Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pete's Dragon: Movie Review

Pete’s Dragon: This Dragon Has a Heart of Gold!
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David Lowery’s film Pete’s Dragon is a story of two unlikely friends and their bonding, reunion and letting go. It makes you teary eyed at some moments and make you realize the importance of caring and compassion. Both Pete (Levi Alexander) and the Dragon lovingly named by Pete as Elliot, after his story book character, bonds well and in the process of this beautiful unraveling of their friendship on screen we too fall in love with them and would want them to stay together forever. Some relationship stays forever, time and space cannot change them and Pete’s Dragon is one such story that keeps you enchanted.

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The Disney remake does share the same title with the 1977 animated classic family adventure.  Co-written by David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks, the film opens with a journey of a lovely couple with their small kid, which they call an adventure, meets with a mishap. In this car accident the only survivor is the small 5 year-old kid who finds himself in the middle of deep woods. Clutching to his small bag which contains his story book ‘Elliot Gets Lost’, with wide open eyes and petrified, Pete is surrounded by a pack of wolves ready to pounce upon him. As told by his mother just before the mishap, Pete is a brave heart. To his astonishment the pack of wolves run for cover and he finds a humongous green-colored creature emerge behind him – A Dragon. Probably, he might not even know what the creature is known as, so he with his limited vocabulary lovingly names his benefactor as ‘Elliot’. Pete and Elliot belong to two different worlds but still bonds well because there exists between them a language of love, compassion, care and friendship. Both lost from their dear ones find solace in each other.

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Lost in the woods for 6 years Pete finally sights Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) a lady forest ranger and a group of people from a lumber company in his new found haven. The peaceful and secured life he had with Elliot is disturbed and challenged by human presence. Elliot’s insecurity and Pete’s happiness as well as fear of meeting people like him are beautifully portrayed. We go through a wholly of emotions while we watch this wonderful Disney film; we don’t want Pete to remain in the woods but at the same time we don’t want him to get separated from his dear friend Elliot. We try to figure out whether it is possible for Pete and Elliot to be together as well as Pete live a normal life like any other kid in the city?

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Elliot is majestic, it flies with its huge wings spread out over the lush green forest, it fades out the moment it sense the presence of humans and expresses its vulnerability of losing his dear friend Pete, and it is protective and playful. Robert Redford as Mr. Meacham the old man who has seen dragons and enjoys telling stories about them to kids is awesome. He tells that it is not necessary that we need to see and experience everything to believe, there are some thing in life even without experiencing can be believed. His daughter Grace tells her 10 year-old daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence) that she has explored the length and breadth of the woods and has never come across this mythical being and therefore, urges not to take her Grandpa seriously. Wes Bentley as Jack, fiancĂ© of Grace and the business partner of his brother Gavin (Karl urban) plays a man who understands and believes what his fiancĂ© tells – ‘We need to protect and care for everything in the forest’. On the contrary, Gavin is an ambitious man who would like to display his catch ‘the invincible Dragon’ to the world and thump his chest.

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In short, Pete’s Dragon is going to take a special place in your list of films you have watched till date and I am sure would be recommended by you to your friends to watch. And I would like you to go ahead and watch this beautiful Disney film to find out what happens to Elliot? Does this Dragon who has its heart at the right place fall prey to heartless men? What happens to Pete? Does he decide to stay back with his benefactor and mighty protector? Don’t miss the fun, grab a ticket and munch your favorite flavored popcorn to see a reel CGI Dragon which appears to be really real!

