Friday, February 1, 2013

Filmi year 2012: Appendices.

An addendum to my previous Filmi Year 2012 post, because don't you just hate it when this happens: make a end-of-year post in December because that's what everybody bloody does, and then watch all the films you missed in January, and it alters your perception of the previous year?

Yeah. Yeah.

So I'm correcting that now, and it's my blog, and I can do what I want. 

An Absolutely Once-in-a-Lifetime Film Experience: Gangs of Wasseypur

I'm not the biggest fan of Anurag Kashyap. I enjoyed the docu-drama Black Friday, and I thought Dev.D was a good effort that introduced the audiences to a lot of great talent (Kalki Koechlin, Mahie Gill, Abhay Deol, Amit Trivedi's awesome soundtrack) but I appreciate both films more as feats of film-making than as personal favourites. I wanted to see GoW because it was such an ambitious project, but I didn't expect I'd love it. 

And yet, wow, I completely did. Nawazuddin Siddiqui's performance, the amazing music, the journey through history.. There are many things to love here, and even though there are flaws in the 5 hour extravaganza as well (some slack, lots of telling-not-showing), it's just a brilliant film. I wish it was easier to carve out more than five hours of the day to rewatch it - or indeed that I could sell this film to any of my friends, making them interested enough to sit through it with me. 

It's not for everybody, but I personally never thought I'd be interested in an epic gangster film detailing Bihar coal mafia history, and yet I was. So if you can handle the violence, do check it out.

Most Bombastic Fantastic Film of the Year: Eega (review pending)

The premise is delightfully out there, brilliantly executed and the story just takes you for a ride, whether you're skeptical of it working or not. Eega had a lot of buzz (ha!) around it so I knew I had to check it out, and I'm very glad I did.

Most Aggravating Film of the Year: Student of the Year

Ishaqzaade had nothing on this. It's sad that it's another film with a lot of fresh faces, but hopefully they all move onto less annoying projects.

Films People Might Do Well To Check Out: Chakravyuh and Jannat 2

I feel like "underrated" might be overselling these films. I liked them quite a bit, but I'm not sure they're for everybody. Both are very violent, for one thing. Still, I think they're worth a cautious recommendation. Curiously enough, both share one actress - Esha Gupta, a newcomer. Sadly, her performances are not what makes these films rec-worthy.

Chakravyuh was a good, issue-based movie about Naxalism, that featured some fine performances -  regardless whether you're writing a doctoral thesis on Naxalites, or literally have no idea who Naxalites are, it's a film that will give you some food for thought.

Jannat 2 is great fun for coming from the Bhatt house. Emraan Hashmi is great in it, Randeep Hooda also does well in his role, and it's just a good time, really. I called it a bromance in my review, which is such an appalling term to use, but it's also just true - this is the story of a fledgling friendship between a crook and a cop, and they form the best part of the film. There is also plenty of cheese, especially in the romantic storyline, but overall it's just a fun, violent thriller flick.


Mette said...

"Food for thought" - that's just what Chakravyuh is!
Also, I can never see enough love for Gangs of Wasseypur, such a magnificent movie! :)

veracious said...

I know, all the love for GOW!

I probably should've mentioned that Chakravyuh portrays Naxalites in a pretty positive light: you could definitely argue they are too violent to give a serious alternative to Indian mainstream politics. Still, interesting flick.

Red said...

OMG, your positive review on "Gangs of Wasseypur" just makes me so curious about it. I'm waiting with watching GoW because I want to find enough time for both parts... I hope to find it soon!
I also agree with your opinion about "Chakravyuh". Definitely worth watching. "Chakravyuh portrays Naxalites in a pretty positive light" I had same feelings. But director still showed violence from them... Hmm, I still think a lot about this movie. Really good piece of cinema. Prakash Jha is now one of my favourites. Lately I watched "Aarakshan".

veracious said...

Red - Yeah, definitely watch both parts in one go, I think that's the way to do it. It will take up over 5 hours of your life but you get the full experience and then you can see which part you prefer and how the two halves go together.

Prakash Jha is always making interesting films! His message is not always one I agree with but he gets good performances out of people and really good stories, too.