Posts Tagged ‘ PVR Directors Rare ’


Lucia (Kannada)
Release date: September 6, 2013
Directed by: Pawan Kumar
Cast: Sathish, Shruthi Hariharan, Hardhika Shetty, Achyuth Kumar, Sanjay, Aryan, Prashanth

Many Kannada films don’t make their way to Mumbai, Lucia is among the few chosen ones that get to break that barrier. Produced by a crowdfunding initiative, be prepared to thrown off when the names of the producers cloud your screen with a galaxy of names in the starting credits.

Lucia is the story of a theater usher, Nikhil’s insomnia and the effects of the measures he takes to get over the said sickness. The film follows a beauteous non-linear structure, which holds you through the many slow sequences and extensively long song and dance numbers. The dance numbers appear out of place at first, even an attempt to commercialize the whole concept; but as the songs go on, there is a back-and-forth feel to them.

As Nikhil becomes obsessed with his lack of sleep, he’s dragged into a whole another thing. Soon, he’s sleeping with lucid dreams. Dreams that continue to run like a TV programme. He starts living an alter-life in his dreams and his real-life issues juxtapose with his sleeping thoughts. The lines between the two keep blurring and it gets harder to differentiate if the former is a reflection of the latter, or vice versa.

The screenplay not only focuses on the consistent shift from dream to reality, but also on the emotional and developmental conflicts of the protagonist in both the worlds. Nikhil earns very less, at his uncle Sankaranna’s (Achyuth Kumar) run down ‘talkies’ and his counter-persona Nikki, the movie star has everything that the world has got to offer. Nikhil’s desires to lead an inconsequential yet fulfilling life shadow Nikki’s adulation and need to regain his privacy.

The cleverly-written songs and amusingly witty lines keep every situation interesting enough to keep you engrossed. Out of all the scattered tracks, the police investigation one seems to be the weakest. Armed with majorly first time actors, heck, most of their names are taken off from their actual identities–there is some ham and cheese here at times. My favorite here was Achyuth Kumar, with his body transformation and character shift going hand in hand with his good performance.

Lucia has a gif too! Lucia has a gif too! (Click on it if in case it doesn't animate on this page)
Is Lucia watchable? Yes, even re-watchable! Should you slack in booking your tickets for it? No. PVR Directors Rare has nailed it once again with this selection.

My rating: ***1/2 (3 out of 5)


Release date: July 12, 2013
Directed by: Shlok Sharma, Siddharth Gupt, Anirban Roy, Rohit Pandey, Neeraj Ghaywan
Cast: Huma Qureshi, Satya Anand, Swheta Tripathi, Aditya Kumar,  Richa Chaddha, Arjun Shrivastav, Murari Kumar, Preeti Singh, Shankar Debnath, Kanchan Mullick, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Aditi Khanna, Vineet Singh and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee, Guneet Monga

As the release date shows, Shorts–a compilation of five short films, released 6 days back and I have only managed to catch it today. My viewpoints are a clear reflection of the angst and despair that I simply can’t keep to myself even though this film is out of screens in just a few hours.

A joint venture by the ever-expanding AKFPL and Tumbhi along with PVR Directors Rare, Shorts is an anthology of five different stories. Aimed at constructing a market for new filmmakers to market their skills, Shorts proves to be just that, a showreel of psychedelic lighting, voyeuristic camera angles, some acting here and there and over-dependence on nothing but background score.

The storylines present (or absent in a few) in the individual features have no connective theme and that’s not the part that’s frustrating, it’s actually usual for such a production to pack in different flavors, giving the audiences a chance to enjoy varied tastes and characters. But Shorts is plainly frustrating.

Shlok Sharma’s Sujata tries to build the entire narrative in flashbacks and constant cut-ins to the current setting. It deals with a complex theme of sexual abuse, but yet shies away from being naked in its sharpness. The said faults aren’t as distracting as the logical inconsistencies here.

Siddharth Gupt’s Epilogue is supposedly abstract and mysterious, but as the relationship drama starts to develop, it becomes unbearably repetitive and non-contextual. Richa Chadda’s sensuality isn’t enough to captivate you with a third symbolic character meandering with a shovel. The players are potentially most fascinating, but the said potential kills itself by self-aggrandizing.

Audacity directed by Anirban Roy tells a teenage-girl rebelling against her self-glorifying chauvinist father. Humor is an underlying theme in this feature as the girl defies the norms in her own way by capitalizing on the same beliefs of middle class Calcutta which restrict them in the first place. Again, the cultural background and a reasoning behind the characters’ activities aren’t established here as well.

Rohit Pandey’s Mehfuz also aims at being a subtle, minimal dialogue presentation like Epilogue and doesn’t quite fail as much. A blue and yellow tint is maintained throughout without making an ounce of an effort to actually ponder over its hokey appearance and contriving vibes. Mehfuz also carries on for the same duration that feels like a hundred eons. Only the choice of the protagonist’s profession is appealing.

The final film in this tiring experience is Neeraj Ghaywan’s Shor. The characters are boorish and real, the story isn’t pretentiously groundbreaking, yet it has a flow unlike most of the other parts. The only feature to have an extended dialogue and is explicitly reflective in its approach, turns out to be a good ending to the unseemly collaboration.

The incumbent ambition of the makers to popularize the concept of such initiatives shoots itself in the foot as the selection that they have preferred to come out with is woefully hit-and-miss (majorly miss) and amateurish. The ordinary uninformed masses won’t take the same number of risks in making their decisions though.

My rating: ** (2 out of 5)

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