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.5/5

Cast: Oakes Fegley & Levi Alexander (Pete), Bryce Dallas Howard (Grace), Was Bentley (Jack), Karl Urban (Gavin), Oona Laurence (Natalie), Robert Redford (Meacham), John Kassir (Voiceover for Elliot the Dragon)

Genre: Animation (Kid’s & Family Film)

Director: David Lowery

Screenplay: David Lowery, Toby Halbrooks

Based on:  Pete’s Dragon by Malcolm Marmorstein

Music by: Daniel Hart

Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli

Edited by: Lisa Zeno Churgin

Production Company: Walt Disney Pictures

Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures, Whitaker Entertainment

Release Date: 19th August, 2016

Duration: 102 Minutes

Language: English 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mohenjo Daro: Movie Review

Mohenjo Daro: A Bold Attempt!
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Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro is a bold attempt to tell a love story that happens in 2016 BC in an ancient city called Mohenjo Daro which was part of Indus Valley civilization. To showcase a period about which little is known is commendable and appreciable. When a director like Ashutosh Gowariker dares to chart an unknown path, it’s obvious that he is bound to fall prey to cynics and critics for its historical correctness and other detailing of cultural and social nuances. However, the film nowhere claims that it is depicting historical facts of a civilization that existed rather it just narrates a fictional story about power hungry people, coup, killings, migration of a family, reunion and reclaiming of the lost glory of a family by redeeming the people from the clutches of a cruel and scheming ruler who ruled in a city during that time.

The making of the movie has gone through rigorous research and consulting with historians and research experts and therefore, the filming had its own challenges of recreating a society where historical evidences available are just minimal. Banking heavily on imagination and creativity the film rolls through the life of a youth called Sarman who lives in a village called Amri. He has visions of a Unicorn (An animal with a single spiraling horn on its forehead) in his dream with a peculiar kind of song and music in the background which he has often heard his aunt humming.

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Sarman’s long cherished desire to visit the thriving city of Mohenjo Daro is repeatedly thwarted by his uncle Durjan for reasons known to him only. One day after a grand welcome by the villagers for his brave act of killing a crocodile single handedly in a nearby river gorge, Sarman once again shares his desire with Durjan to allow him to go to Mohenjo Daro as part of their village merchants to sell their farm produce ‘Indigo’. But Durjan who is overly protective and still believes that Sarman is not yet grown up to handle the wicked people of Mohenjo Daro tells him to wait for some more time.

Fresh from his new found glory and fame after killing a large carnivorous reptile, Sarman decides to escape to Mohenjo Daro discreetly along with his friend Hojo but to be caught red-handed by his uncle. Unable to stop an overly enthusiastic and curious Sarman travelling to Mohenjo Daro, Durjan finally gives the nod to go and trade with people in Mohenjo Daro their farm produce ‘Indigo’ but with a list of cautionary warnings about the dos and don’ts he need to follow while his stay in that unknown city. He also hands Sarman an amulet with an inscription of a Unicorn on it to be used with great discretion at moments of trouble only.

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What awaits Sarman and Hojo at Mohenjo Daro is a city beyond his imagination with a thriving market place with goods from far flung places like Macedonia, Sumeria and other foreign lands. Trouble becomes a constant companion the moment Sarman set his foot on the soil of Mohenjo Daro be it his first encounter with Moonja (Arunodaya Singh) the son of Maham (Kabir Bedi) the Pradhan of Mohenjo Daro or his first encounter with his would-be love the beautiful Chaani (Pooja Hegde) the daughter of the high priest of Mohenjo Daro. Sarman’s righteous attitude lands him into further confrontation with the Pradhan and his apparent heir Moonja in matters like - raising the first bugle of protest against tax hike; making public his love for Chaani who has been already vowed by the High Priest and Pradhan that she would be the bride of Moonja because she is blessed by the river Goddess Sindhu as she is believed to bring in a new dawn to Mohenjo Daro in her lifetime; joining the protest against to stall the work of building a dam that will divert the course of the river Sindhu which has already proved to be disastrous for the region and its inhabitants; and being a hindrance in the trade of weapons with Sumerians in exchange of gold deposits mined underneath the river bed.  

Hrithik Roshan as Sarman is outstanding and he tries hard to salvage Ashutosh Gowariker’s ambitious project of Mohenjo Daro successfully to a great extent. It won’t be an exaggeration to tell that it would have been difficult and challenging for any other actor other than Hrithik Roshan to handle and play such a part in such a movie. Hrithik Roshan’s second venture with Ashutosh Gowariker seems to struggle hard to make a place in people’s heart because of the tremendous scrutiny and remarks around its portrayal of a particular period not well known to the public and even to those who criticize and pose as experts of that period.

