By Atul Mishra
Hello Cinephiles! NewsGram is back with its Weekend Personal Downloadable Film Festival. Let us celebrate three recent Indian films that have left indelible impression on celluloid and are a must watch. Download them and stir your cinematic cerebrum over the weekend. Mitigate your monotony and forget yourself while dwelling in these silvery showpieces.
Specifying the genre of this psychedelic silver masterpiece will be a blot on its brilliant script. And that’s what makes it so unique; it’s a part film noir, a part love story, a part melodrama and a part documentary. Miss Lovely reminds and straightly takes us to celluloid portals of prodigies like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wong Kar Wai and Nagisa Oshima.
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia and starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Miss Lovely narrates the story of two brothers, younger played by Nawaz himself and elder by Anil George. Vicky (Anil George) makes sleazy horror-porn films in 1980s Bombay and his brother Sonu Duggal (Nawaz) helps him. But Sonu falls for an actress Pinky (Niharika Singh) which eventually leads to his downfall with various turns of events.
Dark noir settings, scintillatingly visual, the feel of 1980s and regular juxtapositions of both ‘reel’ and ‘real’ in the same timeline, give the viewers a nail biting experience. You would not want to munch on your popcorn while watching this. Reminiscent of 90s Chinese cinema with flamboyant costumes supplied with 80s Bollywood soundtrack, you’re glued to the film throughout. Winner of two National Awards, screened for ‘Uncertain Regard’ at Cannes 2012, this film is a rare art Indian cinema which is a must watch.
The World Before Her
A documentary portraying two India for women, one– the capitalist western modern woman who goes out to win the Miss World title (seen as degradation of Hindu culture by the other world) and the other who fights to preserve the Hindu culture.
Written and directed by Nisha Pahuja, ‘The World Before Her’ narrates the conflicting Indian thinking of young girls in India by highlighting the lives of two young women participating in two very different types of training camps— Ruhi Singh, who aspires to become Miss India, and Prachi Trivedi, a Hindu nationalist with the Durga Vahini who is being trained with Trishuls and guns in Hindu extremist camp to protect the degrading Hindu culture because of the overt portrayal of sexuality as business in various beauty pageants. “We have learned to use guns and we’ll use them if we have to. We will kill people if we need to,” says a young woman trainer who trains school girls to protect the Hindu culture.
The reality that this film portrays with real clips from the beauty pageants and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad training camp leaves you flabbergasted and astonished with the unfolding of the reality of women in India.
I am Kalam
After two heavily-loaded films, one part documentary and one full, you need a refreshingly innocent simple yet moving film. I am Kalam is the perfect detour from this. A story of a kid who aspires to meet and become APJ Abdul Kalam, is starkly simple and yet moves your heart to the core.
TOI after its release wrote, “It is inspirational, intelligent, topical and entertaining too. More importantly, it brims over with heart and soul, leaving no one untouched with its simple message of providing an equal opportunity.”
Directed by Nila Madhab Panda and starring Harsh Mayar (Chottu) as the young aspirant, and Gulshan Grover as owner of a food stall outside a regal palace in Rajsathan, I am Kalam explores the young boy’s friendship with the Prince’s son who gives his books to Chottu and his eventual coming to terms with his dreams.
It’s a must watch. It’s a small film with simple message, smooth narrative and yet leaves room to critique the society.