quick resolutions in the end. The OST album will be on your mind perhaps longer than the film.

Wonderstruck: A technically satisfying script which addresses the tiniest loopholes can still be vacuous and that hasn't been proved by anything more than Wonderstruck. The film engaged me thoroughly in its third act but the result isn't close to satisfying enough to make up for the sluggish pace and several minutes of indecipherable narrative. A paper-thin story is stretched to feign profundity, crumbling under its burden while throwing up exquisite images and interesting musical choices.

Last Flag Flying: Ri…

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