Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pune International Film Festival

The Pune International Film Festival is finally over. I was a delegate ( for a price of 300 bucks) and after watching 15 movies in past 7 days, I think it was worth it. I got to see some very good movies , which otherwise I wouldn’t have got chance to do so . Of course, many movies were really really boring, Actually, boring is not the word.. I think Unbearable will be the appropriate word for those . But the whole experience was very different for me and I think in the end, I enjoyed the festival .

Anyways, I will write a short review ( summary) of each movie I saw on the last day of the festival. They were – The Barbarian Invasion ( Canada) , So far, so close ( Iran) , In the name of God ( Malayalam – India) .

Note : Plot revealed in detail

The Barbarian Invasion ( Canada) :

This was a well made movie, with proper script and gud acting. A ex-professsor in his 60s has cancer and everyone knows he doesn’t have much time . His wife calls his son from London . The son and father don’t communicate much , and it was the mom who had brought up the kids . The son still comes back and with his contacts and money , helps the dad get a decent room in the Hospital ( whose conditions may be worse than that in India) . Not only this, the son calls all old friends of his dad, pays money to his dad’s students to meet him so that the last days of the dying man can pass out happily.

The dismal state of Canadian Hospital is shown properly, where labour unions, lack of staff and rooms create a lot of problems for a patient. Once the professor’s friends unite, they keep on talking about sex, mistresses, civilizations, cultures, etc. which was quite interesting. The director tried to cover all the problems of the world in an ironic way, like that of 9/11, drugs , etc. The cinematography was also good. All in all, a very gud flick, which I think won an Academy Award in 2004 ( that’s what the PIFF catalogue says ) . Try to watch it if possible .

Rating : 8/10

So Far , So close ( Iran) :

This movie was also very good. A fantastic movie from Iran. ( I had seen Or , which was boring, and dint get to watch the much hyped Gilaneh , so cant say much about it ) . The main features of this movie were the amazing desert landscapes and the dialogues. It had a more philosophical touch to it, which perfectly blended with the Iranian deserts.

Anyways, the story is – A famous neurologist keeps neglecting his teenage son. On his son’s birthday , he comes to know that his own son has a brain tumor and is going to die within days. Everyone who knew his son, knew that he is getting nauseas and gets dizzy , except the father !! The father reaches home late ( due to unavoidable circumstances ) and misses his son’s bday party . He got a telescope for his son( his son being a sar-gazer) but when he comes home, his son already left with his team for the deserts for a star – gazing competition ( coz of which the son had requested for a telescope for his bday ) . The doctor decides he will give the gift to his son, even if he has to cross the deserts for that .

And then the father takes out Mercedes for a road trip and meets diff. people in the way, each having a diff. perspective towards life.

Now this is the amazing part – his Mercedes gets stuck in the middle of the desert, and now he is helpless and he has to reach the camp ASAP to meet his dying son. The last half hour was too gud , and ending AWESOME !

Rating : 9/10

In the name of God ( Malayalam – India ) :

Before I start the review, let me put forth some points I observed or realized during the festival -

1) Bollywood movies don’t suck. I think they are far better than La pianiste, and real man .

2) Non- Hindi Indian movies have gud stories, but they suck in direction ( except Dombivli Fast ) . Spec. the background music, I think that should be scrapped overall.

Anyways, this movie was not that interesting coz of the usual emotional crap that Indian movies are famous for and screeching background music . But the story was gud, and the movie could have been made better.

The story is as follows – A educated Muslim girl from a South Indian village gets married to a educated , well cultured man . But after marriage , the husband leaves for Aligarh to pursue his higher studies. Some religious group brainwashes him ( coz of the 1991 riots ) and turn him into a Jehadi . The husband comes back and the girl is all shocked to see the changed nature of his husband. The husband plants a bomb in a shop, and the girl puts his husband in the jail for his crime.

Then , all the muslim community heads condemn the girls actions. The girl then writes a book with all teachings of Maulana Azad , Mahatma Gandhi and publishes the book and gives the book to her husband in jail. After reading the book , the husband realizes his mistake and mends his ways. He is freed and what happens in the end, is shocking !!! actually, that was overstatement. The ending was very very stupid !

Well , the movie shows some reality , about how the religious groups turn innocent people into Jehadis,and how all this communal tension is work of the anti-social elements . The girl has done decent acting , showing a strong character of a woman on the screen.

Rating : 6/10