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Pooja Hegde as Chaani is good but has less dialogues and little importance in scenes in taking the plot further. Though, she is mentioned repeatedly to play a major role in bringing a new dawn to Mohenjo Daro nothing substantial is shown in this regard apart from her falling in love with a pardesi and roaming around in the market place with her friend. A scene where she reveals to the people of Mohenjo Daro who Sarman actually is could have been better and more impressive.

Kabir Bedi as Pradhan and the main antagonist of the story is outstanding with his baritone voice. But God knows what has happened to his face? Is it aging or something gone wrong? Arunodaya Singh as Moonja gives a tough fight to the hero physically but is nowhere near to Hrithik Roshan when it comes to acting. Nitish Bhardwaj as Durjan leaves his mark. It is good to see him back and wish he continues to do so.

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The spectacular moments of Mohenjo Daro are – the killing of a crocodile by Sarman in a river gorge; the fight sequence of Sarman in the coliseum with Bakar and Zokar the cannibals brought from Tajik mountain by Maham; and the final scene of making of a floating bridge by tying up boats together to cross the river before the flood that washes the city away into its depths. The music maestro AR Rahman’s work is fabulous and keeps you humming the songs like Tu Hai; Sarsariya and Mohenjo Daro and other songs penned by Javed Akhtar.

In short, Mohenjo Daro need to be watched and appreciated for a daring attempt by a filmmaker who didn’t hesitate to showcase a love story in the backdrop of a civilization about which little is known. Having said this, Mohenjo Daro does make you yawn and sleepy at certain points but definitely also have moments that keep you enthused. And it’s difficult to blame the cynics and critics completely because Ashutosh Gowariker has upped the expectations of the quality of films from his stable after his spectacular projects like Swadesh, Lagaan and Jodha Akbar, therefore, hope he takes the criticism in his stride positively and come up with more challenging projects to keep us entertained. Till then Ashutosh ‘Lak Lak Thora’ !

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3/5

Cast: Hrithik Roshan (Sarman), Pooja Hegde (Chaani), Kabir Bedi (Maham), Arunoday Singh (Moonja), Nitish Bhardwaj (Durjan), Suhasini Mulay (Laashi), Sharad Kelkar (Surjan), Manish Choudhary (high Priest), Diganta Hazarika (Lothar)

Genre: Drama

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Producer: Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Sunita Gowariker

Written by: Preeti Mamgain (Dialogues)

Screenplay: Ashutosh Gowariker

Story: Ashutosh Gowariker

Music by: AR Rahman

Cinematography: CK Muraleedharan

Edited by: Sandeep Francis

Production Company: UTV Motion Pictures, AGPPL Productions

Distributor: Disney India

Release Date: 12th August, 2016

Duration: 150 Minutes

Language: Hindi

Rustom: Movie Review

Rustom: A Concoction of Love, Infidelity and Patriotism!
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Rustom is a sordid story of the affair at the top level of the most revered force of our country ‘The Navy’ and the coincidence of a decorated naval officer’s wife’s infidelity that goes wrong. The film claims to be based on true incidents that draw parallels to the most controversial Kawas Maneckshaw Nanavati Case of 1959 that changed the course of the law and the process of trial in our country forever.

