Friday, December 30, 2011


‘This is the only sport in the world where two guys get paid for doing something they’d be arrested for if they got drunk and did it for nothing.’

The small town youth Midge Kelly and his lame brother Connie came in search of employment to LA. With his masculine built and bully temperament Midge knows only one thing- to fight. An opportunity leads him to boxing and soon from small town hitch hiker prizefighter he becomes the unbeatable champ of boxing ring.  He grows on making his name and fame and carried away by wrong priorities. Under company of beautiful dames and money spinning success he cut off his old loyalty. The title of championship persists with a heavy personal price tag. 

By all means the film is definitely worthy enough to watch for the knock out performance by Kirk Douglas as Kelly. Must say this one of the most terrific and passionate performance of his early career. Along with fine acting talent, the man has amazing natural gift of muscular profile compared to most of Hollywood stars of the era and the film like this brought that to the public notice. The film was spectacularly successful and established him as the man to watch forward in coming time. Apart of him, all rest of the cast performed so well, especially Arthur Kennedy who played his lame brother Connie.   

The film is fine mixture of sports drama and moderate noir. There’s no doubt that the film would surely remain an inspirational one for Scorsese while making ‘Raging Bull’, as he shot the film in B&W with those brilliant slow motion and close up shots of  bloody ring action. Though nominated for best actor and best supporting actor category, the film won sole Oscar for Best editing category.


Thursday, December 29, 2011


Can we imagine any other genius filmmaker of Hollywood who publicly calls his cinema ‘an artistic masturbation on screen’? With all his eccentric, narcissist, hypochondriac, neurotic self that throws oxymoron and one liners, Woody Allen is still a darling man of Hollywood making cinema of his kind; an absolutely stress removing treat. Like most of his films, Woody played himself here as Val Waxman, a filmmaker who got an offer to direct a film after a decade long period and it came from his ex wife and his rich financer fiancé. The film is about New York City and who knows streets of NY better than Woody! But at this very juncture he suddenly turned psychosomatically blind as some strange way of God. He doesn’t want to lose the chance to regain his name and fame as filmmaker and so he goes on directing the film on sets with his blindness on, faking that he’s alright.

Hardcore Woody fans may find much repetition in theme and plot with common traits of messed up marital relationships, caricaturized characters, stretched up situations and over the top drama but than even excess is fun to watch when there’s somebody unique like Woody doing it on screen. It’s quite an average Woody but one can’t deny his fine writing skills. The conversation on restaurant table between Woody’s split self persona and his ex wife is just outrageous fun to watch. Can’t resist sharing few lines here:

Ellie: Our marriage wasn’t going anywhere.

Val: Where do you want it to go? Where do marriages go? After a while they just lay there. That’s the thing about marriage.

Ellie: We had sex. But we never talked.

Val: Sex is better than talk. Ask anybody in this bar. Talk is what you suffer through so you can get to sex.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


'Him...and his pistol! There can be an experience of a lifetime in a gun. But it's not enough to be able to draw faster than the other guy if the other guy knows a trick that you don't know. In my days, we had to either learn the tricks...or we gave work to the gravediggers.'

My second spaghetti western made by this Italian Director Tonino Valerii and it’s absolutely entertaining affair for any spaghetti western lovers. Valerii worked as Sergio Leone’s assistant and imbibe many of Master’s skill in his works. Lee Van Cleef was the John Wayne and Clint Eastwood for small budget westerns and the man most of the times live up to the expectations. This is one of that western where he’s in terrific form as ruthless gunfighter Frank Talby who kills anything comes in between his goal. He arrives in a western town named Clifton as unwelcome stranger who helps a young bastard named Scott who works as sweeper and collects garbage of the local town. Under mentor Talby, Scott grows his manlihood and maturity but the camaraderie between them unsettles the unchallenged power of rich and powerful men of the town.

