Jiban Trishna

Jiban Trishna 1

Sophisticated millionaire Rajnath Samanta (Uttam Kumar) tries to woo the self-respecting,independent artist Shakuntala (Suchitra Sen). At first she avoids him but slowly she develops a feeling towards him. The relationship between Rajnath’s parents Dr Samanta (Pahari Sanyal) and his second wife, the ethical  Sudeshna (Chandravati Devi) is based on the need for care and understanding.  Sudeshna keeps her real identity hidden from Rajanth to maintain prestige of the family. The third relationship is the most interesting one. It develops between the dignified widow Sabita (Deepti Roy) and her neighbour Debkamal (Bikash Roy). Debkamal has hidden past.  Asit Sen with complete mastery over his medium could handle a 6-edged storyline with such finesse. All of the characters are equally powerful and all of them get equal space.  It is no mean task. The forte of Asit Sen lay in his ability to balance the script and handle complex characters in such a manner that make them connect with the audiences.  Asit Sen was a cameraperson himself, so cinematography used to be highlight in all of his films.  Each camera angle is well thought out and the low angle shots of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra sen were excellent. Uttam Kumar delivers a very good performance. This is not one of his best performances but in certain scenes ,he shows his spark. Especially during a scene where he will confront Suchitra in his room. Suchitra mostly matches Uttam though in certain sequences,she goes overboard. Overall, still she does a very good job.  In Asit Sen and Ajoy Kar’s films,Suchitra really did good job as actor. The best performances come from Bikash Roy and Deepti Roy.  Bikash Roy masterfully portrayed vulnerable shades of his character. Deepti Roy was attracted towards Bikash but she never expressed it in explicit manner. Her nuanced acting did manage to maintain the balance. One of Bhupen Hazarika’s earliest hits “Sagar sangame’featured in this film. Unfortunately in Angle’s video,the song is cut from the film. However,one can watch this song in youtube. It is a brilliant depiction of murmuring to oneself as one gets ready for the day.







One evening, teenager Martha (Alice Albergaria Borges) asks her unemployed father (João Pedro Vaz) where her mother (Beatriz Batarda) is, and dad replies that she will probably never return. Her father goes outside . But after a while her mother does return, explaining that she has got an additional job. They are going through an economical crisis. Her father is jobless and her mother takes multiple small jobs to run the family.  But even that is not sufficient for them to pay electric bills. At-times, her father disappears without saying anything . Martha makes friend with a pregnant girl in high school. She observes the outside world through her window. She spends time by wandering at a beach. Her mother is so much occupied with many jobs that we can’t get a look at her psyche. The first hour consists mostly of mundane routines and interactions between these three. All of them try to understand each other but at the end, they don’t quite understand.  Random incidents are described without much context. Characters drift along,showing little certainty in what they do. Whether young or old, the people in Colo don’t quite understand what’s happening to them. The most attractive aspect of the film is its striking visual design. Both indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as the characters relation to them,are presented with great care. The natural world offers little solace in Colo, but it does suggest a yearning for a simpler, easier state of things. Despite suffering from economical crisis, the characters maintain their humanity.
Mother appears to be male of the family while father doesn’t shy away from crying. Mother acts like a protector of the family. Artificial and natural lighting helps to create an impressive visual control of mood. Other strengths include a delicate, sparing, use of classical pieces by Schumann and Shostakovich. This is my first film of Teresa Villaverde. She showed immense control throughout the film. I will like to explore all of her works.

Footpath (1953)



Nashu (Dilip Kumar) is an idealist young man who works for a small newspaper run by Ghosh babu. He lives with his brother Bani (Romesh Thapar) and sister-in-law Meena (Achla Sachdev). Nashu loves Mala (Meena Kumari) who lives nearby his house.   Times change and slowly it becomes difficult for Nashu to sustain his living by working in that small newspaper. Though his brother Bani cares for him, his sister-in-law does not. In the home, he had to bear lot of humiliation from her.  Out of desperation, he enters the world of black-marketing. From here,the story takes a dramatic twist. He becomes the most trusted associate of Ram Babu (Anwar Hussain). Being aware of this, Mala maintains a safe distance from him. At the same time, his elder brother suffers from poverty. His comfort loving wife Meena deserts him. The entire film is look in to the psyche of a man who failed to earn money by honest means.

