TALES OF NEW AGE CINEMA: CHAPTER IV

Raajakumara: A Journey Back to Kasturi Nivasa:

Commercial cinemas in South India are majorly concentrated towards mass audience who would love to watch their actor fight with villains along with dance and a bit of humour added to the recipe of the Masala. In Kannada film Industry, we often come across these films which entertain the audience and score both critically and commercially good in the box office. Last year, different genres of films released in Kannada Film Industry and films like Shivalinga, Last Bus, Karva, Dodmane Hudga, Godhi Banna Sadharana Maikattu, Kirik Party were able to make it big both critically and commercially.

Raajakumara is one of those Films which released last week that had all the elements required in a commercial film. Dr. Rajkumar has such huge fan following in Karnataka and naming this film after his screen name was a bold move by Santosh Ananddram. In this film we can see shades of Dr. Rajkumar starrer movie Kasturi Nivasa (1971, Director: B. Dorairaj) as well. In this Film, Siddharth/Appu (portrayed by Punith Rajkumar) is the son of NRI (Potrayed by Sharath Kumar) based in Australia and takes care of his family business and he falls in love with Nandini (Potrayed by Priya Anand). A tragedy brings him back to India and he fights for his family problems and lift the pride of his Father.

In last 5 years, this might be one of those unique films which has a long list of legendary actors in supporting roles like Ananth Nag, Prakash Raj, Dattanna, Sharath Kumar, Rangayana Raghu, Sadhu Kokila, Achuth Kumar and the list goes on. Despite of their limited on-screen presence, all of them performed really well, especially Dattanna, Prakash Raj and Rangayana Raghu with their natural acting. This is Priya Anand’s debut Kannada film and she have justified her role as Nandini, a salsa instructor and fiancé of Siddharth. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best performance of Punith Rajkumar in recent years as his dialogues, dance and acting creates a long lasting impression on audience.

Santosh Ananddram is the backbone of the film since he is the writer, Lyricist (for 3 songs) and director of the film. This film is visual treat to the audience as Venkatesh Anguraj has filmed this flick in cities of Australia like Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney & Melbourne followed by Bangalore, Goa and Kashi. Original Score and background music is neatly composed by V. Harikrishna and all these songs are superbly poised to the screenplay by Santosh. My favourite songs from this film are Vijay Prakash’s ‘Neene Raajakumara’ and Sonu Nigam’s ‘Saagarada’.

This film was released on 24 March, 2017 over 350 silver screens and it had one of the biggest opening in Kannada Film Industry. The film has received mixed responses from critics as Sunayana Suresh from Times of India rated it 4/5 Stating “Raajakumara is one of the few mass films that has the charm of old-world family entertainers, while still retaining the sass and style related to films of today”, while Shyam Prasad from Bangalore Mirror rated It 3/5 stating “It is only a reference point and the stories are very different. Raajakumara has something for everyone and Punith for his fans.” The Audiences rated this film 8.9/10 in BookMyShow.com from 28,293 votes while, this has scored 9.8/10 in imdb.com from 1,300+ votes so far.

In South India, the majority of audience love their Star actor – dance for peppy songs, fight with goons and deliver punching dialogues which thrills their fans. This film lives up to the expectation of Punith’s fans as well as Dr. Rajkumar’s fans. It is very rare to watch commercial films that takes us back to 80’s genre of films which had old-family sentiments keeping this generation’s audience in mind who watch only films with good content and value good films. Have you booked your tickets yet?

Before the Flood -The Garden of Earthy Delights

            It was that Sunday afternoon when my cousin Akash insisted me to watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s Documentary film “Before The Flood” which mainly focus on how global warming is raising every day and how we are contributing for this. Ban-Ki-Moon once said “Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.”

    The Documentary starts with Leo referring the 15th – Century triptych  “The garden of earthly delights “  by Hieronymus Bosch. He explains that this hung above his crib as an infant, and he uses as an analogy of the present course of the world towards potential ruin as depicted on its final panel.  The film then opens up with Ban Ki Moon, The Secretary of General appointing last year’s Academy award winner as ‘UN Messenger of Peace’ on the occasion of the 2014 Climate Leaders’ Summit and he addresses one of the largest assemblies of the world leaders in history. Leonardo and Ban Ki Moon discuss climate change and the extreme weather patterns already being experienced all over the world.