The film bears trademark western theme of gunslinger-disciple and one may find many traits of Leone’s western here in portrayal and execution of well choreographed action and camera angles. Riz Ortolani’s score for the film is high point of the film and it deserves to be heard even after the film is over.  


Monday, December 26, 2011


‘If a man is a man, he needs someone to believe in.’

They said that he could draw his gun three times before the other fellow even starts reaching his own in holster. Everybody knows about Jack Beauregard; the greatest gunslinger and the only hope of law and order in the west but his staunch admirer cum follower young man knows more than anybody else. He dreams of letting him face the wild bunch of 150 sons of bitches on horsebacks!

From almost silent and tense filled opening in saloon shots to awesome climax action where one man facing the group of 150 horsemen on railway track leading to surprising twist  this is a kind of spaghetti western demands to be watched on big wide screen. The film was of seed of Producer and Master Sergio Leone, materialized on screen by director Tonino Valerii. The film has fine repeat value as it combines action, comedy and fun running on screen in equal proportions making it perfect entertainment for any age. The camaraderie between two unlikely men different in age, mood and attitude is the worth watching chemistry between legendary Henry Fonda and young Terence Hill. Needless to say it has brilliant camerawork capturing fine panoramic wide shots and slow motion action shots. Maestro Ennio Morricone’s background much resembles to his immortal score for Leone films.

Absolutely entertaining and a must watch for any Western fan.


Thursday, December 22, 2011


There comes a period in every successful superstar’s career when under the intoxication of success and stardom he starts taking things as granted, making wrong choices and silly decisions being over confident, try to do things he is incapable of  that turns his progressive graph downward. The evergreen star started losing his charm with this debacle under his own banner and direction with this film and than he never turned back and continued his downfall journey to the limit that his films not sold tickets of even his opening first show. And yet he kept making cinema, if for nobody than for himself! 

After his second directorial venture and success of ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’, Dev Anand took the control of whole production and filmmaking in his own hands and started writing, directing, producing and acting altogether and ended up scoring zilch in all of the departments. Perhaps he made this film partly to keep his discovered muse closer to him and partly to project his self proclaimed Narcissist image on screen. With absolutely pathetic script, loud overact, odd chemistry with his aged look, the audience started rejecting their admirable star after this film. The film is drab purposeless affair on screen and Dev indulged more in showing skin of Zeenie baby. He’s playing international photo journalist who is interested taking snaps of bikini babes, driving his ridiculous car painted with names of all metro cities of the globe. 

Unfortunately the film fell short on many departments including the acting by the cast. Except Kishore-Lata’s classic duet ‘Bahut Door Mujhe Chale Jaana Hai’ even R D Burman’s  score for the film is too ordinary for banner like Navketan. What a debacle and yet Dev made another bigger box office disaster in company of his Zeenie baby titled ‘Ishq Ishq Ishq’. Both the movie and Dev’s possessive infatuation with Zeenat turned flop soon after its release. The rest is the fading glory of Dev and his once upon a time shining banner that gave not only box office hits but memorable films to Hindi cinema. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


The year is near to end and there’s not a single rejoicing film that makes this year memorable one for Bollywood cinema! So Popular Hindi cinema entertainment terribly falls short of creative ideas and concepts this year and carry on pushing remake factory packaged with glamorous wrappers of current bollywood stars. This Christmas, the audience habituated to mediocre action cinema flocked to see their screen sensation King Khan playing the new version of Don and than get ready to see one more handsome hulk playing the new version of Agneepath. The common denominator of both of these much hyped releases is that both has brand stamp of Amitabh Bachchan who set the status of angry young man or anti hero when audience is fed up with the romantic superstar of the era. Bachchan brought to screen the man of street in audience friendly cocktail made by Mehra-Chopra-Desai brigade. Perhaps the first dare act to play shades of anti-hero on screen was attempted by thespian Ashok Kumar but the popular star of the era who first romanticized the antihero characters on screen bade farewell to this world leaving legacy unsurpassed. For many admirers and fans like me the loss of this eternal evergreen phenomenon called Dev Anand this month was the saddest Sunday of the year.    

