Some entertaining, critical, and sport intended yet authentic movies showcased at the festival.
Film: Chronicles of My Mother (WAGA HAHA NO KI) Japan, 2011
Director: Harada Masato
Vivek SinghBased on the autobiographical novel of the same name by Yasushi Inoue, Director Harada Masato’s Chronicle of My Mother is set in late ’60s and ’70s. The film, about a Japanese family, has a well-written script and dramatic concept. The acting and direction makes sure the sentiment touches you.
The movie follows the journey of Kosaku (Koji Yakusho) the protagonist, and his part as a son and his relationship with his aged mother Yae (Kikikilin).
Kosaku is a well-known novelist, who writes about his experiences. Carrying a grave sense of abandonment ever since as a child, he was left to live with his father’s ex-lover, Kosaku comes to see his father who’s taking his last breaths. Soon after, he passes away, leaving no significant impact on Kosaku’s life.
As a responsible son, he brings his mother to his house in Tokyo, who is beginning to lose her memory due to age. He shares a restrained relationship with her since she abandoned him to his father’s lover, but as the movie progress, he starts sympathetically understanding her. The film reaches an eventual, yet surprisingly divine, climax.
It’s background score immerses in the emotion which the director has captured. The cinematography is admirable and the film has been shot in beautiful landscapes amidst exotic Japanese locales.
The only flaw in the story is the part of the youngest daughter, Katoko, who somehow has been ‘adjusted’ in the film even though she wasn’t needed.
Kikikilin’s effortless acting irritates, yet makes you laugh and cry at the same time.
The Flying Pigs by Anna Kazejak-Dawid gives you an insight into the lives of people who eat, dream, breathe and even make love to football. We have Oskar, a staunch Czarnia supporter whose family life is a mess because of this obsession. He is forced to take up a job he would never even dream of doing, but for his family, he does.
Its background score urges it forward. The use of rock music to complement the angst and the sensitivity of the people towards their beloved game draws you in. The Flying Pigs shows savagery at its best, while telling the story of the cost of betrayal and the madness of the game surpassing everything else. The character of Oskar’s brother’s girlfriend — a fiery woman who shares their love for the sport — stays with you. She’s independent and finds her own way, presenting a stark contrast to Alina, Oskar’s love. The film is a treat for anyone with an obsession. For football fans, it might just serve as a looking glass.
Film: Deool (Marathi)
Director: Umesh Kulkarni
Umesh Kulkarni is arguably the proponent of a much-awaited renaissance in Marathi cinema, which is rapidly gaining the momentum it deserves. His success lies in his authentic portrayal of the Marathi Manoos, vivacious, yet vulnerable.
His latest venture, Deool, is a compelling representation of innocence struggling to exist in a conniving world. He weaves a tale around the rustic village of Mangrul, and the lives of its inhabitants. Kesha, our humble protagonist, experiences a divine revelation, and the rest of the village capitalizes on it. Characteristic of Kulkarni’s works is the notion of man’s innate goodness, at odds with the cruelty they are capable of. Evidently, through Nana Patekar’s character, he establishes compassion that thrives even in the most corrupt hearts.
Deool is brought to life by its vibrant characters, each crucial to the leisurely paced plot. This indulgence establishes these characters, which bloom and exhibit beautiful shades for us. Mangesh Dhakde’s overwhelming background score reverberates through the beautifully colored frames brought to us by Sudhakar Reddy. Prashant Bidkar recreates the quintessential village meticulously.
At its core, Deool is an acerbic commentary on the dependence on faith. Generations have sought validation of their existence from this divine force, as several still do. It further questions the unsettling conflict between youth and age, peace and chaos and sometimes, between choice and the lack of it. In his address to the temple, Kulkarni also puts into perspective the viability of every social construct that governs our understanding. I can’t recommend Deool enough.