      Leonardo DiCaprio travels across the world to understand, how this is world is affected by this global warming because of several from starting from – South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.  To extract out the coal, Oil and Natural gas, big companies have to get the huge machinery inside the mother earth which requires huge energy and result in poisoning of Rivers, air, burning of forests and creation of oil barrels, Mining facilities. The transportation vehicles we use like Train, Plain, boats, Cars – whatever we do produces CO2 that leads to climate change. In Indonesia, people burn hundreds of acres of forest to extract palm oil, so that they can sell it to FMCG business companies for their food products. All these actions results in more dangerous Weather pattern, Floods, Tsunamis, earthquakes are the result of it and it is happening right now.

     AR5, one of the largest scientific report ever undertaken, analysed 9,300 research papers submitted by scientists from every country in the world and the conclusion was – climate change is happening right now and it is already displacing millions of creatures around the globe. Floods, super-storms, surged weather, wildfires, prolonged drought – all are because of these dramatic changes. We have left Holocene and are entering the Anthropocene, an epoch, in which humans are the primary drivers of change on Mother earth. Our planet is heating up fast and scientists have proven that this rapid change we see are not due to solar activity, volcano or other natural phenomena, but because of population. The climate change is because we humans are burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas along with deforestation and agriculture.

      In UN’s 21st conference of the Paris for its body United Nations Framework Convention on the Climate Change (UNFCCC) In 2015, 197 nations to sign up The Paris Agreement. This was article within the framework of UNFCCC dealing with the greenhouse gases emission mitigation, adoption and finance starting in the year 2020. The main aim of The Paris Agreement was to achieve legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 20 C. Leonardo interviewed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the leadership of China and the US committing to reducing their carbon reductions. When the two largest economies in the world stood up to make their commitments, many other countries quickly followed, building a momentum that has never existed before to solve this crisis.

        This Fisher Stevens directed documentary premiered in Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016. Later aired in National Geographic Channel on October 30, 2016 and soon after, this was made widely available for free (in India, we can watch this in Hotstar.com). The film also scored 70% approved rating in Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews. When we come to awards, this film has also won Best Documentary Film award in Evening Standard British Film Awards and Hollywood Film Awards. The Guardian has reviewed this documentary as a “heartfelt, decent, educational documentary about the most important issue of our time”

Hollywood filmmakers love to make disaster movies and usually, they center around one cataclysmic event – an earthquake, an asteroid or a tsunami. According to the latest science it seems to be the movie script we are now writing. We still have time to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but if we aren’t able to pressure our governments to start taking bold action, we could see 4°C of global temperature rise in the future. By 2050s, this could unleash a series of catastrophic impacts on our planet, threatening life as we know it. We all are responsible for what is happening around us and we have to work towards reducing this global warming. We have to grow more trees, recycle water, use less electricity, encourage use of solar energy and use public transport like bus/ train instead of travelling in car or bikes in every way possible. When every one of us come together to take action and fight against this global warming, then we will be able to save our mother earth from burning.

Thank You.

Tales of New Age Cinema: Chapter III

Kirik Party: The Fun ride of the Last Bench Party

College life in everyone’s life is a roller-coaster ride, which matures a person’s life from innocent High-school student to a matured work life. Each one of us have many unforgettable memories with friends in college to cherish with beautiful things, laughter, crushes, breakup and we also learn many things in life.  In college, whether we are with a small group of close friends or an extended group of people, every friendship brings something new to our lives, inspiring us to see world in a new way. Muhammad Ali once said, “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”  Friendship offers something unique and irreplaceable; each friendship brings up totally who we are.

