Return of parallel cinema?
Satyen K Bordoloi, MUMBAI MIRROR Dec 29, 2010, 11.03am IST
For every big budget tidal flop - Kites, Guzaarish, Raavan, Veer, Kheley Hum Jee Jaan Sey, there was one small Love Sex Aur Dhokha, Peepli Live, Tere Bin Laden, Phas Gaye Re Obama that clicked to balance the tide. Did 2010 see the return of parallel cinema? Cinema can be a perennial David vs. Goliath battlle. In India it is between the all pervading Bollywood and its indie cousin that was known as parallel cinema in the '70s. While the movement died down quietly, there has been a resurrection of sorts as the worst year ever for Bollywood has coincided with the best year for indie cinema in decades spreading waves of cheer for cinema lovers.
Here's a list of a few that raise cheers, chuckles and cognition at the box office. Love, Sex Aur Dhokha: If Anurag Kashyap is the king of Indian indie cinema, Dibakar Banerjee is the Prime Minister. Not a man to mince words or get vitriolic, he believes in delivering one masterpiece after another. 2010 saw one such film that will go down in history for being something no film has ever done, not even its loose inspiration Look. Imagine this simple detail that the actors in the film were also its cameraperson. What is great about the three different but loosely connected stories made for a paltry Rs 1.5 crore is the team effort. Right from writer Kanu Behl to casting director and workshop coordinator Atul Mongia to the brilliance of editor Namrata Rao, and the riveting performances, this was a show stealer that not only shocked audiences but was rooted in the reality of the nation where honour killing is as common an occurrence as sex tapes and the casting couch. That it came from soap queen Ekta Kapoor's stable, was perhaps the greatest shocker of all. Tere Bin Laden: Fun, quirky and satirical in equal measure, Tere Bin Laden tickled the funny bones of its audience till it turned sore. Popular Bollywood wisdom states that the formula for success is that a film should be set or shot in Switzerland, New York or London. Now imagine one set in rural Pakistanshot amidst chicken about a dim-witted poultry farmer starring a Pakistani singer in the lead, and you will understand why this film has brilliance written in all caps. Spearheading the project was a debutante kid Abhishek Sharma who managed to marry humour with universal satire that also courted success despite a paltry budget. This film was enough to inspire a decaying, dying, commercialised industry.
Peepli Live: It had to be the most cerebral of the Khans who'd understand the rapid shifts in audience perception when he wholeheartedly lent his Midas touch to Peepli Live. Brilliantly directed by ex-journalists and debutante directors Anusha Rizvi and Mahmood Farooqui, it is a powerful satire along the lines of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole that had audiences giggling and shedding copious amounts of tears in equal measure. Aamir Khan's promotional skills are erroneously credited by many for the success of this film; however, looking at the kind of films that hit the jackpot in 2010, one feels that the film would have worked even without AK. Hence, the truth is perhaps different with Peepli Live proving to be the training ground for the Bollywood superstar to understand the tactics of promoting an indie film, considering that wife Kiran Rao's Dhobi Ghat is the most awaited indie of 2011.
Udaan: This tale of a rebellious spirit came to life after being promoted by the other AK and quintessential rebel of Bollywood: Anurag Kashyap. Kashyap put his heart, soul and mentoring power behind debutante Vikramaditya Motwane's coming of age film set in small town India. It featured stellar performances, especially those by Ronit Roy and Ram Kapoor. That last scene, where the boy finally manages to outrun his father, paid subtle homage to François Truffaut's The 400 Blows and perhaps foretold how the indie rebels of Bollywood would break free from the domination of a disparaging mainstream in 2010. Phas Gaye Re Obama: Funny films are many. Satires are rare. But one that manages to walk the middle path while making a powerful statement about the world is a rarity. Subhash Kapoor did just that with PGRO, a film that was grounded in real life instead of floating in limbo – like most other Bollywood films. Leaving Home: Jaideep Varma's long-in-the-making documentary about India's most popular bandIndian Ocean may have run to empty houses but it became the first non-fiction Indian film to get a national release. Leaving Home is not just about a band but a testament to middle class struggles, aspirations, failures and successes, as epitomised by the band members. It is
Worthy Contenders The best thing about 2010 is that indie films in theatres was not an exception. Is it indeed the return of parallel cinema. All of them have one thing in common: each of them borrow from the reality around becoming slices of Indian life. or was 2010 just a flash in the pan? We'll know in 2011.com/2010-12-29/news-interviews/28223193_1_parallel-cinemafilm-aur-dhokha/2
.India's coming-of-age-as-a-nation film.
http://articles. instead of fantasy. Striker etc. is bound to climb the DVD best sellers charts. For Real. The brilliant Asheem Chakravarty who died last year. came back to life once more to the delight of audiences. Daayen Ya Baayen.timesofindia. A five hour version of the same released this month.indiatimes. but a rule with the other equally brilliant films being: Do Dooni Chaar. Khichdi.