KM Nanavati because of his constant travel on ship often had to leave behind his British born wife Sylvia with their three children to handle and deal her loneliness. And her loneliness leads her close to an affair with her husband’s dear friend Prem Ahuja. Sylvia’s dream to settle with Prem Ahuja didn’t match with Prem’s intentions of leading a casual and a non-committal relationship which led her to a sorry state of aloofness from everything. Once back from the cruise nanavati confronts Sylvia to reveal what is happening with her and she confesses her affair with Ahuja and her fear of Ahuja not having the intention to marry her. What leads next is KM Nanavati taking his family to a movie theatre and he going out to meet Prem at his residence and asking him to marry his wife. Prem’s answer that ‘Will I marry every woman I sleep with’ drives KM Nanavati to pull the trigger of his pistol and kill him point blank. The case says that Nanavati surrenders before the police and later on gets massive support from the media and public.
The state declared him guilty but a panel of nine jury members was constituted, out of which eight to one found him not guilty. They acquitted him of murder. However, Nanavati ran out of luck when his case was referred to the high court where he was given life imprisonment. His appeal to the Supreme Court didn’t fetch him favor on the contrary he was found guilty. But, because of public sympathy and political pressures he was released out of jail after three years and he along with his family flew out of the country to settle in Canada away from the scandal, media and public glares. Later on in 2003 KM Nanavati passed away. The KM Nanavati case saw the rift between two communities the Sindhi and Parsi vouching for their community man under question – Prem Ahuja (Sindhi) and KM Nanavati (Parsi). 
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The weekly tabloid Blitz  headed by a Parsi RK Karanjia was going all guns to create public sympathy and planting stories to garner support for KM Nanavati. Rallies were held where thousands thronged in support of KM Nanavati and street sellers were having a heyday selling Nanavati toy pistols and Prem Ahuja towels on the streets.

Like many films (Yeh Raastey Hai Pyar Ke; Achanak) and books (Nanavati Ka Mukadamma; The Death of Mr. Love) that took inspiration from this case, Tinu Suresh Desai’s Rustom too tries it’s hand by extending the real to reel by adding extra doses of fiction through its forced twists and turns indicating a scam at the top echelons of the Navy in buying a fifteen-year-old aircraft carrier in London for half of its price. Akshay Kumar as Rustom Pavri the man in the dock is outstanding. He is successful in drawing attention to a man he portrays as innocent but sharp when it comes to duty and family. He generates pity and a kind of despair when he says – “Trust is a very very funny word” after he comes to know his wife Cynthia’s (Illeana D’cruz) illicit relationship with Vikram Makhija (Arjun Bajwa) his close friend. What is equally attracting and annoying is Akshay in his white uniform always 24 x 7. He looks stunning as a naval officer justifying one of the dialogues in the court room “Meri Uniform Meri aadath Hai, Jaise Ki Baki Meri Ache Bure Aadathon Mai Se Ek...” but then it also comes across as annoying and unreal to find him in spotless white uniform perfectly ironed and in glistening white shoes neatly laced even in the lockup at the middle of the night, fresh and tireless. Come on, is he a superman or a cardboard cutout? I think the filmmakers portrayed his character too unrealistically except in some scenes here and there with moist eyes and quivering of nose for instance when he meets his wife in the cell and when he cross examines his wife in the court. Nevertheless, Khilladi Akshay Kumar has come a long way from his initial movies and is definitely on a high these days with a string of hits in his profile - Gabbar, Baby, Airlift and many other.
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Kumud Mishra as Erach Billimoria has given yet another noteworthy performance after his role in Sultan as a coach and mentor. His character is evidently modeled on RK Karanjia of the weekly tabloid Blitz. He appears funny but knows how to run his business very well and is ready to take a beating for a big gain in the future by landing up in the lockup every time he prints his weekly edition of his tabloid to be charged by the judge for contempt of the court in its course of fair trial. The constant quibbles between the judge and Billimoria tickles your funny bone. But then to bring in comic moments repeatedly in the interactions of the presiding judge with the Public Prosecutor Lakshman Khangani (Sachin Khedekar), Jamna Bai (Usha Nadkarni) the maid of Rustom’s family or with Erach the tabloid chief dilutes the courtroom drama and belittles the importance of the chair.
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Ileana D’Cruz as Cynthia doesn’t have much room or scenes with Rustom, Vikram Makhija and Preeti Makhija. She is reduced and limited to appear in songs or as in scenes that appear in support to the narration of events that happened. Dialogues are less and therefore she is reduced and limited to appear as a cute weeping Barbie doll whose character is under legal and public scrutiny. The costume designer and the makeup artists seems to be obsessed in making all the characters beautiful and handsome and in this effort they ended up making these characters appears as if they have come right from the sets of any prime time TV serial. Cynthia doesn’t appear even once disheveled and is always found in her choicest beautiful dress and saris even when she visits her jailed husband. And therefore, her agony, guilt and despair don’t move you. The funniest part is a cheerful Cynthia negotiating with Admiral Kamath on behalf of her jailed husband even under such crucial situations.
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Pawan Malhotra as CID officer Vincent Lobo makes an impactful performance. I saw him last week in a small budget Punjabi movie ‘Gelo’ playing the role of an antagonist and now an investigating officer in Rustom. He looks suave and sharp in his moves and appearance. Sachin Khedekar as Advocate Lakshman Khangani otherwise a good actor could have been better in Rustom. He appears too dramatic and loud. Don’t know whether it was a demand to act so to justify the role given to him?

