Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal
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Asha Jaoar Majhe|
Asha Jaoar Majhe, Bengali film directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, tells the story of a husband and wife (who are not named) living in Calcutta. The husband works at a printing press on night shifts while the wife works during daytime at a bag company, so the time they get to spend together is very limited. The dialog-less film patiently follows the routine of the couple, and the only instance when they are at least hinted to be seeing each other is near the end of the film, which follows a beautifully picturized "dream sequence" for a few minutes.
The 1.5 hour long film would look like much longer than that, because of the slow and detailed picturization of routine and monotonous activities and events, which create a unique atmosphere for the film. So, we see sun setting over the buildings in the city in a scene that is nearly two minutes long, which is accompanied with the usual evening-sounds of the city. In another scene, we see the face of the husband as a series of static images, seen through the moving parts of the press. Later, we get to see closeup scenes of various provisions - rice, pulses, etc. being transfered to containers, and get to know the variations in sound that they make during the process.
Asha Jaoar Majhe gives an extreme account of people who spend most of their time on their work and routine (some, to make both ends meet, while others just for the sake of it), getting that rare glimpse of Life probably once in a blue moon.
Earthquake is Going to Come!!|
Rahul Gandhi warns that earthquake is going to come
if he speaks in the parliament!!
I think as long as Rahul Gandhi is there in the field of politics, we will have a constant source of entertainment in the form of statements like this.
I watched Bengali-English film Chander Pahar
, adaptation of a Bengali novel
with the same by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. The novel, an odd one among the author's novels which in general portray life in rural Bengal, is all about adventures of a Bengali youngster in the wilderness of 1909 Africa.
I cant say the movie matched the experience of reading the novel, but I felt it was an earnest effort. In spite of the obvious limitations the makers would have faced while making an Indian regional language movie in such a large canvas set in a foreign country, they have succeeded in making a very engaging film that does justice to the original novel.
Set in Rajasthan, Hindi film Dhanak directed by Nagesh Kukunoor tells the story of two children - a brother and sister. The brother had lost his eyesight when he was four years old, and the sister wishes to make him see again during his ninth birthday, which is just a few days away. After sees a poster featuring Shah Rukh Khan, the sister gets the idea that the star would personally help them if they meet him. One night, she secretly leaves home with her brother, and starts a journey hoping to meet Shah Rukh Khan at a shooting location near Jailsalmer.
The narrative of Dhanak begins in a realistic way, but it slowly evolves to some sort of a feel-good fairy tale. The most notable things in this interesting film are the performances by the two child artists who play the lead roles.
Amruta Patil's graphic novel Sauptik
is the second book in her Mahabharata series, after Adi Parva
. Ashwatthama takes over the role of the narrator after Ganga, and continues the story of Mahabharata from the arrival of Pandavas in Hasthinapura after the death of Pandu, till the conclusion of the War of Kurukshetra and Ashwatthama's revenge.
Just like Adi Parva
too doesn't plan on giving a continuous and complete narrative of the epic, but instead gives short accounts of some of the major events in the story with comments given from the perspective of Ashwatthama, and it is amazing to see the author capturing the essence of multiple subtle aspects of the epic with just a few hundred pages of text and illustrations. With insightful observations and beautiful, stylish artworks, Sauptik
is one more brilliant work from the author.
The Return of the 100-Rupee Note|
I think it was a bold and brilliant move by the Government
to withdraw the 500 and 1000 rupee notes overnight - a step taken with the right intentions, and I think it is in the right direction towards controlling the accumulation of black money as well as curbing of fake currency.
Vasanthathinte Kanal Vazhikalil|
There is a saying that Swami Vivekananda had called Kerala as a "lunatic asylum" during his visit to the state in 1892, observing the injustice associated with the caste system. Though his comments were indeed justifiable, I wonder whether the situation was really very specific to Kerala or not, in those days. Anyways, a century later, I believe Kerala would top among the Indian states where caste related prejudice and injustice in society have been reduced by the largest extent. The credit for this should mostly go to the Communist Movements of the 1950-70s - the impact of those on the fields of art and culture, and the creation of awareness among people. The party in today's context has reduced to a yet-another political organization engaged in contests for power, but the role it had played in socio-cultural awakenings in Kerala can never be forgotten.
Vasanthathinte Kanal Vazhikalil is a film that pays tribute to the Communist Movements of Kerala of the 1950-70 period. Though the film has traces of clichés and amateurism, I felt that it was successful in making the viewers wait for a moment and think about the sacrifices made by several unknown leaders and activists of those days. And thankfully, the film does not refer to the Communist party of today - which would have made it look like a propaganda.
The Arrival, by Shaun Tan, is a "silent" graphic novel - one without any dialogues or text. The novel attempts to generalize the "migrant experience" in pictures. A man bids farewell to his wife and daughter and goes to an unknown, distant place in search for employment. The new place is drawn as one from a fairy tale world with bizarre landscapes, animals and vegetables, but the human beings are just the same as in the normal world. After he settles down in the new place, the man brings his family there, and they are happily re-united.
The book has wonderful and detailed illustrations (many of them resembling photographs) colored and arranged in a stylish and imaginative way.
Court, National Award winning Marathi film directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, is a unique satire on the Indian Judicial System. An aging folk singer, who conducts his shows on the streets, is arrested with charges of incitement for suicide committed by a person who cleans the sewage channels. It is apparent that the charge sheet was filed as part of some political agenda, to suppress the singer who has been a social activist. The case goes on and on for days and months, and the film follows the scenes in the courtroom, interleaved with the scenes showing the happenings in the lives of the lawyers and the judge.
The narrative of Court moves at a very very slow pace. I am guessing that this movie might be having the most realistic portrayals of court room proceedings in Indian Cinema: Everything has a clear tone of lack of urgency here - We see a lawyer quoting the complete text of a rule from a book for more than a minute, for example. In many of the scenes, the camera stays static for several seconds even after the main happenings in the scene have concluded, and there are no "dramatic transition effects" anywhere. And there is absolutely no background music in the entire movie. All this seems to be deliberately done to enhance the sense of procrastination in the matter of investigation and the court case being depicted. To add to the feel, we get to see the lawyers and judges mostly relaxing in their daily life and mundane discussions after their respective work schedules.
It requires patience to sit through Court, but I felt it was a rewarding experience watching it.
Read Craig Russell's graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline
- yet another fantasy story involving ghosts, similar to The Graveyard Book
. Craig Russell's artworks for the book are beautiful.
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