Baiscope

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Baiscope movie recommendation #2

This week's recommendation: "Let's Talk". This is a breakthrough film at many levels: a unique non-linear film structure, a powerful script, a mind-blowing soundtrack, and Boman Irani's bold entry into the film world. Synopsis (from official site):
Radhika Sareen is pregnant and the baby is not her husband's. If she tells her husband, how will he react? What will he do? The film unspools from Radhika's mind as she imagines her husband's possible reactions to her predicament. The structure of alternative realities borrows from a traditional musical form, the "Thumri", where a single thought is expressed in a multiplicity of moods. While the setting is urban contemporary Mumbai, its exploration of love is based on the enduring myths of Lord Krishna, the eternal lover and his beloved Radha, who represents the eternal seeker. Newcomer Maia Katrak and sensational theatre actor Boman Irani provide riveting performances with a realism and truth unsurpassed in modern Indian cinema.
Although sprinkled with sharp wit and humor, this is a bleak film. After watching it, I recalled the sinking feeling I experienced after watching the Aamir Khan starrer "Raakh", but that is the nature of the film.

A couple of things didn't work for me: the movie is almost entirely about the husband, leaving the wife's character very uni-dimensional. According to the Rediff review:
She complements Irani well but is handicapped by the fact that it is Irani's film all the way.
Secondly, being the first ever Indian movie shot on DV, the visuals are mediocre. From Upper Stall review:
The film has been shot using 2 PD-100 MiniDV cameras. The director claims to have done considerable research on the film, including filming an entire scratch version, doing sample reverse telecines from different labs all over the world, and even writing customized software for post production. But the end result is disheartening. The film is extremely grainy and pixelated and the the look of the film supersedes the fine performances and an engaging story. The camera is obtrusive at times and lighting is totally uncontrolled (burned-out windows, too dark, ineffective use of indoor lights.) Technically the film is too amateurish to qualify as the herald of serious DV filmmaking in India.
All in all, an outstanding and inspiring movie. Did I mention the mind-blowing soundtrack?

2 Comments:

  • From here

    "...Monsoon Wedding, shot in just a month with a handheld camera...."

    When I saw the movie for the first time, I thought the cameraman was in inebriated state during almost whole of shooting. Later I came to know, it was due to handycam.

    By Blogger Shashikant, at 12:10 AM  

  • Shashikant,

    You are right, the camera was little jerkier than required in Monsoon wedding. Compare that to Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, which was shot hand held by the director himself. The camera movements were much more fluid.

    Having said that, during Monsoon wedding I was distracted enough by what was going on with the characters, music, etc, that it didn't bother me much :)

    By Blogger baiscope wallah, at 11:19 AM  

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