Posts Tagged ‘ Anjali Patil ’

Finding Fanny

Finding Fanny
Release date: September 12, 2014
Directed by: Homi Adajania
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Arjun Kapoor, Pankaj Kapur, Anand Tiwari

Deepika Padukone’s voice narrates the story of a bunch of people from a place called Pocolim in Goa, which you shouldn’t bother looking for on a map. Perhaps telling us how it doesn’t really matter if the space exists or not, but paints a picture of how things go at their own pace in this sleepy yet colorful surrounding.

Ferdy (Naseeruddin Shah) is an overgrown choir boy who still hasn’t given up on singing for the church. Angie (Deepika Padukone) catches a rooster from a flock of chickens with her bare hands, and says sorry to him before chopping his head off. Rosalina (Dimple Kapadia) is a hardnosed voluptuous queen bee to the people of Pocolim and a compassionate mother-in-law and a doting mother-like figure to her cat and anyone who needs her. Don Pedro (Pankaj Kapur) is a fledgling painter who’s obsessed about his muses until he’s done painting them. Savio (Ajun Kapoor) is a scorned admirer of Angie who’s inherited 10 dentures and a crumbling house as his family’s legacy.

The five of them leave for an inadvertently selfless road trip in Don Pedro’s car, chauffeured by Savio, which is motivated by Angie’s intentions to help Ferdy know of what happened to the only woman he loved in his life, and what could have happened if his letter professing his love for her had reached the woman. Angie works the wheels around and makes the group of five oddballs assemble, even for their own selfish interests. The premise is thin, and every time Angie says it out loud, you cringe a little.

Their individual traits keep being manifested as they drive further. Often raking up age-old classic comedy shticks and lines of popular deadpan sarcasm, Homi Adajania and Kersi Khambatta place them in a way which makes them seem fit for the characters mouthing those one-liners. Nothing is absurdly serious in the journey, not even death. Finding Fanny prods you to not take life seriously itself, in a whimsically metaphoric way.

The resolution of the final act is too candid and simple, representative of the entire film itself. The resounding message in the end isn’t an unheard or unseen one, yet it’s delectably enjoyable. Mathias Duplessy’s Goan undercurrents to the film’s background score and music soak you in the free-flowing atmosphere. Adajania doesn’t delve extensively in establishing Goa’s aesthetics and lifestyles with his DP Anil Mehta, instead they reduce the clutter by just focusing solely on the protagonists.

Yes, ‘protagonists’. Finding Fanny isn’t just the story of one protagonist, it very well breaks the Bollywood barrier of sticking to one character’s defeats and victories. It’s the collective lives intertwined simply to form a no-frills outright comedy fest with an underline of love. All the mentioned actors are so drenched in the atmosphere of the film, it’s almost as if Pankaj Kapur has always been this sleazy lech, or Mr. Shah has been this fumbling loverboy. Finding Fanny creates a space where you almost forget that all five of them have played so many roles outside the canvas of this film; which in itself is terribly commendable.

My rating: ***1/2 (3.5 out of 5)

With You, Without You

The Official Poster

The Official Poster

With You, Without You (Oba Nathuwa Oba Ekka)
Release date: June 20, 2014 (India)
Directed by: Prasanna Vithanage
Cast: Anjali Patil, Shyam Fernando, Maheshwari Ratnam, Wasantha Moragoda

Sri Lankan director/screenwriter’s Sinhalese adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella The Meek One came out almost two years ago on the international film festival circuit, and has won a handful of awards everywhere the film has been projected. Now I know why. Shot on a unique aspect ratio with the now extinct Kodak species of equipments, With You, Without You is superlatively pleasing to watch.

Set in the post war inflicted country, Selvi (Anjali Patil) is a young Tamil girl who is separated from her family and runs dry of money to pay for her rent. She ends up selling off her jewelry to a weary pawnshop owner, Sarathsiri (Shyam Fernando) who takes an instant liking to her. He even breaks his own set of business ethics especially for her, in their very first encounter! He starts pursuing her in his own way.

