This blog should be called “My life in Cineworld”, really, I watch far too many or so I have been told. I maintain that like reading good books, there is not enough time to watch all!! So last week’s films were Rust and Bone, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (because what is life without a Bollywood film, I say?). Since my critical appreciations are mostly verbal and seldom based on any real cinematic salience, let’s start with the one I liked the least (although… I liked all).
Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is a nice movie. There, that’s done. Well, it had its comedic moments (thanks to the ever-interesting Titu Mama) and a generally humorous and realistic Punjabi storyline and let’s face it, with them, even the most unseemly things seem possible. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The gangster element was definitely overdone (Shanty and Manty?!? and the “paise nahi poonds“) and the Punjabi man spouting the Bangla love song at the end was extremely corny. That’s it, it was a nice corny Hindi film, the operating word being nice as most Bollywood films are corny, reminiscent of the Khosla ka Ghonsla genre but not quite able to touch the same level of maturity in terms of performance. Kunal Kapoor despite the most appalling clothes had moments of the ‘sona Punjabi munda’ allure (I am ever so glad he is less lanky now) and Huma Qureshi (of the beautiful phulkaari dupattas)is lovely (and not nauseatingly thin so she gets extra brownie points – as long as she doesn’t eat too many in person and become like Sonakshi Sinha who I suspect is the real son of sardar). The secret to Chicken Khurana’s recipe and widespread fame was the most interesting bit of all. I would too be longing after this dish much like Uncle Titu had I had a taste of it, I am sure.
Beasts of the Southern Wild. I am a general fan of southern movies of any genre. Southern Goth is my favourite but I can watch and read anything written in or about the general area. Kathryn Stockett, Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee, Rebecca Wells… you name it, I have read it or will. The accent, the resilient almost-wildpeoples, the multi-cultural history and the overall lyricism of the south is mesmerising. Most of the films made on the region aren’t high-budget or rich, especially the ones based on the bayou communities are so real and gritty, they showcase an America that is wholly unthinkable. Be it the gothic Skeleton Key, the nauseating True Blood series, A Love Song for Bobby Long or the mooks of based on the novels by the above mentioned authors – these are all resolutely fraught with the heady humid beauty of the place. Beasts of the Southern Wild, has the same intense flavour to it – the kind that one feels would go well with Cajun pepper and batter fried crocodile. Woven through with an ecological message from the point of view of a 5 year old girl and her life in ‘The Bathtub’ – a community cut off by a levee and her (and the community’s) littleness juxtaposed with the (imagined) huge Aurochs freed from the melting polar caps is magical and real in equally dismaying and enchanting parts.
Rust and Bone – The fact that I am still hooked on to the trailer music is testament of my sentiments on this film. But, on a serious note, I don’t know about the French trailer, but the English trailer is awesome and it’s a lot to do with the choice of song. My Tears Are Becoming A Sea by M8 seems to encapsulate the essence of the film along with some brilliant editing. I always like trailers where they have minimal to no sound bites from the film itself. I feel it preserves the story and gives us a sense of ‘these are the people, that’s the setting, anything is possible!’. Most trailers nowadays have so many of the film’s (only) good bits in them that when you go to watch the film expecting more, you come back sorely disappointed. Transylvania was one such recent example. Back to Rust and Bone, I think if I begin praising Marion Cotillard, I would just be a tiny echo in the multitude of appreciation she always receives for any and all of her performances. Like her character, the film was stripped of any make up and artifice and was story through and through. Without being over-dramatic, it brought together two people weighed by difficult circumstances. It gave a resounding sense of their lives, about lives in general of people who come from that place socially and emotionally and since it was French – had a fair bit of sex (maybe some of you might now watch it 😉 ).