Thursday, November 05, 2015

Loved Day Six: Super Disturbing Films


DON'T TELL ME THE BOY IS MAD (Une Histoire De Fou)

THE CLUB (El Club)

Was battling time and traffic to watch the amazing, disturbing Kotha Nodi (River Of Tales) but failed. That is the one regret I shall have in the festival. It is indeed a fantastic thing to have so many venues, but yesterday I hated it.

But the rest of the day was such a blessing!

Watched Haramkhor first. 

What a delightful film. Imagine two kids Mintu and Kamal (Mohammad Samad and Irfan Khan) and a young girl Sandhya (Shweta Tripathi) match skills with the inimitable Nawazuddin Siddiqui. 

It is not just about a small town teacher and his romance with his student, it is about loss of innocence as well. The scene where the Sandhya eats ice cream and flirts with her teacher is perhaps the best scene of any film this year. It is at once innocent and at once gloriously wicked. And Nawazuddin Siddiqui's expressions are just a lesson in acting.

The two kids who make the schoolteacher's life a misery are super fun to watch. Their ideas, their pranks, their dogged determination to get to the bottom of things gets them into more trouble than they can handle...

You know the movie is like an avalanche coming down a mountain and you are standing like a deer in headlights in its way. You come away actually soaked by the rain that comes down on all of them.

Watch this film when it releases. Simply brilliant.

Don't Tell Me The Boy Is Mad is a beautifully shot film about the Armenian conflict. 

What do you do when your grown up son leaves home to become a 'freedom fighter'? As a mother Anouch knows that he will probably never come back home alive, because he's really a bomber, a terrorist. 

What she does surprised me out of the sleep induced by the slow beginning of the movie.

The family comprises of dad (you saw him - Simon Akbarian - in Gett- The Trial Of Vivienne Amsalem), grandma and a little sister, welcomes Gilles the lad who has lost both his legs in a bombing of which their son Aram is responsible. 

That's when shades of Hindi movie melodrama begin to show up and Anouch, the wonderful mom, begins to act like Rakhi in Karan Arjun, hoping against hope that Aram would be saved by a horrible fate he has written for himself. She thinks by saving Gilles she would save Aram. The melodrama then turns into Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham as Aram and Gilles meet. Aram watching his mom asleep on the chair, waiting for him to show up, and then the 'Ma, you are so beautiful' scene was so Hindi filmy, I had to stuff my socks in my mouth to stop laughing out loud (everyone in the theater was quite moved by the scene)... Good place to remind you that the average age of the audience must be 60...

There was time for a coffee and a slice of pizza (delivered by the PVR lads) at the seat to the next film El Club.

The particles of chilli flakes remained suspended in air, and the pizza slice (helpfully cut up in bite sizes) remained uneaten as the story unfolded in front of us.

My coffee jolted in its cup as the old priest waved the gun at the horrid man yelling obscenities and then shot himself. It was smarter after that moment to leave the pizza in the box.

The story of past sins was haunting. The man at the gate yelling foul things at the seemingly harmless priests living a quiet life in a seaside town opens up a can of worms. The Church has sent a crisis counselor to help these priests figure out penitence for their past sins that are so horrific, you begin to empathise with the foul mouthed Sandokan who has parked himself right outside their peaceful home.

The story is everything that begins to shake your own belief on the system. You don't have to be a Christian to understand why the old priests need to face their demons. You also begin to be afraid of Sandokan who seems to be present everywhere. You actually feel so haunted by the man, that surround sound in the theater made me turn around and check if he were sitting in the seats cordoned off for celebrities that did not show up for the screenings.

The man sent by the church to exorcise the evil in their hearts is himself hounded. And the punishment for their sins is so fitting and so horrific, you emerge from the theater too stunned to watch the next film you booked (Mistress America).

I called the driver with hands shaking from the experience of watching the sinners and the man who was sinned against sing a creepy song about the savior of lambs... When and how I reached home I don't know. But went to bed hoping the Micheal Keaton film on the Church and child abuse does show up on our screens soon.



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