When it comes to Indian films I am usually drawn to the easier-to-watch fare produced by the Mumbai-based industry.
A case in point would be the Bollywood film Race 2, which I am currently watching, and then there’s all those Salman Khan films I’ve seen since we got satellite television and the Star Gold channel. Continue reading
Aranyer Din Ratri
Days and Nights in the Forest (Aranyer Din Ratri) is a particularly watchable Satyajit Ray film.
Its themes – a road trip, a quartet of young men, the clash between urban and rural society – are such recognisable ones, but beyond that there’s a completeness about the narrative.
The Bengali director allows the story to unfold with a satisfying sense of momentum and the film has a French new wave feel about it, thanks to the beautiful way in which it was shot (and the western habits of the main characters).
Tomorrow evening Channel 4’s digital-only offshoot Film 4 will show Bengali family drama The Namesake.
The 2006 film’s premiere on UK television will, unlike the Indian films usually shown on Channel 4, appear at a positively mainstream time.
The Namesake is based on a Jhumpa Lahiri novel and stars Kal Penn as Gogol, a young Indian American whose name, chosen by his parents Ashoke and Ashima (Irrfan Khan and Tabu) after the Russian writer, causes him to question his identity. Continue reading
Most of the time I write about film here it tends to be about Hindi pictures, only because the majority of the small, but regular, stream of Indian films shown on UK television come from Bollywood.
But on Thursday morning Film 4 are showing a Bengali film widely acknowledged as a cinematic classic – not just one of the best Bengali films, or even Indian films, but one of the best films, full stop.
Pather Panchali (The Song of the Little Road) was Satyajit Ray’s debut film, and the first in a trilogy that also included Aparajito (The Unvanquished) and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu). Continue reading