I grow up watching his cinema, listening his memorable songs, fascinating his oozing flamboyant charm and serenading romance, his style and persona with that irreplacable smile, his active energy and his many facets of star, actor, director and above all the man who never retired. Maybe he’s making film out there too! As per his name he’s truly ‘an angel of happiness’. Revisiting his cinema is a small gesture to pay him tribute. Soon after Dev Saab’s death, I was just thinking about arranging a retrospective of his films for a week but somehow that didn’t materialize due to busy schedule at job and other responsibility. Anyway I begin my tribute journey with one of his long due film for me that belongs to his home banner Navketan. The film was written, directed by his younger and talented brother Vijay Anand lovingly known in industry as ‘Goldie’.

The idealistic Nehruvian socialism and Gandhian principles were the order of that era and the film encapsulated that in the story. The theme represents love as igniting spark transforming a petty cinema hall black marketer man to the road of redemption. He faced trials and tribulations of law and society but than as idealistic side suggests that everything ends well that begins with a noble intention. Though Goldie handled the film so well, the melodrama in the second half seems quite cliché of that period revisiting today that stretching the film in the second half; but it was the flaw he improved so well in his later films with sharp editing skill. Both director-actor combo took the same theme to the next level six years later in their most ambitious project and a landmark Hindi cinema- ‘Guide’ based on R K Narayan’s Sahitya Academy winning novel. Undoubtedly their complementary combination worked as asset and magic to Navketan films. Together they became unbeatable team that gifted some of the finest Hindi films to Industry for a decade with titles such as ‘Nau Do Gyarah’, ‘Tere Ghar Ke Samne’, ‘Jewel Thief’ and ‘Johnny Mera Naam’. 

The film begins with one of the original shot which most of the critics considered as just footage but it is absolutely false assumption. We witness on screen the hero & his touts blackmailing tickets of one of the most successful and popular epic ‘Mother India’ at Liberty cinema hall in Mumbai. There are no more takers of heftily charged black tickets and than suddenly one after another all the mega stars-singers and crew of era starts coming to cinema hall in their vanity vehicles to attend that premier show waving their hands to the camera where Goldie was standing behind the camera fitted with zoom lens to capture this originally executed shot for his upcoming film.

Goldie a.k.a. Vijay Anand was heavily influenced by Hollywood Noirs of 50s and so one can witness the stark B&W frames, hero dwelling in some or other sort of street jobs and gripping editing for which he's famous. He also made some of the finest mystery thrillers with Hitchcokian twists. He paid homage to his idol in one of the scene here where Dev Anand standing next to large Hitchcock poster selling black tickets of ‘North By Northwest’ in Mumbai’s famous Metro talkies. The film finely captured post independent 60’s Mumbai with happening urban romance, and also the social reality on poverty and unemployment on Mumbai streets.

This is the rare Navketan film where all three talented Anand Brothers acted on screen together and all of them played their parts so well. Waheeda’s successful run into Guru Dutt camp won her entry to Navketan banner too. There’s no doubt that her on screen chemistry with Dev is something worth to watch in more than one film. Rest of the cast consists of Nanda, Madan Puri, Rashid Khan and Lila Chitnis, who remained officially default melodramatic mother of Dev Anand films gave her common contribution. S D Burman’s timeless compositions for Navketan is history for any Nostalgic Hindi film music lovers. Rafi’s two all-time soulful classic numbers ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’, ‘Apni To Har Aah Ek Toofan Hai’ belong to this film; though I equally love Manna Dey-Asha’s light romantic duet ‘Sanjh Dhali Dil Ki Lagi’.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


There are three Italian Sergio who defined Spaghetti western entertainment with their low on budget high on action firecrackers on screen. The first one becomes the most popular name who made Clint Eastwood the iconic legend with his trilogy westerns. The second one and quite lesser known one is Sergio Corbucci who made some of the brilliant westerns still unnoticed by mass except ‘Django’. What is John Wayne to John Ford, Eastwood to Sergio Leone; Franko Nero remained to Corbucci. The third and perhaps the least known one is Sergio Sollima. Indeed a wonderful discovery for western lovers!  