Kirk party is one of the movies released in last Winter which covers the entire journey of a College student, Karna (portrayed by Rakshit Shetty) from the beginning of the college (especially Engineering) till the last day of the final year. This Rishab Shetty’s directorial venture shows the value of friends who join you in our every moment of Life. Rakshit Shetty and the Seven Odds’ story cover all the aspects we experience in college life in this realistic screenplay i.e., exams, last minute project preparations, suspension, love, breakup, hostel life, last bench gang. Moreover, it reminds our college life especially, our friends with whom we enjoyed those little moments which make us smile now. The film has some unforgettable dialogues in this in college-lingo and this film is filled with many one liners like “Motte Tulud-bitrallo”, “Soda haku anta talliddu” which keeps the audience laughing at the comic timings of actors.

After Ulidavaru Kandante, Rakshit Shetty seems to have explored himself more in acting and he naturally brings up the two shades of Karna with his versatile acting. As Karna, he portrays the role of a first year student- who fights with his seniors and gets suspended along with his last benchers to, a final year rough-and-tough Karna – who does everything to win the college election and goes on a lone bike ride every now and then. It’s not just his two different looks which make a mark in this film but it is his expressions, dialogue delivery and acting which takes the film to the next level and impress the audience.

The other Kirik Party members (his last bench mates) are the ones who add more value to this film. In a recent interview, Rakshit Shetty has informed that they have casted 90% of the actors out of 4000 aspiring actors in audition done by the crew in a college in Bangalore. The film features two new lead actresses Saanvi (Rashmika Madanna) and Arya (Samyukta Hegde), who play pivotal role in this 151 minutes movie with their natural acting. Achuth Kumar as a mechanic impress the audience with Mangalore accent despite of his limited role to play in this film. The casting of these hand-picked actors is excellent and each one of them have done a remarkable acting in this film.

When we come to technical aspects of the film, the cinematography is done by Karm Chawla, who takes this film to another level, especially the kidnapping and bike riding song scenes are the true visual treat. The editing is also done tightly despite this movie clocking over 151 minutes as Rishab Shetty’s direction ensured that it doesn’t feel like a lengthy film. Ajaneesh Lokanath has done a commendable job with his original score and music with his ten songs which, perfectly blends with the screenplay. Songs like ‘Katheyondu’ and ‘Tiruboki jeevana’ reminds of college days.  The song sung by Vashista Simha also play a pivotal role which transfers first year Karna to the final year Karna.

Kirik Party released on 30 December 2016 with over 100 screens all over Karnataka and impressed the audience with house full shows. In a recent press conference, the producers already confirmed this as a Super Hit.  The critics loved this movie too; Time of India and Bangalore Mirror rated this 3.5/5 each, while The Hindu Rated this 4/5. In BookmyShow.com, the audience applauded the film with 89% votes from 18000+ audience’s review, while in Imdb, the film has received 9.4/10 rating so far. Distributed by Jayanna Films and produced by Paramvah Studios along with Pushkar Films, the film has been released in Chennai, Kerala and UAE markets last week with plans to release in US and Europe soon.

We have seen many youth focused, college story films over the years and especially in last two decades, however, it is difficult to make a edge of the seat experience in this type of films. Friendship is one of the relationships, for which we spend much more time in cultivating them and also learn to be a good friend. Friendship teaches to be together even after breakups, at graduations, at weddings and at funerals. This is why our friends hold a special space in our hearts whether near or far. This Rishab Shetty’s flick delivers lively and realistic performance of all actors. This film also promises to give an impression which leaves audience walking out of the silver screen with a good feeling. This is a must watch movie for all age group.

Thank you,

Madhukar

Tales of New Age Cinema – Chapter II

Udaan: A fight of a teenager to live his life.

Freedom is a set of basic rights every human reserves to live his life in a democratic nation and we, Indians enjoy several set of freedom in our life. A moral principle of ‘right to life’ says that every human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not be killed by another human being. Each of us have the right to make decisions in our life, whether, it is to choose a career or make friends or a partner for life. Sometimes, each one us will not be able to choose what we want in life due to the society we live in and due to unavoidable forces.

Udaan (Dir: Vikramaditya Motwane, 2010) is one of those movies which inspires us to come out of the fear and face the situations in life. This film is Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane’s story of Rohan (Rajat Barmecha) who is expelled from boarding school with his 3 friends after they caught watching a B-grade movie, off campus. Rohan returns to his strict father (Ronit Roy) and a half-brother (Aayan Boradia) he was unaware of. Rohan was forced by his father to do the engineering and work in his factory when he wants to be a writer.

