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A Few Good Films..

2 Jan

Every year we come across films which make it big at the box office for obvious reasons and some are mere disappointments. And then there are those that showcase the ability and courage of the filmmakers who don’t take the beaten path – films which are made out of genuine love and passion for cinema. Without blabbering further, let me list down two such films which I feel were true gems of 2011.

A hearty story, an earnest attempt and a simple narrative, Nila Madhab Panda’s directorial debut is nothing but a master’s stroke. I am Kalam is a tale of Chotu, who works at a small road side eatery in a remote location in Rajasthan. While on one hand he is battling financial crisis, on the other he aspires to follow the ideals of President Kalam. His never ebbing desire to study and to be able to go to a school is demonstrated with such innocence that it makes one’s heart go all the way out for Chotu.

Chotu delivers tea and snacks at the village headman’s villa where he meets Ranvijay, the headman’s son who is prohibited from mingling with the masses. The film essays the contrast in the lifestyles of two distinct strata of the Indian society through these two characters. In essence, the story enunciates the social struggle for education in rural India without being verbose in language or loud in expression.

The biggest asset of I am Kalam is in fact the simplicity with which the narrative has been built. Harsh Mayar has rendered a heart warming performance as Chotu. Gulshan Grover’s eloquent portrayal of Bhati, the owner of the food joint is a sheer pleasure to watch. The journey of characters throughout the film showcase different emotional upsurges in a consistent way which keep the audiences glued. A highly recommended film for those who want to experience good cinema!

In a plethora of block busters, a film like Bubble Gum comes across as a breath of fresh air. There are only a handful films which cater to teenage audience in the true sense.  The wonder years of everybody’s life – carefree and filled with pluck and hope. This film by Sanjivan Lal takes us back to the wonder years when the dimensions and definitions of ‘being cool’ were tremendously different.

The protagonist, Vedant is an average boy next door who is as eager to enjoy the Holi vacation as is everyone else in his class. The film begins with Vedant’s crush for Jenny, the daughter of a police officer in the neighborhood. Like every other story, there is a villain by the name of Ratan who is competing with Vedant for Jenny. The film is filled with a bunch of fun filled anecdotes when both the lads try to impress the damsel. The turning point of the film is when Vedant’s dumb and deaf elder brother Vidur comes home for vacation and hogs all the limelight and affection of their parents played by Tanvi Azmi and Sachin Khedekar. The film encompasses teenage trauma, puppy love and sibling rivalry with finesse and elegance.

Bubble Gum is based in Jamshedpur and rightly captures the small town charm of the city. It is also weaved around the festival of Holi symbolically connecting different colors of the festival with different shades of life and the joy of appreciating them. Delzaad Hiwale has given a phenomenal performance as Vedant and Sohail Lakhani shines out as Vidur. The cinematography and art direction too stand out in making it a wholesome experience. For those who want to see an honest movie with a feel good factor, Bubble Gum is a must watch!

The views mentioned above are strictly my own. Different films works for different people. Hope to see many more good movies in 2012, here’s wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year!

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