This is my first Sollima film and it’s absolutely gripping entertaining treat for any spaghetti western cinebuff. The film pitted two men poles apart from law and we see engaging cat and mouse play between an unofficial lawman named Corbett and a notorious and wanted Mexican outlaw named Cuchillo accused of rape and murder of a 12 years old girl. It has surprise in the middle and that push the boiling action to new direction. Lee Van Cliff is the man to watch here as Corbett and this is one no admirer should miss. Ennio Morricone’s score for the film is not as brilliant as his other achievements but nevertheless it gives you feel of Dollars trilogy of Leone. Sollima’s western has fine rustic and raw feel in visuals and locations unlike American studio set made westerns, catch the classy climax to know what I mean. This is kind of western which I love to watch again and won’t get bore for single minute. The movie is enlisted in Quentin Tarantino’s Top 20 Spaghetti Westerns.

Love to explore more of Sollima.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

THE SKIN I LIVE IN (Spanish) (2011)

One of the talked about film of the year by Spain’s most acclaimed contemporary filmmaker and Festival circuit favourite Pedro Almodavar. Beneath the thrilling and mysterious drama here’s a film which is unpredictable and bizarre in experience. The plot is abnormal and contrived one with surprising twist to get you hooked. A plastic surgeon experimenting with patient’s burnt skin and challenging the natural order by experimenting Transgenesis on his subject. Than it shifts gears into flashback and we witness the common traits of Almodavar cinema- accidents, drugs, family secrets, tragedies associated with it and complicated characters suffering from sexual disorder and mental trauma and guided by passion and obsession. There’s lot of intrigue in the film in the middle and I won’t ruin the surprise and twist by revealing it as spoiler. 

Almodavar filled the screen with lot of flesh and graphic nudity and considering the skin as one of the senses, it’s sumptuous visual food to notice. Elena Anaya is dame to watch in seasoned hands of tailor of aesthetic skin show but still there’s no alternative for Almodavar’s muse on screen- Penelope Cruz! But what is fresh is to see Antonio Banderas back in form to a role befitting his suave enigmatic persona other than mindless action flicks. The only drawback of the film is it wavering and shifting of theme like the character’s skin without much room for character elaboration. I was expecting a surprising twist or shock in the end but it ended up as considerably quite predictable affair without much conflict.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


‘I believe God is a sadist but probably doesn’t even know it.’

Perhaps one of the most underrated Second World War masterpiece made by the cinematic poet of violence. After seeing this film Orson Welles was so overwhelmed that he instantly cabled Sam Peckinpah to let him know that it was the best anti war film he has ever seen about the ordinary enlisted man. The film portrays the setting of 1943, Second World War where German soldiers are fighting on Russian front under the able and valiant leadership of Corporal/Sergeant Steiner. A new appointed selfish and over ambitious officer Captain Stransky takes the charge as a new commander. The confrontation between the two sparkles the fire untamable as one is courageous man of honor don’t care damn about winning medals, the other is pure wicked man paving his way to win favors and bag undeserving medals.

Watching Peckinpah films and his aging heroes reminds me another master American wrier Ernest Hemingway and his heroes. The myth and culture of American macho hero is predominant part of both these Masters of their own fort and their contribution is perhaps well appreciated much after their death. Well one can write a whole essay on Sam Peckinpah’s heroes (won’t call them just ‘protagonists’) and their association with violence. Here Steiner is a disillusioned and stoic courageous soldier trapped in the world of ruthless violence of war and selfish seniors craving for ‘cross of iron’ medals compelling him to favor their unscrupulous act; and still he managed to remain the man of integrity. Though he’s fighting the war like valiant soldier he hates the blind ambitious rat race. He is the real man of honor who has to sacrifice himself along with others in the hostile situation not only against enemy but towards home too. For James Coburn perhaps this is the meatiest and memorable role of his career.