This film is a complete different concept in Bollywood as it takes up an issue of a teenager’s lives when it comes to choosing his career. Rajat Barmecha’s Rohan is not any teenager we’ve seen in Hindi cinema, who finds a girlfriend and fights with his parents to get married. He has such realistic problems in life like how to manage his Hitler father, how to write novels and books when his father burns everything he written and forces him to take up engineering, how to enjoy the essentials of a normal teenager, when his father forces him to be a wage slave in his factory. This character represents thousands of teenagers who fight with family and run away from authority to choose their career. Even though this was a debut film of Rajat he acting abilities in this, makes you natural especially in scenes like breaking his father’s car out of anger when it doesn’t start, to running ahead of his chasing father in street after hitting him in the end of the film. Ronit Roy’s acting is so brilliant that you almost hate him for his cold and middle-class obsessions. Even though this was a negative role, his character of strict father is long lasting and we rarely come across these unique antagonists in Hindi Cinema. Rajat’s young scared brother (Aayan Boradia), a victim of child abuse, his understanding chacha (Ram Kapoor) and his friends (both from boarding schools and seniors from college, who joins him for drink) justified to role characters in the film.

Vikramaditya Motwane is the star of the show, as he was able to write this script with Anurag Kashyap as well as directing this unconventional and inspiring story. Dipika Kalra edited this 138 minutes’ film and each scene has its own importance in this Mahendra Shetty’s cinematographed film. Amit Trivedi’s Soulful background score penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya is so beautiful that the screenplay is added to screenplay according to scenes and each song comes when story takes the turn or a lead. The songs Aazadiyan and Kahani are so refreshing that, if you listen it after 5 years also it will make you feel good.

This Vikramaditya Motwane’s directed debut movie was applauded by many in Cannes film festival in 2010, even before its release in India. This film received positive reviews from Critics and scored 8.3/10 imDb out of 31,851 votes received so far. This was also screened in 40th Giffoni Film Fest for Childerns film in Italy and Amit Trivedi won the best music score trophy in this fest. This was made on budget of 5 crores and declared as an average grosser. When it comes to awards, Udaan has won 7 Filmfare awards, 4 Star Screen awards and 10 awards in Global Indian and Television Honours. The Main recipient of these awards were Ronit Roy, Amit Trivedi, Anurag Kashyap, Rajat Barmecha and Vikramaditya Motwane for their work in each field of film-making.

While making any decision in life we hesitate because of the fear that is hidden inside us and our conscious keep on asking “What will happen, if I make this decision?”, “How will others react on me?”, “There will not be good opinion about me if I make this”. Due to the statements we get from our mind, we fear about all the possible negative reactions and we will not even try to do these things in life and be creative. Udaan is one of those films which does not showcase a happy-happy family and shows emotions of a realistic family which eats together, travel together but not good with each other. This film gets deeper with realistic problems of generations, from obsessive secure father, to a scared kid, to a teenager with a lot of passion for his life. For all of us, this movie is an inspiration to live our life, when we are forced by situations which are not letting us to do what we want. Fear is inevitable in everyone’s life but when we take the risk of coming out of it and fight the real issues, we will definitely do what we want to do and live happily.

Thank you.

Madhukar

Tales of New Age Cinema – Chapter I

Official poster of Kendasampige

Kendasampige – A Case of two baby Parrots

Indian cinema is considered as one of the industries which includes multiple Film Industries across the country like different branches of a banyan tree. Even though the entire cinema industry considered as a home for many mainstream commercial movies over several years, parallel cinema as an alternative, is creating a new sensation in it’s own way. They are known for how they show the serious content in a realistic approach and naturalism. The specialty of these films that they reject the idea of dance and song numbers, unnecessary comedy and fights sequences. If the subject requires a fight scene, they show them as how it generally happens in society rather than protagonist hitting 100 fighters at once without getting a single hit from the other fighters!! Due to the Dark subjects and less entertainment facts, these films are not accepted in the mainstream cinema production, distribution and exhibition System.