 Esha Gupta playing the role of the deceased Vikram Makhija’s Sister Preeti Makhija looks outrageous in her hairdo, western costume, and bright red painted lips. Often seen carrying a slender cigarette holder she is loud and doesn’t appear in any of the frame remorse or sad in losing her brother - a partner in crime. She is stuck with one kind of expression and is not able to change as per the requirement of changing situations in the story.  Arjan Bajwa as Vikram Makhija the womanizer and Rustom’s friend has done justice to his act. Anang Desai as judge, Parmeet Sethi as Admiral Kamath, and Kanwaljit Singh as Defense Secreatary KG Bakshi has pitched in very well to further the crime drama of Rustom.

The music of Rustom compensates any lapses or shortcomings in this movie. The songs are hummable and stay with you. Songs like Tere Sang Yaara sung by Atif Aslam; Dekha Hazaro Dafaa sung by Arijit Singh and Palak Muchchal; and Jab tum Hote Ho sung by Shreya Goshal are too good. Manoj Mutashir’s lyrics are beautifully placed by the composers – Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Raghav Sachar, Ankit Tiwari and Jeet Ganguly.

Rustom, in short, is a onetime watch and to completely sideline and ignore it, is not justified. So go and watch how a man garnered support for an unlawful act and how he remained a true patriot even when his life was in constant turmoil.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 3.25/5

Cast: Akshay kumar (Commander Rustom Pavri), Ileana D’Cruz (Cynthia), Arjan Bajwa (Vikram Makhija), Esha Gupta (Preeti Makhija), Usha Nadkarni (Jamna Bai), Kumud Mishra (Erach Bilimoria), Pawan Malhotra (CID Officer Vincent Lobo), Sachin Khedekar (Public Prosecutor Lakshman Khangani), Anang Desai (Judge), Parmeet Sethi (Rear Admiral Kamath), Kanwaljit Singh (Defense Secretary KG Bakshi)

Genre: Crime Drama

Director: Tinu Suresh Desai

Producers: Neeraj Pandey, Aruna Bhatia, Nittin Keni, Kash Chawla, Virender Arora, Ishwar Kapoor, Shital Bhatia

Written by: Vipul K Rawal

Based on:  Case KM Nanavati Vs. State of Maharastra

Music by: Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly, Raghav Sachar, Arko Pravo Mukherjee

Cinematography: Santosh Thundiyil

Production Company: Zee Studio, Kriarj Entertainment, Cape of Good Films, Plan C Studios

Distributor: Zee Studios

Release Date: 12th August, 2016

Duration: 151 Minutes

Language: Hindi 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Chauthi Koot: Movie Review

Chauthi Koot: Leaves You Awestruck!
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Gurvinder Singh’s Punjabi feature film ‘Chauthi Koot’ is undoubtedly the best crafted film we have seen in recent times. Chauthi Koot which has many feathers on its cap including a National Award apart from receiving critical acclaim worldwide has finally released in  the theaters for the general public.

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The separatist movement that shook the peace of living a normal life in Punjab and the rest of the country in the 1980s and later on which led to the killing of one of the most powerful political figures in India as an aftermath of her decision to flush out terrorists from the sacred Golden Temple under the garb of Blue Star Operation is very well woven in Chauthi Koot as the base of its narrative.

