Blog Archives

Kothanodi – The River of Fables (2015)

(from , dir: )

An adaptation of a group of folk tales from Assam in India, Kothanodi is an intriguing confluence of old and new elements: traditional stories given a moody, modern interpretation, with the second half of the production funded via Indian crowdfunding platform Wishberry. It’s already screened at film festivals around the world (beginnings with its premiere at Busan in 2015), and it’s now being distributed directly by online platform MovieSaints, who kindly gave me the opportunity to review the film.… (read more)

Comments Off on Kothanodi – The River of Fables (2015)

Court (2014)

(from , dir: )

My first film at this year’s Sydney Film Festival was Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court, an Indian film that packs a great deal of social commentary — with an intelligent, understated touch — into a courtroom drama.

Narayan Kamble (played by Vira Sathidar) is an ageing folk singer in Mumbai who divides his time between teaching in the surrounding cities and performing fiery protest songs on makeshift stages with a troupe of musicians. As the film opens, we see one such … (read more)

Comments Off on Court (2014)

Monsoon Shootout (2013)

(from /, dir: )

Monsoon Shootout, which screened in competition at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, is the first feature film from Indian director Amit Kumar. A dark, introspective crime thriller, it takes as its subject the moral dilemma faced by a young policeman working in Mumbai’s slums, where gangland thugs face off against cops who don’t like doing paperwork.… (read more)

Comments Off on Monsoon Shootout (2013)

Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)

(from , dir: )

Gangs of Wasseypur, from Indian director Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday) was the first Indian film to screen in official competition at the Sydney Film Festival, and a serious commitment for festival moviegoers. It’s an epic in two 160-minute parts, scheduled back-to-back on the last Sunday of the festival, and SFF director Nashen Moodley greeted the audience as ‘the bravest of the brave’ with a smile when he came out to introduce the film.… (read more)

Comments Off on Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)

Trishna (2011)

Trishna opens nationwide on May 10, 2012 — check your local cinema for details.

Trishna is a contemporary adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles from English director Michael Winterbottom, with quite a change of scenery. It transplants the story to India, swapping industrial England for rural Rajasthan and urban Mumbai as India modernises.

Freida Pinto (who made her film debut in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire) plays Trishna, a young woman living in with her family in … (read more)

Comments Off on Trishna (2011)

3 Idiots (2009)

(from , dir: )

There are three guys in this film trying to make their own independent, free-thinking mark in life. Apparently that’s what makes them idiots according to their elders. Only an idiot would give up a high paying engineering career to become a photographer. Only an idiot could possibly fail to overcome the fear of failure that stops him from achieving high grades when his impoverished family’s future is at stake. Only an idiot would want to take a conceptual approach to … (read more)

Comments Off on 3 Idiots (2009)

Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

(from , dir: )

If you dialled 1300-FILM EPICS in India, I’m sure you’ll get a direct line to Ashutosh Gowariker. The man seems to have a penchant for making big epics. Note his body of work – Lagaan, Swades, Mangal Pandey. His most famous work outside of his home country is the nearly 4 hour long Foreign Film Oscar Nominated Lagaan. So what is he offering this time with Jodhaa Akbar, a historical epic set in the 16th Mughal empire?

I’m … (read more)

Comments Off on Jodhaa Akbar (2008)

Om Shanti Om (2007)

(from , dir: )

No one and I mean no one could have been having a better time at the cinemas than I did last Sunday. If they claimed they did then they’re fibbing. That or they were part of the raucous crowd who were cheering along with me. Such was the effect of Farah Khan’s sophomore effort – a splashy, cheeky and retro-looking masala film that made everyone walk out with a smile on their faces and no socks on (they were blown … (read more)

Comments Off on Om Shanti Om (2007)