Yours truly spent the last week fervently wishing and praying for one particular super power – to be able to be present at many places at one time! How else does one make the most of the enticing buffet of films from India and around the world that the 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai film festival offers.
1. 'Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota'
Mard ko dard nahi hota, this iconic dialogue by Amitabh Bachchan is the title of a super whacky film by Vasan Bala. Also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, it tells the story of a boy born with a congenital insensitivity to pain. Playing this man who feels no pain is Maine Pyaar kiya actress Bagyashree’s son Abhimanyu Dassani.
This isn’t a serious documentation about a rare medical condition. Rather it is a mad, crazy, eccentric ride about a young boy who refuses to grow up. In a hat tip to the ’90s VHS tapes era, young Surya is obsessed with watching action films and idolises a 1-legged Karate master . The action sequences are complete paisa vasool and Radhika Madan, Gulshan Devaiyah, Mahesh Manjrekar and Jimit Trivedi never miss a beat as they surrender to this eclectic setup!
Manoj Bajpayee does it again! Another career best performance. We said it for Aligarh, then Gali Gulieyan and now Bhonsle. It’s only Manoj Bjapayee who can outdo himself each time. Here he plays the eponymous character of Bhonsle, a 60-year-old retired cop who visits his superiors everyday looking for an extension of his services. Set In a lower middle class housing society in Mumbai, one witnesses the divisive politics and flared passions at play and how Bhonsle in his own quite way stands up to the hate and prejudices.
At a time when so many conversations are happening about safer work environment for women and #metoo, Ivan Ayr’s Soni is an important watch. Two women perceived to be in positions of power, owing to their gender, are constantly forced to surrender to stereotypes at work and even in their own homes. Soni, a police officer, and her senior Kalpana might not share the same temperament but the unsaid bond and empathy that they have for each other, come alive in some of the best moments in the film. Actors Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Saloni Batra are super impressive in their respective roles .
4. 'Bulbul Can Sing'
Rima Das is the flavour of the season. Her film Village Rockstars is going to represent India at the Oscars and her latest Bulbul can Sing won the Golden Gateway Award at this year’s MAMI!
A charming coming-of-age tale about friendship, dreams and the brutal forces on the prowl threatening to disrupt the innocence of first love, Bulbul Can Sing is rich with tunes and hues from Das’ own village in Assam. The cinematography is breathtaking as the frames are luxuriated with enchanting beauty and an evocative portrayal by the young cast gives us plenty to cheer about.
5. 'The Sound Man Mangesh Desai'
Finally we have Subhash Sahoo’s documentary on the legendary sound mixer Mangesh Desai. The Sound Man Mangesh Desai takes us on an immersive journey documenting not just the genius of Desai but is also replete with precious anecdotes from the making of some of Bollywood’s most iconic films. The typical sound of bullets that we have come to associate with Sholay or the famous mere paas maa hai scene with its thumping background score – Mangesh Desai was the man responsible for these iconic moments and if you are a film aficionado this documentary is a must watch!
. Read more on Entertainment by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand Deaths‘Bhonsle’, ‘Soni’ & More: Top 5 Indian Films of MAMI Film Festival . Read more on Entertainment by The Quint.