Cinematographer Satya Rai Nagpaul captures fear, silence, helplessness, resistance, belief, revolt and hope through his lens so well that the film leaves you awestruck. Bhupesh Micky Sharma's editing is noteworthy. Chauthi Koot breaks the set norms of traditional structure of storytelling.

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Gurvinder Singh’s film is a fusion of two stories – Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction) and Main Theek Thak Haan (I am Feeling Fine Now) written by the Punjabi writer Waryam Singh Sandhu who won Sahitya Akademi Award in the year 2000 for his collection of short stories - ‘The Fourth Direction and other Stories’. The film begins with two Punjabi Hindu men rushing to a railway station to catch a train to Amritsar and missing their train by a minute. Their wait on a desolated platform for hours, the checking of an empty Amritsar bound train by a bunch of army men, pulling down the shutters of the windows of each and every coach of the train by the army men and not allowing them to board the empty train raises your curiosity to know what is happening and why?   The silent train journey without the consent of the conductor and finding a few other passengers already huddled in the compartment looking at each other with mistrust and sometimes for assurance galvanizes the sense of fear and uncertainty to a greater level. There are moments we as audience also feel the fear of the unknown.
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The film takes us a few months back to tell us another story about a Sikh farmer called Joginder (Survinder Vicky) and his family. The tale of political and social disruption and lack of peace in a commoner’s life is very well depicted. A barking dog that sense every rustle in the dark as a threat to the family is hell bent to protect its master’s family and the family who loves the canine is equally disturbed by its bark because it attracts the ire of passing militants at night. Caught between the patrolling army in the day and by the militants at night the family portrays the plight of a commoner. The threat that looms largely in individuals and their social life is beautifully captured and in every frame we pray for their safety and are equally tensed to know what is awaiting next. Gurvinder Singh and his team have done a brilliant work because their work diminishes the barrier of the screen between the viewers and the characters in the film.

In short, Chauthi Koot which was screened in Cannes 2015 and later on won a national award should not be missed. Every single actor is distinct and stays in your mind especially Survinder Vicky as the farmer under stress. The film stands out because of its craft, storytelling and the realistic recreation of the disturbed times of Punjab in the 1980s. Chauthi Koot doesn’t have high emotional melodrama, political statements, news splashed on the screen by various newspaper cuttings, or a revolutionary  to speak about the importance of rights and freedom rather it is the silence, the dark nights, the rattling train, fear in the eyes, the dogs bark, the turbaned heads and non-turbaned heads that convey the message you want to carry home with you - a message if we walk together closely then no turbulence and internal turmoil can disturb the unity of our countrymen.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5

Cast: Survinder Vicky (Joginder), Rajbir Kaur, Harleen Kaur, Taranjit Singh, Kanwaljit Singh (Jugal), Harnek Aulakh, Nakul Vermani, Gurpreet Bhangu, Tejpal Singh

Genre: Drama

Director: Gurvinder Singh

Producer: Kartikeya Narayan Singh

Written by: Waryam Singh Sandhu, Gurvinder Singh

Screenplay: Rohit Dhawan, Tushar Hiranandani

Based on Stories: Chauthi Koot and Main Theek Thak Haan by Waryam Singh Sandhu

Music by: Marc Marder

Cinematography: Satya Rai Nagpaul

Edited by: Bhupesh Micky Sharma

Production: Film Cafe

Release Date: 5th July, 2016

Duration: 115 Minutes

Language: Punjabi 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Khwato (The Wound): Movie Review

Khawto (The Wound): Some Wounds Stay Fresh!
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Khwato is intriguing and questions all notions you hold about love, relationship, lust, passion and adultery. Khwato takes the audience through the dark alleys of a man’s mind and shows how the drain that flows out through these alleys pollutes his relationship with his dear ones in his life. The film is about a very famous author who writes dark, romantic thrillers and is in demand across all age groups. He unknowingly or knowingly ventures into a dangerous journey of living the lives of what he writes and creates situations that end up in sexual and erotic escapades. He is comfortable with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with in him. He effortlessly slips through both the skins of Jekyll and Hyde as and when required until then he is unmasked by his most wanted and trusted people in his life.

