Sunday, July 14, 2013

BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG: A Real-Life Tale of Inspiration

Rakeysh Onprakash Mehra had me conquered with Rang de Basanti and I had been awaiting a new tale that would feature his unique directorial punch. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, a patriotic and epic account of runner Milkha Singh's life, features spot on performances by the cast and a wonderful and highly involved lead performance by actor/director Farhan Akhtar, who trains, sweats, bhangras and romances with all his heart. Prasoon Joshi’s script tell's Milkha Singh’s story through a long series of flashbacks that make the full story materialize at the end of the film.

Friday, July 5, 2013

HARUD: Kashmir's Free-Falling Leaves

Slow but effective, Harud starts with scenes that grasp the viewer and, even though one might find the film’s long silences heavy to watch, the eyes and the heart of art cinema lovers will wait patiently to see what brave story unfolds.
Rafiq (Shahnawaz Bhat), Harud’s main character, has an elder brother who has disappeared due to the tension in the Kashmir region. His mother and father have difficulty in dealing with this disappearance and the ambient violence, to the point that his father (veteran Iranian actor Reza Naji) starts slowly losing his mind to depression. Rafiq’s daily life unfolds listlessly until he finds his older brother’s camera and starts to use it, finding some respite from a grey existence. 
A special mention goes to actors Mohammad Amir Naji (Rafiq's father), who is already known to be immensely talented, and to Mudessir Ahmed Khan, who despite being a starting actor, gives the film a tinge of  joy or magic to each scene he takes part in. Equally strong applause goes to Nakul Kamte. As I was watching the film, I kept wondering how such guerrilla-style film making could achieve such quality in the sound department, and it was only after I saw his name in the credits that my mystery was solved.