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3 Watchable Films You May Have Missed On Zee5

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3 Watchable Films You May Have Missed On Zee5 6
Darbaan: There is something  about Rabindranath Tagore’s stories that lends itself to great cinema. Darbaan is a very good piece of cinema.Artistically  imagined and gently executed,  it has  the very accomplished Sharib Hashmi playing a simple caregiver in a feudal family( the story is  translocated from the end of zamindari to the takeover of  the coalmines in  Dhanbad in the early 1970s) whose life is a litany of  subservience.Hashmi immerses  himself  in the role with a furious passion that reminded  me of Ashok  Kumar in Hrishikesh  Mukherjee’s AashirwaadSharib Hashmi is   a great  actor destined to  secrete his  greateness in  small  meaningful  films while  actors  with not even a grain of his talent are strutting around as stars in  Bollywood.Without moving away from the plot’s main thrust, director  Bipin Nadkarni draws a complex yet crystal-clear and artfully heartfelt picture of the  complex relationship between  an aristocratic family and its most favourite caregiver(also called  ‘servant’, ‘domestic help’ and in this  otherwise-sensitive  film ghulam).It’s  an  epic story  compressed into  90 minutes of unadulterated emotions.Taking the original Tagore story(Khokababur Pratyabartan)  out of  its  natural habitat could have proven disastrous .Not  here.  Not  in this  thoughtful remake. The  adaptation is  illuminated by flashes of brilliance,  for example the original story involves  the tragic death  of the Zamindar’s  beloved son. Here  it  is  the  Zamindar’s  grandson.Sharib Hashmi projects  the  goodhearted  Raicharan’s  grief and guilt with  such fluid lucidity  that I  found myself  completely invested in  the character and in  the film’s dramatic  emotions that are  done up with finesse. Though  at  times  the  direction gets a little clunky and some of  actors seem  amateurish when pitched again the great central performance, the sheer emotional heft of  the story takes the characters  and  the film across the turbulent river of life’s bizarre vicissitudes .Besides Sharib Hashmi,  the film has a very tender and  endearing  cameo performance by the unfailingly credible Rasika Duggal as  his wife. But the  film is owned by Hashmi who gives  a performance comparable  with , if not better than the great Uttam Kumar in the original 1060  Bengali film based  on the same story.Sharad Kelkar has a brief role that echoes  Vinod Mehra’s  character in Shakti Samanta’s Amar Prem, my most favourite  Hindi film of  all times.This is  the highest compliment I can think of for  Darbaan. Don’t miss it.And  don’t forget to keep your handkerchief closeby.

Arranged Marriage: Interesting premise  of a gay couple’s response  to one of them  getting into a conventional heterosexual marriage  to keep up appearances,Arranged Marriage is far  more honest in its intention than last year’s Shubh Mangal Phir Savdhan which I had  praised  mainly because  it at least dared  to venture  into taboo territory.But I  was wrong. It’s not enough to  just  go into  homosexuality. A  director needs to  maintain a form hold on  the theme, not dithering in the exposition and execution.In  its 40-odd minutes  of  playing time, Arranged Marriage succeeds  in bringing out the agony of two men trying to  behave like “just  friends” when they  are  lovers.  Ali Fazal and Omkar Kapoor confer an admirable  credibility to their parts. Fazal’s Nilanjan is specially adept at conveying unspoken  anguish each time he sees  Dev, his Dev, showering attention on his new bride Keya.Patralekha as the bride  crammed  into the closet with her husband and his  lover,  reminded me  of  Sharmila Tagore in Apur Sansar. Director Pradeep Sarkar’s  Kolkata brims over with Bangla-isms…the  constant  obsession with  food, for instance.  For more than half the playing time  the characters  eat and talk loudly  without hearing what  the  other person is  saying.

Comedy  Couple:  Saqib Saleem and Shweta Basu Prasad  t  breathe  life into their characters as  stand-comedians who share a live-in relationship. Their  on-stage  jokes are  so flat  I wondered  if  the whole  stand-up routine  is an elaborate  gag on self-destruction.In a recent webseries Four  More Shots Please a real-life stand-up comedienne  Manvi Gagroo played  a  stand-up. Her conflict  with her  partner  looked  credible. Saqib and Sweta,  poor souls, wade through  reams of  unfunny stand-up material  in search  of  a core of  truth to their  comic partnership.

The    jokes from the stage  on  how  much sex  the couple  has when they are in the mood, is extended to their  real life. Joke No 1: Zoya(Basu Prasad)  and  Deep(Salim) pretend to be siblings  to  rent a   flat. Joke  No.2:  Deep’s parents  show  up  at his door when he’s jailed for insulting the Hindu religion during a stand-up act(standup comedian insulting religion, get it?) .

This is   a film heaving with  themes and ideas on live-in relationships, freedom  of expression,  couple goals in  the same profession, moral policing and  bowel  movements.The problems that  Deep and Zoya face(including their manager  in  shirt  with  sliced watermelon imprints who  likes to take  a dump at  unearthly hours in strangers’ bathrooms)  will  make you smile.Zoya’s elitist  mother played by  Pooja Bedi  likes  painting nudes. She’s welcome to do anything she wants as  long as we  don’t  have to watch her trying to  entertain herself.We have problems  in that area  of our own to deal with.

 

 

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