London Indian Film Festival started last night with a bang , screening Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ to a packed out and appreciative audience.
However unlike the audience last night, you might be finding it a little harder to decipher the program and choose exactly what you’d like to watch.
To this end, Monsters & Critics have put together a Top 5 selection from the festival programme designed to give you a very exciting cross-section of what’s on offer.
Of course, if you find yourself wanting to watch more, there’s always more to be discovered!
Without further ado, here’s our selection…
1)GANDU: Q’s third feature is a controversial and electric attempt to break-through the mould of mainstream cinema. Focusing on 20 year old Gangu who lives a miserable live with his mother who works as a prostitute to support herself, the film follows his slide from his humdrum and stilted existence into a dark fantasy world when he meets Rickshaw. Gandu is not a film for everyone with explicit scenes and a very dark structure however it is an extremely powerful piece that seethes with anger and invention.
As an added bonus, the screening on the 21st June at BFI Southbank will feature Q perform live on stage along with some special guests.
2)GANGS OF WASSEYPUR: Anurag Kashyap is one of the most interesting directors currently working in Indian cinema. Although not every film he makes can be considered outstanding, there is still enough distinction to mark his talent out clearly. However in the case of ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ he has raised the bar so high, it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with next.
Being the first part of the story , ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ takes in the story of the three generations of the Khan family from their start as underdogs to the dons of Wasseypur. However to sum the film up so is to commit a grave error: ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ is as much about them as their enemies, their friends , the women around them and the entire history of India.
Reminiscent of ‘Once Upon A Time In America’ in its’ scope, ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ is a true discovery for lovers of cinema: intimate, epic, stark, soft, funny, vicious; the film is a melange of contradictions which somehow all work in its’ favour. Blessed with a brilliant soundtrack and some of the most impressive camerawork seen on the big screen this year, this is the reason why we all go to cinema. Unmissable.
3) AARANYA KAANDAM : A successful attempt to inject some new blood in Tamil genre cinema, ‘Aaranya Kaandam’ owes as much to neo-noir’s of the 1990’s as it does to classic Indian gangster films.
The plot is the usual mix of gangster clichés: an aging don has to deal with not only deceitful and treacherous sub-ordinates but also a final big hit and problems that his age brings. However a masterful performance by Jackie Shroff and the film’s ability to constantly present familiar situations through fresh eyes makes this an unmissable chance to discover an upcoming and clearly unusual talent.
4) GATTU: Lyrical, moving and elegant , Rajan Khosa’s return to the Indian movie scene is as triumphant as it is joyous: in the small town of Roorkee in the Himalayan foothills, Gattu spends his day working at a scrap yard. However any free time he manages to steal from his employer is invested in indulging his passion for kite flying. Secretly entering the town’s next kite flying competition, Gatu is determined to be the winner.
What follows next is charming and touching with an unsentimental emotional core never allowing the audience to get overwhelmed with what might be considered ‘schmaltz’. Amidst all the ‘adult’ films of the festival , ‘Gattu’ is a breath of fresh air and proof that even the smallest story is worth listening to.
5) DEKH INDIAN CIRCUS: A delight from start to finish, the best way to experience this mix between a road movie and dreams-come-true story is to know as little as possible.
Elegant, handsomely shot and with stand-out performances , ‘Dekh Indian Circus’ is one of those films that you’ll be recommending for years to come. The beauty of the Rajasthan countryside in stark contrast to the hardship people has to endure is an intriguing backdrop for a film whose heart is as big as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or any one of these emotional classics.
For details of the program and to book tickets, visit: www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk
Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.