A synopsis of all that we experienced on the second day of the 20th Mumbai Film Festival. It was a slightly later start than usual for us, which is why we only managed to fit in two movies for the day.
1:15 p.m.: Screening of BlacKkKlansman at Le Reve, Bandra
Director: Spike Lee
At once a razor-sharp cop film as it’s a stinging, topical, and powerful take on how racism has continued to pervade every facet of life in modern-day America, BlacKklansman presents the incredible true story of the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department heading an operation to infiltrate and take down the local Ku Klux Klan with meticulous detailing, engaging police work, and wholesale entertainment. The performances from John David Washington and Adam Driver are first-rate, veteran Spike Lee’s direction is right on the money, the dialogues are laced with wit and humor, and the digs at incumbent US President Donald Trump are the icing on the cake. The film could have been a tad tighter post the halfway stage, but a hard-hitting, tense climax lifts the narrative again. Amidst all this, Lee also displays great responsibility with such powerful source material in his hand by rightfully showing how all white cops aren’t racist, with many of them dutifully doing their jobs of protecting and serving the people.
7:15 p.m.: Screening of Swedish film Border at PVR Nirmal Lifestyle, Mulund
Director: Ali Abbasi
No matter how much you camouflage it with arty stuff, freaky porn is still freaky porn; regardless how hard you pretend to take the high road by breaking perceived gender conformities, feminazi toxicity can still be detected by the “trained eye” as feminazi toxicity; and irrespective of how subtly you try to make a point about environmentalism and human excess, a nihilistic perspective will remain a nihilistic perspective. But this is our take on the Cannes-winning Swedish film, Border, based on our understanding of its multiple layers and underlying subtexts, which is why we’re going with the lowest-possible rating for a film that has won over critics across the globe. Those of you who’re interested in watching it, should give it a shot and see if it works for y’all. Y’all are also welcome to discuss it with me after watching; would love to brainstorm contrasting thoughts on what’s certain to go down in the long run as an immensely polarizing film.
Over to MAMI 2018 Day 6.