As for Peckinpah fans, Violence on American Cinema is divided in two general categories- pre Peckinpah and post Peckinpah. Master’s penchant for slow motion action portrays the intense experience. Just like his brilliant westerns, he managed to brought the brutal and godforsaken side of war violence with striking visuals. The film also depicts the psychological damage and paranoia that horror of war can inflict upon soldier. The awesome climax is pure Peckinpah touch of exploding chaos and violence on screen and there’s no match for ‘Bloody Sam’. The exciting thrill under the bridge, the unpredictable affair with lady soldiers followed by landmines in Russian trenches and the shattering final nemesis of Steiner’s platoon. Even in the final frames Peckinpah showed you the nihilist and unpredictable horror of the war making man almost animal; and Peckinpah knew no language suits him better than anger, blood and bullets. Hopeless angry Steiner emptying his machine gun to Triebig is the scene hard to forget. The final freezing frames are brilliant satire about war and the two faces of war heroes.

Highly Recommended.


Monday, December 12, 2011

IN TIME (2011)

This is kind of sci-fi thriller which results from miscarriage of a brilliant idea with poor screenplay and pathetic direction and execution. It has a fine and unique concept from which one can make brilliant and entertaining sci-fi thriller if scripted well or treated better. It begins with showing us the futuristic world where time is currency, time is mode of payment and time is what human beings are running for when one grows 25 years old. There’s no aging post 25 and so mother, daughter, son or grandson seems just 25 years old but only rich are fortunate enough to see the second and third generation. A protagonist running short of time saves the life of a stranger who has more than century of time on his sleeve (ya, Hollywood shows your time balance account in electronic digits on sleeve) Soon the stranger transfers his time to sleeping protagonist and commits suicide. The timekeeper (the vigilante cop who’s managing time in the world) is now hunting for the protagonist to get the time back.

Now everything seems fine and entertaining upto this juncture in the film. What we see next is Hollywood’s routine chase and run thrill then onwards where there is no conflict and no intrigue, even thrill and tension is terribly missing as the film is absolutely tilted one way to the hero and heroine who’re able to outsmart others anywhere anytime, they’re distant cousins of Robinhood stealing time from rich and distributing to poor, the rest is all mindless mediocre action from Hollywood Inc. I don’t care damn about Justin Timberlake or Amanda Seyfried  but what a waste of promising actor like Cilian Murphy!

Quite a disappointment!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

KURONEKO (Japanese) (1968)

From the man who gave us eerie Japanese psychological horror ‘Onibaba’, here is another equally brilliant supernatural horror offering not to be missed. It begins with a bunch of hungry and thirsty warriors came around a secluded hut surrounded by grove where two ladies live alone. They not only ravaged the house for food but also gang raped the young girl. The house is set on fire as soon as they left. Next is haunting horror journey in company of stray black cats, deceptive specter full of appearances and disappearances, a series of night affairs began with chance, guided by lust and ended with revenge trap. Don’t consider it as entire spoiler of the film; since this is just what one third of the film is, the rest is still an intriguing thrill of more than an hour.

Just like ‘Onibaba’, Kaneto Shindo maintained a haunting atmospheric set up in fine B&W frames. The paddy field and a round pit of ‘Onibaba’ replaced here with a dark narrow path and a house surrounded by bamboo clad jungle. The natural set up adds unusual wild and raw tense feel into the frames and action. In both the films passionate love is used as catalyst factor progressing the drama and action. It’s this treatment and style which sets this supernatural revenge fable into something unique and unforgettable classic experience on screen.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


‘Pure image has no representational meaning associated with it.’

