While it remains that there is little wrong with blatantly brandishing a view point through a film, to remain blind to the manifold complexities and fine nuances that do not let the real world be easily partitioned into clear cut cubicles of extremities, could prove to be fatal. This takes a toll on the believability of the film, without doubt, and strips it of the possibilities of reflection, if any.
‘Crossroad’ is a loosely screwed in ensemble, pieces of which keep falling off every time it tries to punch in a point. It’s unlikely to be remembered as a benchmark in portmanteau films, and leads you into the hum-ho zone in no time. Strike off those last three shorts, and you might literally find yourself stranded on the crossroads with this one.
A primitive allure that had been long lost makes a revisit through ‘Kaattu’, and it’s a peculiar combo of the dismal and the lyrical that Arun Kumar Aravind comes up with in his new film. It’s a complex character drama that is tonally and visually notable; a foreboding and dark tale that makes for austere viewing and told with an uncanny grace.
The very evident intent is to craft a wild and crazy run, but the character development in ‘Lava Kusha’ renders it a routine endeavour. The fleeting moments of humour aren’t enough to retrieve this middling enterprise that makes you forget even the odd smiles that it generates by the end of its agonizingly extended running time.
Christopher Abbott is the man, and in Josh Mond’s critically acclaimed ‘James White’ he plays a twenty something youngster who is terrified at the way life keeps slipping through his fingers. He is ably supported by Cynthia Nixon, who plays his mother Gail White, who has been battling with cancer.
Shlok Sharma’s ‘Haraamkhor’ that released earlier this year, is a film that blows you off your feet, for that insanely talented actor that Nawazuddin Siddiqui is. It does score brownie points on account of its highly volatile theme, but the actor palpably towers over the material here.
It’s a huge risk to dabble with anthologies, and Bejoy Nambiar takes on the task with immense ambition. But as a collective, ‘Solo’ runs with sparsely solid segments, that scores a point for its structure and format, but falls short of filling it up with germane and gripping substance.
The streak of massive destruction and rage that runs through the six brilliant pieces that make up Damian Szifron’s ‘Wild Tales’ (Relatos Salvajes) is what makes it unlike any anthology that we have watched till date. Szifron’s film is a an amazingly exciting wreck ride that sends you spinning down dimly lit tunnels of love, revenge and pure hate.
Conor and Jock in Peter Foott’s ‘The Young Offenders’ have to be the most adorable dingbats that I have seen on screen in years. Set in the city of Cork, the film talks of these daft teens who have just turned fifteen, who are the bestest of friends, who have the weirdest of dreams, who claim to have an identity as distinct as possible from the other, and yet who share the same pair of briefs.
Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Udaan’, speaks a lot and yet it is the unspoken bits that abound aplenty that make it a momentous film. Deftly directed and delightfully penned, it is as much a visceral examination of domestic abuse as it is a gut-wrenching coming-of-age tale. ‘Udaan’ is a persuasively atmospheric film that lures you straight into its fold.
It could only be a real zany mind that would have the nerve to start off his film the way Dominic Arun does, that within minutes has the audience dropping their jaws – either in amazement or in morbid fear of what’s in store for the next couple of hours. The effect is pretty much similar to what Terry Zwigoff accomplishes with ‘Bad Santa’, where he adeptly replaces the chubby, soft footed, white bearded old man that we have long been accustomed to, with a drunken, bad-ass, swearing champ, Billy Bob Thornton.