A synopsis of all that we experienced on the second day of the 20th Mumbai Film Festival.
2:30 p.m.: Screening of Amazon Prime and Excel Entertainment’s web series, Mirzapur at PVR Icon, Andheri
Directors: Karan Anshuman and Gurmmeet Singh
First there was Sacred Games. Now there’s Mirzapur. India finally has two gangster shows that can rub shoulders with the best in the world. A gritty storyline, backed by gripping direction, combine to create a captivating criminal milieu (of an oft overlooked underbelly of India), laced with brutal power dynamics that are made all the more prominent by some smashing performances. It wouldn’t be far fetched to call Pankaj Tripath a desi Godfather, while everyone else from Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, and Divyenndu Sharma to Rasika Dugal, Shweta Tripathi, and Khulbhushan Kharbanda are at the top of their game.
4.75/5 stars based on the two episodes seen so far. Can’t wait to watch the rest when they stream on Amazon Prime.
4:15 p.m.: Screening of Ruben Brandt, Collector at PVR ECX, Andheri
Directors: Milorad Krstic
Ruben Brandt, Collector features some of the most beautiful 2D animation ever witnessed on film, throws up a handful of interesting characters, has a distinct style, and boasts one-of-the-best chase sequences ever. But behind that facade, it’s an archetypal arty, festival film that tries its best to shoot itself in the foot by forgoing all its engaging plot-points in favor of an overdose of surreal, abstract overtures. Still, worth a look for writer-Director-animation designer Milorad Krstic’s innovative treatment and only the second time where an anomaly film revolves around a heist (the first being the 2010 French film, A Cat in Paris, which, of course, is a far superior movie).
8 p.m.: Screening of Japanese film One Cut of the Dead at PVR Dynamix Mall, Juhu
Directors: Milorad Krstic
We had the utter privilege of watching the best film of the year so far and the best zombie comedy of all time (yes, even better than Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland) at our last screening of MAMI today. If you wish to see how a film subverts a genre, pays truck tribute to the passion of cinema, injects a subtle emotional touch when you’d least expect, makes every character from the biggest to the smallest memorable, and makes you wonder what’s happening till the halfway stage before pulling the rug from beneath your feet albeit with abundant humor, sending you into unstoppable bouts of uncontrollable laughter, then watch writer-Director Shin’ichirô Ueda’s flawless Japanese masterpiece, One Cut of the Dead, whenever you get the chance. How it manages to achieve all this while being wildly entertaining as well as quality personified? Well, to know that you must watch the film, and thank us later.
P.S.: Every person in my theater (almost 80% full) were whistling, clapping, and hooting at carious stages of the film, finishing it off with a standing ovation that lasted more than a few minutes.
Over to MAMI 2018 Day 3.