Call it disillusioned modern poetry on screen…or an intellectual food of thought nobody interested to consume (forget the digest)! One can register any other spontaneous numbers of adjectives as the mind pleases but this is something so unique and unusual cinema which is perhaps unparalleled to the history of Indian cinema. The greatness of any film lies in the kind of quality of attention and sensibilities it evokes while watching it, contrast to that Mani Kaul’s this film invokes intellectual stimulation and vibrations about perspectives of art and life. Just first ten minutes into the film and the poetic narrative angst and fragmentary images make you think hard about the disturbing pretentious reality of mundane world and absurdity of life; raising pertinent existential questions about scrutiny of self, world and time. Based on Gajanan Muktibodh’s book by the same title, the film is personal statements of several disillusioned characters portrayed in disunited voiceovers and narration. .  

A poet named Ramesh is an artist far removed from reality, his friendship with Keshav helps him sort out his puzzling mental vibrations about art and life. The poet is seeking wayout redemption from his puzzling struggle between internal and external affairs juxtaposed between life (creation) and art (recreation). It’s difficult to elaborate plot any further because what you see requires lot of patience free from preconceived notions. Within a layered and scattered narrative the film portrays a very personal material consists of a surreal dream, a symbolic story of termite eating bird and discussed the theoretical and perspective aspects of poetry of an artist struggling introspection to recreate the spontaneous moment of idea (thought) transformed into fantasy. The duality of struggle in the mind lies between language and expression.

Kaul is heavily inspired from the cinema of Robert Bresson and followed his traditions in his cinema. Like him he strongly tried to avoid the forced or extended meanings into the image. Who will understand the significance about purity of image in today’s pretentious and consumerist advertising and voyeuristic television driven audience. Kaul avoided structural technicalities of conventional cinema. One may witness the experimental elements of French New wave cinema too in the form. Rather than conventional narrative, Kaul’s film is scattered narrative of fragmentary collage coiled up by disunited voiceover, poetry, stream of consciousness, surrealism, dream, symbolic story, literary criticism, political satire and confessional writings of an artist.  That too portrayed with uneven, unadorned images captured with static camera shots using available natural light and non acting performers (using actors like Bressonian models). Though all unusual accomplishments, what is major drawback of Kaul’s cinema is his vehement and deliberate avoidance of human element. Bresson though made films with detached portrayals of his non acting characters, ultimately till the end of the film made them more than human in spirit (read ‘Saints’) in his cinema. Compared to that Kaul failed to uplift that element with his self absorbed world full of too personal expressions.     

The maker of this avant garde and experimental Indian film died just few months ago; for a day or two the media and news headlines produced short obituaries proclaiming him as one of the most original and experimental filmmaker India ever produced. The big question is did the country care about him really when he was alive? The man had made a few films in his entire career and ran pillars to post finding finance to express his unparalleled ideas and cinematic expressions hard to avoid. What is terribly sad and unfortunate is that till day almost all of his films including gem like these remain unavailable to public. Even this pirated version which I managed to see after a long hunt is full of severe cuts and has near to ruin condition. We need Martin Scorsese to save our gems of Indian Film Archives as the man remastered the original prints of many Indian films near to ruin including Ghatak’’s ‘Titash Ekti Nadir Nam’.

Writing all this, I must confess that still I’m kindergarten kid to understand depth of this sort of cinema as it demands multiple views to comprehend fully…wish someday I’ll be able to understand it more better way! 

Monday, December 5, 2011


I seriously wonder is it the film made by same Sudhir Mishra who made films like ‘Dharavi’ and ‘Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi’? Perhaps this is the most pathetic film he ever ended up making. The film is a crime and drama of one night which opens quite well with an interesting premise and than it jumps to straight nosedive with crappy script, directionless and loud act show. The characters of Nirmal Pandey, Tara Deshpande and Smriti Mishra are so flat that they look more like objects than human; even otherwise good actors like Aashish Vidyarthi and Saurabh Shukla are also seems so loud and over the top in act. In fact all the characters here do not talk…they just shout to their highest decibel possible.