In Bollywood, directors like Anurag Kashyap, Vikaramditya Motwane, Nagesh Kukunoor, were able to get this parallel cinema in the limelight as one of the mainstream cinemas in Indian Cinema. Few examples of the films are Dev-D (Dir: Anurag Kashyap 2009), Masan (Dir: Neeraj Ghaywan 2015), Titli (Dir: Kanu Behl, 2016) and Udaan (Dir: Vikramaditya Motwane, 2010). When we come to Sandalwood i.e., Kannada film Industry, neo-realistic directors like P. Sheshadri (Bharath Store,2012), Girish Kasarvalli (Gulabi Talkies– 2008), Girish Karnad (Ondanondu Kaladalli – 1978) were able to give the realistic touch to the movies in Kannada and also commercially successful in Karnataka. The main reason for the success of these movies that the subjects the filmmakers chose like Thithi (Dir: Raam Gowda, A comedy flick on how different generations react post a 100 old man’s death), Ulidavaru Kadndante (Dir: Rakshit Shetty: A Mystery revealing different versions of an incident)

Kendasampige is one of the films in Indian cinema which raised the eyebrows of film viewers across the globe. This film-noir movie is a love story between Gowri (Portrayed by Manvitha) and Ravi (Portrayed by Vicky) that unfolds in the midst of crime and corruption. Not just for its uniqueness in the title –Kendasampige – Ginimari Case – Part II, but also this is India’s first film series which released Part 2 movie first. Its prequel the– Kagebangara and sequel – Black Magic are set to release by mid-2017 ad early-2018 respectively. The story is written by Surendranath and directed by Dunia Suri. Original Score for this crisp 99 minutes’ flick was done by V. Harikrishna and Cinematography by Satya hedge.

The film begins with a short narrative of “Kagebangara – Part 1”, which tells the story of drugs, corruption and police system in 5 minutes before the viewer brought to the narrative love Drama. Even though this was a film has touched the dark subjects, Suri have handled it with sheer brilliance. His direction is also notch better than his other films like – Dunia, Jakie and Kaddipudi. Along with Rajesh Nataranga, he has focused on a fresh style of narration and screenplay without adding any unwanted scenes in the script and keeping viewer hooked to the film. The film showcases bond between police and rich people along with showing how corruption influence people at this 21st century and affecting youth.

The cinematography was done by another star of the film, Satya Hegde and this is the first in kannada to use drone camera as well. The locations of Karnataka like – Bangalore, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Hubli and Belagavi look natural and a visual treat in the silver screen. The background music by V. Harikrishna is unique and each song in the film adds more value to the storyline of the film which are penned by Jayanth Kaikini and Yograj Bhat.

With theatre actors like Prakash Belawadi, Rajesh Nataranga, the film also had strong star-cast with new comers Vicky and Manvitha, who look like innocent criminals in this flick with their natural acting, it looks like they have written the story keeping these personalities in mind. Prakash Belawadi brings his own charisma to the evil cop in the film and Chandrika portrayed a rich high society mother who can do anything to save her child. With his ACP role Rajesh Nataranga is the real hero of the flick who balance between the police system and troubled lovers.

This Crisp flick was able to impress Critics as newspapers like Times of India, The Hindu, Bangalore Mirror and DNA India rated this film 4/5. The audience applauded loudly for performances of each in the film. In IMDB, this was rated 8.6/10 and 8.8/10 in bookmyshow. The was considered to be a hit in the box office and screened for 100 days in 5 theatres in Karnataka.

Even though we have been seeing love-stories which is backed by rich-poor scenario in India, this flick unfolds the truth on how the system is causing trouble to personal lives of many people in the society. Arguably, Suri have proved once again that he is one of the unique film Director working in the country with this movie. The wholesome experience will give a long-lasting good feeling just like the flower Kendasampige. It is true that, it is very hard for the parallel cinemas to make a mark in the cinema and impress mass audience who would love to watch more movies with ‘’the entertainment value”, however, when there are experiments like this would definitely motivate ignition of new ideas as well as new comers in the Indian Cinema. With these new ideas converting as screenplays and cinema in this century, I hope to see more of these kind of movies in Indian Cinema which add value to each one’s life with a social message for all of us.