The pivotal role is played by Prosenjit Mukherjee who is strikingly perfect in his role as Nirbed Lahiri, the novelist in this film. He is the narrator and he is the character under question. The protagonist says’ “Lok e jete bole, aami sheta korina… aami jeta likhi, sheta lok e kore” (I don’t do things that people say, people do that what I write). Nirbed Lahiri the most popular writer with a huge fan following one day vanishes in thin air only to emerge in a distant land to tell his side of the story to two young couple out to be with themselves at a serene beach resort before they tie the nuptial knot.

Tridha Choudhury and Ronodeep Bose play the young lovers Rishav and Sohag who come across this man who lives a solitary life in a cottage near their seaside resort at Koelphuli. There encounter with Nirbed leads to discussion that ranges from different cuisines to Bengali literary works. Never ever did they imagine in their wildest dream that they were speaking to one of the most prolific writers who vanished twenty years ago.  Their interaction one after another with Nirbed Lahiri opens a Pandora’s Box. From Drubo Lahiri the happier guy to Nirbed Lahiri the writer, the journey is quiet scandalous and tumultuous.

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The story telling by Kamaleswar Mukherjee through Nirbed Lahiri is so fascinating that you get caught up in the cobweb of love, relationship, lust and betrayal woven by the novelist that makes you struggle and feel helpless to come out of it. You are constantly preyed and attacked by the simmering guilt, angst and anger you go through with the characters on screen.

When one’s want for physical pleasure outgrow the moral and ethical boundaries then the line between being an animal and a human being diminishes. This is what Nirbed’s wife Srijita feels when she catches her husband red hand. A picnic with a bunch of family friends and her philandering husband becomes the deepest wound for many which stay fresh for the rest of their lives. Raima Sen as Srijita portrays the strong side of a wife who supports and stands by her husband but refuses to play second fiddle to Antara (Paoli Dam) the lady in question in her husband’s life. After ‘Chokher Bali’, Raima Sen once again plays the role Prosenjit’s wife onscreen in Khwato.

Raima Sen and Paoli Dam as Antara have done a fabulous work. Paoli Dam’s Antara stays in your mind as a woman who is exploited, coerced into physical relationship by a shrewd womanizer and as a woman who finds herself in a place and state of mind where it’s difficult to come back to normal life.

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Khwato is a well-made erotic thriller about love, lust, hate and a lot more. The background score, music and songs are all beautifully in sync with the film. Kamaleswar Mukherjee makes us think about whether our relationship is driven purely by lust or it has love and an emotional side to it.

In short, Khwato is a sure shot watch. It is a bold, beautiful and romantic thriller that will keep you glued to your seat till the end. It shall prick your conscience and make you witness the battle of two powerful forces – the flesh and the conscience – one which everyone experiences in life and would have succumbed to either of the two many times in our life.  Go and watch Khwato to fully understand what ‘The father of self-destruction’ Nirbed Lahiri tells, “Opportunity, bravery and power these can turn the ‘angel’ into a ‘Devil’ and the Devil into an Angel”. I am sure when you come out of the theater after this cocktail of love, passion, lust and sin it will take you sometime to get over with its hangover.

Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 4/5

Cast: Prosenjit Chattertjee (Nirbed Lahiri), Raima Sen (Srijita), Paoli Dam (Antara), Rahul (Alokesh), Ushasie Chakraborty, Tridha Choudhury (Sohag), Ronodeep (Rishav)

Genre: Romantic Thriller

Director: Kamaleshwar Mukherjee

Art Director: Dhananjay Mondal

Producer: Shrikant Mohta, Mahendra Soni

Dialogues by: Kamaleswar Mukherjee

Screenplay: Kamaleswar Mukherjee

Story: Kamaleswar Mukherjee

Music by: Anupam Roy

Background Score: Binitranjan Maitra

Cinematography: Soumik Haldar

Edited by: Rabiranjan Maitra

Production: Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF)

Distributor: Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF)

Release Date: 22nd July, 2016

Duration: 132 Minutes

Language: Bengali