Mishra’s preoccupation with theme of street crime in Metro is visible here (undoubtedly Scorsese influence) and his recent two films reflected that too. Here he tried to blend two different tracks of plot; where he handled the internal gangster trouble part quite well initially and messed up for the remaining part  but pathetically odd is the second and almost undeveloped drama of stretched extra marital affair between a long hair flat face hulk and his two nagging dames. The characters are so flat and bore that you altogether don’t care damn about them within few minutes. Add to that poor editing, tedious continuity of chase and messy situational tension, unnecessarily pushed songs that makes the film almost unbearable towards the end. The twist in the end is quite predictable one for the audience who get enough space and time finding loopholes.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

DUVIDHA (1973)

Years ago I’ve read one of Girish Karnad’s play titled ‘Naga-Mandala’ based on a mythical Indian folk-tale that absolutely resembles with the plot of Mani Kaul’s this Indian New Wave  alternative cinema classic. And besides that Amol Palekar’s retake of the same film ‘Paheli’ made with two budding stars of Hindi cinema made the plot and story of the film almost revealing factor. So the mysterious and intriguing plot of this wonderful folk-tale is not something that is new for me. What is more unique is not the story, plot but the cinematic form.

This is my first Mani Kaul film and I must say the man created unusually unique and experimental form to the Indian cinema that leaves all the baggage of traditional grammar of filmmaking. From minimalist approach to unusual narration, detached characters use of camera (flat, still and freeze frames) the ethnic textures of Rajasthani colors (especially red and white) on screen, everything here is more of a personal statement than a normal cinema. The film is too original and avant garde in form for Indian cinema but for normal cinema viewers it’s too early and too difficult to appreciate and comprehend his art in a single viewing. However I found many stylistic resemblance of his film form with two French Masters Jean Luc Godard in exploiting many experimental stylistic devices and Robert Bresson for cent percent minimalist tone and using his actors just as detached non actors in the film. The film won him a National award for best direction. Eager to watch his other gems. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

IL POSTINO (Italian) (1994)

‘Poetry doesn’t belong to those who write it, but those who need it.’

An enchantingly beautiful cinema full of positivity vibes about life that offers a bit of everything- poetry, politics, romance, sublime friendship, subtle humor, religious puns, soothing background score, natural landscape visuals, touching performances and above all fine metaphors of life.  A fisherman’s son Mario has curious inclination towards life and external world than being fisherman like his hard working father. He’s quite learned man and so turned to a post man’s job at a remote Italian small town clad with beautiful landscape of mountain and seashore. Here arrives a world famous poet Pablo Neruda on exile due to his communist leanings. Mario has to serve as delivery post man to him and he’s curious to know the reason of poet’s huge female fan following. As the sublime friendship between the poet and him grows, he’s fascinated with the idea of being poet as he feels that poets are loved by women. Mario is man of imagination lacking talent but the delightful company of poet and his poetry helps him to see life in different perspective with use of metaphors about life around that helps him to win the heart of his sweetheart. The exile is over and the poet returns to his homeland. Years passed and the poet returns to find the man who writes him a most treasured poem. The sublime end touches anybody’s heart where we witness the greatest poet yearning for a lost poem of his life!

Il Postino is an simple and moving Italian film full of heart and soul at right places that keep spreading genuine smiles and emotions on your face without any sort of unnecessary melodrama or overtly complex characters. Massimo Troisi deserves a posthumous award for this swansong performance of his life. It is sad to know that the man needs a heart surgery during the shoot of the film but his priority was towards finishing the film. It is tragedy that he passed away due to heart attack immediately after the shooting of the film is completed. I must say this is one of the most breathing natural act I’ve seen in Italian cinema; with his honest face and body language devoid of any direct or indirect screen presence consciousness he literally brought the naïve and innocent heart of postman so naturally on the screen. Philippe Noiret as poet Neruda is charismatic too and acted with so much ease.

At one point of the film, Mario simply said to Neruda, ‘This whole world is a metaphor for something else.’ So true!