Category Archives: Film

Notes on Forrest Gump


I had first watched Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994) as a teenager, and loved it back then. A recent re-watch has changed my opinion. For one thing, the film surpassed Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption in Oscars. But since awards rarely define greatness, let’s skip that part. What really bothers me is the conservative undertone of the film. Continue reading


luciaWhich is of greater importance – the cozy, familiar world of reality or the dizzying, intoxicating world of dreams? Which has higher stakes? Which would you rather lose? During times when poor Hindi remakes have managed to give the south a bad reputation, Lucia (Pawan Kumar, 2013), a Kannada film with English subtitles, notable for its non traditional crowd funding, is a treat to watch. Continue reading

The Lunchbox

lunchboxThe Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra, 2013) is a simple story woven together with emotionally powerful and memorable scenes. Set in the hustle-bustle of Mumbai, the story begins with a ‘lucky’ mistake which first brings the 2 protagonists together and unfolds around the blossoming friendship between this unlikely couple. Continue reading

Lagaan | Swades

lagaan_swadesThere is very little doubt that Ashutosh Gowariker is one of the most interesting, and courageous, film-makers of modern India. He has made unique, daring films on lesser told stories. Unlike the trendy candy floss romances and gangland violence, Gowariker, at-least in the best of his films, goes to the villages. And Gowariker’s idea of village is not an array of wavy mustard fields and ancient spiritual values. In both his masterpieces Lagaan and Swades, he has depicted an Indian village as is. Continue reading

Doctor Who

doctorThere was a time in cinema where almost every film would have a scene where a doctor would make a house visit to see the bed-ridden patient. On his way out, his leather bag would be carried by the patient’s son, and the doctor will stop at the door, and reveal in hushed voice about the patient’s suffering from tuberculosis, or cancer. Those gray haired doctors were accessible over phone and often themselves called the patient, just to know how was doing. Continue reading

Opening credits

taxi_driverIt’s interesting how some films manage to accomplish so much with their opening sequences. The seven shot opening titles of Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) beautifully manages to establish the dark mood. Two of those shots are close ups of De Niro’s eyes, while other five show distorted images of a hazy and obscured Manhattan through the windshield of his taxi. We instantly know whatever we’re going to see in the film to follow is through Nero’s eyes. The distorted imagery reflects the deranged mind observing it. Continue reading

Kids of Persia

persian_childrenIf I were to recommend films for children’s viewing, 8 out of 10 films would be from Iran. Iranian cinema is known for its childlike innocence, moral values, rural beauty and poetic elegance. It is entirely different from the western media’s portrayal of post-revolution Iran, which paints a picture of war, repressive mullahs and fundamentalists. Propagandists still argue that the paradox is a direct consequence of the censorship there. The larger picture, however, is much more complex and interesting. Continue reading