Archive for the ‘Regional’ Category

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DEVARU KADU is a film written and directed by Pratibha Ram Reddy. It is a heart-rending tale of a family’s battle for survival. Upon losing his father, the protagonist Deva and his mother leave their native place in the forest & go to the city in search of livelihood. While the mother works in other people’s houses, the young boy added to the kitty by doing odd jobs as a rag-picker. Finally when he grows up, he takes a loan and purchases a rickshaw and lugs it to make his living.

In the meanwhile, health of his mother deteriorates and she longs to go back to her native place. Deva attempts to carry out her final wish, but she die during the return journey. Deva buries her ‘ashes’ besides that of his father’s grave. Hereafter, Deva starts growing trees in the surrounding areas (as per the wishes of his parents & manage to convert the barren land which his family had to abandon to seek greener pastures in the city) and within forty years, a forest emerges out of his extraordinary efforts.

Quite a powerful film, this.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Yesterday I was watching a Kannada film titled HOOMALE. It was basically a tale of love between an infatuated young man and a widow set in the backdrop of Assam. Having grown up in the North East, I have a fair knowledge of the region. Watching this particular film left me quite shaken …

I felt the film directed by one S. Chandrasekhar projected Assam in the most callous way. A particular sequence has the protagonist celebrating Karnataka Day in Guwahati. During the celebration, a toast was being raised with the vow that “Karnataka should not be allowed to go the Assam and Jammu & Kashmir way.” The horrifying situation that was shown in the film is mostly an exaggeration that can be felt by anyone familiar with the region.

Filmmakers ought to be sensitive when they make films incorporating developments and cultures of different states of the country. This would unquestionably lead to a much needed National integration in the truest sense. If interested, you may catch this movie today @ 2pm in Lok Sabha TV.

I was surprised that the film was given National award for Integration. OMG!!!

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BISHWAPRAKASH is a film directed by Sushant Mishra (Meemansha). It follows the life of one Bishwaprakash, a young man aimless in life, earning his livelihood through fish trade and also doubles up as a tour guide in Puri. The film lovingly captures the various aspects of life in the sea town.
We are introduced to one Anjali (Nandita Das) – a spinster who is saddled with an elderly ailing mother (like Jamini in Mrinal Sen’s KHANDAHAR) the father having left for an unknown destination twenty-two years ago. There’s a hint of a relationship of her with our protagonist but that is not taken towards a logical conclusion. Anjali is trying to run a hotel business singularly in the town. She makes attempts to rope in Bishwaprakash as a partner in the business, but he refuses. Her client includes mostly people from commune like ISKCON who come to spend a few days amidst the quietude of Puri. In one such instance, Anjali becomes close to a Bengali lady from ISKCON and together they discuss about many aspects of their existence …
In the meanwhile, the municipal authorities has drawn up a list of buildings to be demolished as a consequence of recent deaths of a few foreign tourists living in one such dilapidated lodging which caved in resulting in the casualties.
The protagonist came from a family of priests and was subjected to ridicule because of his association in the fish trade. He wanted to make a killing by entering the promising fish export market but derision by his family members especially his father saddened him. He longed to escape from the stifling confines of life in Puri. He befriends a white woman June, a tourist who has come on a visit to Puri. He takes them around touristy spots and sparks kindles in his relationship with June. Does June help him escape from his unbearable existence in Puri? Watch to find out.
Rating: 3.6 out of 5

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Frankly speaking, in spite of having spent half a century in India, I have never heard about a community speaking the language TULU. It was a pleasant surprise to catch a wonderful film made in this language recently, a language spoken in South India.

The film traces the life of a traditional performing artist of the community speaking Tulu. He is an elderly person, a boozer who is carrying the mantle of being a Kola dancer – an inheritance bequeathed on him by his forefathers who were Kola dancers for generation. His son, who often went without food because his father spent his little earnings (for about five months in a year) on drinking, resolved to break out of the family profession. Working hard at studies, he manages a reasonably good paying job as a teacher.

However, fate deals a cruel blow to his aspiration  as his father falls from a tree and fractures his leg. He is advised not to perform Kola dance ever again. The village elders and his father now implore the son to give up teaching and carry on the family tradition of being a Kola dancer. After initial resistance, the son  agrees to the proposal of his father…

Gagaras (bells) are ornaments tied to the legs of Bhoota Kola performers. Bhoota Kola are performed usually between October and May in this region. Directed by Shiv Dhwaj, the film won National Award in 2008 for best regional film. Its duration is one hour and 50 minutes.

This is a thought provoking film and offers insight into the lives of hardship of performing artists, the struggles of their progeny caught between keeping the family tradition alive and the demands of education in a modern society .  I found some echoes of Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s BAGH BAHADUR and the Konkani film DIGANT in this work.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5

561129-gkff-2015-naayi-neralu-film(1)In some respects, Girish Kasarvalli’s NAYI NIRALU (In the Shadow of the Dog) is similar to Satyajit Ray’s APUR SANSAR. The final sequence where the heroine Venku holds her little child that she must raise and provide for bears similarity to Apu holding his son aloft signifying that lives must go on inspite of personal tragedies that transpired in their lives. In APUR SANSAR Apu loses his wife, in NAYI NERALU the protagonist Venku lost her husband who had drowned around two decades back. Since then she had been living with her in-laws …

Kasarvalli’s film focuses on reincarnation, conventional beliefs and question several social traditions. The rural backdrop of the film is quite spectacular in parts and add to its charm. In this film, I noticed that a widowed lady wears red saree (specific to South Indian tradition?) whereas we’re used to seeing widows in ‘whites.’

The film narrates the tale of a young man Vishwa who proclaims that he was the reincarnated son of a respected person of a certain village in the neighborhood in his earlier birth. When Vishwa comes to the house of the Father of his declaration complexities arise and orthodox beliefs bug at every step. Watch this fine film by the renowned filmmaker of MANE.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

 

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BHARAT STORES (Kannada) highlights a topical theme – the small time trader’s hardship to keep afloat in this age of liberalised economy, multinational and ‘mall cultures.’ With the exception of Jahnu Barua’s HKGOROLOI BOHU DOOR (Assamese) & DIGANT (Konkani) there have been very few films that speak about the threat faced by conventional professions in the wake of urbanization and modernization. The film weaves in sub-text of a NRI couple – the woman making an all out effort to keep her promise to her dying father to repay the debt he owed to the protagonist trader – the struggle of the family of the protagonist in the face of declining business & physical ailment. The moving drama is directed by P. Seshadiri

Rating: 4 out of 5