The problem with the film is that ,it does make the point by repeating it often. On positive side , the film gives a glimpse of the black-market world. Also, the mood of the film is extremely dark. This mood  wasn’t common in Hindi films back then. Director Zia Sarhadi showed a lot of promise and eye for detail. The sequences shot indoors as well as in the black-marketing den shot in natural light by N. Raiaram are really convincing. However,keeping with the trend during that period, the villains look unconvincing. On the whole, the music score of the film leaves a lot more to be desired, considering that the film carries the Khayyam stamp. However, the film boasts of one of the most memorable Talat Mehmood songs “Shaam-e-Gham Ki Kasam”.It is clear that Zia Sarhadi was heavily influenced from neo-realism. Dilip Kumar does well in lead role. Low pitched modulated dialogue delivery and great use of right arm were his acting hallmarks. However at times,his low pitched delivery looks unconvincing. He did well but this is not among his best works.  Meena kumari gives a very restrained performance. In this film, she is shown taking a bath. Such scene was uncommon back then.


Get Out

get out


Jordan Peele’s directorial debut will make you think about your own privileges. In the opening sequence, we see a young black guy walking down a suburban street. While talking on his phone, he gets attacked by some random white people.
White Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) wants to take her black boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) to meet her parents. While Chris was initially anxious, later he agrees to meet her parents. Her parents, Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener) welcome him in grand fashion. They were very supportive to him initially. At-times, it seems that they are behaving too good. The body language all seems perfectly above board. Why is their basement locked? Why are their two black employees – a housemaid and groundsman – both black appear to be controlled by some unseen force?
What’s the deal with the old white people showing up to a party scheduled during his visit? Get Out is tense, thrilling, and gorgeous. If anything, the film becomes darker and more soul-chilling once the secret is revealed. Get out is very direct and unapologetic about what it wants to convey.  There was an unsettling vibe throughout the film. Chris’s friend Rod warned him not to visit the white people’s house. While all this going on, his girlfriend Rose was completely supportive to him. One can find references of many film here starting from Halloween to Rosemary’s Baby.  Peele has effectively kept audiences on edge since the beginning, sending occasional jolts through the crowd. During Obama’s era, racism was under the carpet. White people was happy to be pretending as liberal. In Trump’s era, white people are concerned about racism again. Get out shows racism within progressive whites and it does by genre-mixing.  Daniel Kaluuya was very good as main protagonist but the surprise comes from Allison Williams. Watch the film to get to know the reason.

Lady Bird

lady bird


“Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.”- Joan Didion. Hedonism refers to the idea that pleasure is the ultimate aim of human life. Sacramento has a charm of old world Americana. It is very much different from rest of California. Interestingly the director of Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig was born in the same place.  The film starts with the famous quote made by Didion. It centers on Christine McPherson ( Saoirse Ronan), a high-schooler who likes to live life on her own terms and conditions. She insists that she be called by her “given” name of  Lady Bird . She wants to spread her wings. She dreams of bigger things and feels weighed down by her circumstances.  More than anything, she wants to break free from Sacramento . She wants to go to a place where culture is omnipresent. Its not that she has great idea about culture itself. She is an average student in school. She doesn’t seem to be an intellectual from any angle. She wants to go to New York as it is famous for culture. Her mother strongly disagrees. Her mother is pragmatic while her daughter likes to live in her own world.
Her father is jobless. They don’t have enough money to recruit her in any college of New York. So, Lady Bird decides to apply for scholarships to east coast colleges with the help from her father. New York is at the core of Lady Bird. New York is the city of Lady Bird’s dreams, but her reality is Sacramento. The film, loosely inspired by Gerwig’s formative years, is a love letter to the city of her childhood. That is why the film is set in 2002-2003. Lady bird not only wants her mother to love her, she also expects that her mother likes her. Lady bird thinks that her mother doesn’t care for her. While her mother thinks that her daughter doesn’t love her. In reality,both of them love each other. Some of the sequences are extremely funny while some are very serious. Calling it a coming-of-age story doesn’t do much justice to the film.  The film also questions parenthood as much as it does on adolescence. While her mother fails to understand her daughter well-enough, her father is over-protective of her daughter. Lady bird thinks that she is an atheist. In reality,it seems that she is confused. It doesn’t glorify or condemn religion. In one of the most important scenes,it acted as a trigger which connects Lady bird to her mother as well as to her hometown. Saoirse Ronan is fantastic in the film and brings such heart to the character of Lady Bird. Metcalf is brilliant as the constrained mother that’s trying her best to keep the family afloat during tough times.


Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread

“I can’t begin my day with a confrontation.” So says Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), a celebrated fashion designer, who lives and works in a quiet London square, and who despises any threat to his lifestyle. His sister Cyril ( Lesley Manvill) helps him to run his business.  One day, Reynolds drives to the coast and arrives at a hotel restaurant. A waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps) takes his order, which goes on forever. Alma blushes easily, yet there is no twitch of shyness; she bears herself with confidence, and, when Reynolds invites her to dine with him that night, she accepts the offer.  Thus she enters in to the life of an elite fashion designer. We are back in London. With time, Alma has become his favourite model and muse. At breakfast table, Reynolds sits with his sister. Alma is buttering toast, with firm swipes of the knife but the sound disturbs Reynolds attention. An argument takes place between them.
They bicker constantly and one night when Alma attempts to make him a romantic dinner, Reynolds lashes it out over how the meal is prepared. Alma decides to poison his tea with some wild mushroom she has gathered outside the house. It makes him terminally ill and with Alma’s care, he gets cured. That helps Alma to regain her control in the relationship.  Were they in love? its not sure. There are implications though. However, the woman had agency of her own. The style and manner in which Paul Thomas Anderson uses silence and long takes is ingenious, and it was most likely inspired from Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. Jonny Greenwood’s music adds another dimension to dramatic moments. The setting has similarity with Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.  Unlike Rebecca, here the woman is much stronger. She is well aware of her own position. DDL has always been a good actor but he was never among the best actors as he was made out to be (Something similar to Naseeruddin Shah in Hindi cinema). But with Paul Thomas Anderson, he gave his best performances. Here he repeats the same thing. But Vicky Krieps stole the show. She was successful in portraying all the vulnerable sides of her character.

Ramybė mūsų sapnuose (Peace to us in our dreams)

peace to us in our dreams 1

A woman violinist suddenly stops performing at middle of her program. Returning home, when she was asked about the event, she replied by saying “shitty”.  Bartas casts himself in the lead, a father who is distant from his daughter.  He shows her an old video where she can be seen with her mother in a happy mood. The girl is played by Ina Marija Bartaite (Bartas’ actual daughter), and the mother by Katia Golubeva. The father ,his daughter and his partner violinist go to a trip to country side.
Most of the action is set in a small country home not far from Vilnius, where Bartas has actually spent a lot of time. His violinist partner seems to be in depression. Neither she is being able to perform, nor she is being able to communicate well with her partner.
There they find a neighbour who is supposed to take care of the house but spends most of the time fishing. He lives with his wife and their only son is in search of his own identity and desires. None of the film’s characters has a name, just to indicate how symbolic they are supposed to be. All of them are in a state of personal crisis but none of them are aware about their problems. The daughter yearns for the guidance of a mother she no longer has. A lady friend suddenly arrives at his house. She asks him “are you happy to see me? “. She tells him that she likes to be child at-times.  Children knows how to be happy at-times. But in the next scene,we see his daughter being unhappy. Father tells her that human spend their lives trying to understand reality. He adds that most of their perceptions are limited in nature. He tells her that it is best to have doubts as doubts help people to grow.
Much of the dialogue, which Bartas says was largely created through improvisations, has a similar ring of undigested philosophy and symbolism. Locked in tight close-ups, Bartas’s characters are constantly trying to reach out to each other in their own ways. All of them are finding it difficult to express their own feelings and desires. Brief, close-up shots of the characters and minimal dialogue, representing their extreme incomprehension and solitude , are contrasted with wide shots of Lithuanian scenery, remarkably photographed by Eityydas  Doshkus.