Things move fast, and Selvi takes her own time to reciprocate. They don’t know each others’ backgrounds, in a country torn apart by the thick band of differences into two tribes, the majority Sinhalese populace and the minority Tamils. Even when they start living together, Sarathsiri keeps his stoic face intact and hardly gives away much of his past or his current aspirations, except just growing his business.

Their small blissful paradise faces an eruption in the form of a revelation of one of their muddy professional records. The principal characters reside in a small apartment which is lightly painted in the color blue, with the only window overlooking the hills and minimalistic furniture in sight. The protagonists wear hues of blues and not even once it appears forced. Every shot of the film is almost a specimen of brilliance and embodies the stillness and calm of their lives. The hills, the streets, or Anjali Patil’s fragile demure, M.D. Mahindapala with the director, creates a terrific mise-en-scene.

The theme touches upon a very complex ending in a comparatively foretelling approach. I wish I could talk about the intricacy of that ending, but I wouldn’t give away any major spoilers. Shyam Fernando as Sarathsiri watches professional wrestling throughout the course of the film, which I won’t necessarily like to call as an ego rush, as much as a testosterone pump-up. There is a perpetual look of restraint and grim on his face and when he makes a vital confession, you see why.

In its entirety, the film refrains from using any background score which would manipulate how you feel about any of the characters on screen, and yet maintains a constant evolution in their graphs with its limited dialogues. Prasanna Vithanage’ With You, Without You is a masterpiece in its own caliber.

My rating: ****1/2 (4.5 out of 5)

(This film is a PVR Director’s Rare release)


Release date: October 24, 2012
Directed by: Prakash Jha
Cast: Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol, Esha Gupta, Om Puri, Manoj Bajpai, Anjali Patil, Murli Sharma, Chetan Pandit, Kiran Karmarkar, Kabir Bedi, S.M. Zaheer

Surrounded by the Kauravas, Abhimanyu is lynched by the ‘chakravyuh’ and Arjuna sees light and rides onto his stallion into the battleground. This is what Mahabharata signifies the importance of chakravyuh as. Does this film actually stands true to its supposed symbolism? A few more paragraphs, perhaps.

Set in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh and its surrounding states, Prakash Jha presents an urban tale of Naxalism with a strong undercurrent of a moral dilemma situation between its protagonists. Adil Khan (Arjun Rampal) is an honest and daring cop. His wife, Rhea Menon (Esha Gupta) is also a cop and works with him in the same department. Adil and Kabir (Abhay Deol) are thick friends and the former even pays for the latter’s college fees through his own scholarship.

A small tussle of egos is depicted with utter irreverence and a feeling of being irrelevant to the subsequent plot. Adil is posted in a Naxalite area, Nandighat and he takes the challenge head on, he eventually creates a plan with Kabir to help him infiltrate the Red Army and make him work as a police’s rat. Kabir, being the volatile rebel, slowly immerses himself into the skin of a Marxist.
Rajan (Manoj Bajpai) and Juhi (Anjali Patil) along with Murli Sharma – whose character’s name I can’t recollect,  sorry – are the heads wanted dead or alive with a bounty on them. They are at the front of Naxalite operations in Nandighat where Adil is newly posted. Om Puri plays Govind Suryavanshi, who is their spiritual and ideological leader.

The actual story of Chakravyuh isn’t the struggle of the Naxals in their own country or the pressing of innocent civilians between the crossfire of the Government and the rebels. It’s the collective infighting of a countryman against another one of his own tribe. There are a lot of moments that border on fringe polarization and straightforward sensationalism, creating a painful view while those scenes last. The background score and the limited music are exceptionally loud most of the times, again, painful. The dialogue isn’t too memorable for such a bold venture as well, but it isn’t quite too finicky and old either.

Overall, Chakravyuh is a well-intentioned film that left this viewer underwhelmed. The film somehow never carries on to that ‘next level’ and the first half turns out to be very slow. Hence, pacing into the climax.  Though bold in its approach (not exactly) and names (yes, totally) with Mahanto, Nandighat you know what Jha’s aiming for, but eventually the film lacks the required finesse.

Chakravyuh is a smarter film compared to a lot of its competition, but that can’t be reason enough for everyone to watch it.

My rating: **1/2 (2.5 out of 5)

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