ANNIVERSARIES

Udit Narayan 1-Dec ! Bombay S.Jayashri 2-Dec ! Nagai Muralidharan 4-Dec ! Subash Goel 4-Dec ! Kadri Gopalnath 5-Dec ! Sabbas Joseph 5 Dec ! Sujata Trivedi 6-Dec ! M.Chandrasekharan 11-Dec ! Mahakavi Subrmanya Bharathi 11-Dec ! Sriram Gangadharan 12-Dec ! Anutosh Degharia 12-Dec ! Muskan K. 14-Dec ! Babul Supriyo 15-Dec ! Usha Mangeshkar 15-Dec ! V.Thyagarajan 18-Dec ! Amin Sayani 21-Dec ! Anand (Milind) 21-Dec ! Calcutta K.S.Krishnamurthi 21-Dec ! Neyvelli Venkatesh 22-Dec ! E.M.Subramaniam 23-Dec ! Naushad 25-Dec ! Pandit Ram Narayan 25-Dec ! Pudukottai Dakshinamurthi Pillai 27-Dec ! Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman 27-Dec ! Sonali Bajpai 30-Dec ! A.Kanyakumari 31-Dec ! Nandu Vichare 31-Dec

Dunkirk-The Movie

The soldier on the beach tells the captain: 'The tide is turning'. 
Captain: 'How can you tell?'
Soldier: ' Cos the dead bodies are floating back'
This dialogue sums up the chilling mood of the movie - 'Dunkirk'- A WW2 movie in May 1940 when about 400,000 British and French soldiers were stranded at the Dunkirk sea and were evacuated despite firing from the German planes. This movie becomes more relevant in recent times when mankind seems to have forgotten the world wars in the last century and several countries have started war-mongering games.
The actors really don't matter here. The characters do. There is a young British soldier who teams up with 2 more and tries to smartly maneuver and jump the queue for rescue. There is a fighter pilot flying the spitfires who along with his battalion is on a mission to bring down the enemy planes. A sailor, who along with his son and another friend, joins the civilian armada to rescue the stranded soldiers. And the naval admiral who is supervising the operations based on orders sent by Winston Churchill.
Christopher Nolan's (Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, Memento) first non-fantasy movie is his best so far. Along with Hans Zimmer who supports him well with music, he weaves a tale of sorrow, heroism, hope, glory, friendship, fatherhood, survival- all within a span of 2 hours. Camerawork from Hoyte takes you up close to the soldiers and the civilians to give you a personal account on how everything unfolded on that fateful day. 
For once, there is no romance behind the scenes; in fact there is not a single woman character!!! It is the hard core and blunt story telling that makes a mark and leaves you questioning life and war. You don't even need a VR to get immersed in the story.
Watch it in Imax and get transported back in time to one of the most controversial wars in history that affected the whole world. #dunkirk #WW2 #indieyogi

Lapachhapi (Hide-n-seek)

Another hidden gem is slowly picking up traction while all the big movies are being talked about. 
Trust the Marathi film industry to come out with a horror movie set in a rural background- 'Lapachhapi' (Hide-n-seek). Moreover, this movie brings to light a social issue still prevalent in rural India- female foeticide. The director Vishal Furia smartly interweaves the social issues through the character of a pregnant woman (Pooja Sawant as Neha). Neha and her husband Tushar (Vikram Gaikwad) have to leave their town, when she is 8 months pregnant, and move to an isolated sugarcane farmer's house in the midst of a farm. Their caretaker Tulsibai (Usha Naik) and her husband are very kind to them, but they are disturbed by strange incidents happening to them that pose a threat to their unborn child. The mystery unravels itself in a progressive manner bringing to the fore incidents of the past.
Usha Naik's acting is spotless. Pooja is good but is too active for a 8 months pregnant lady. The music is haunting and so is the repeated game of 'Lapachhapi' played intermittently. Cinematography is excellent and full marks for creating such a big effect on a small budget!
While most horror movies in India thrive on giving you cheap thrills with special effects, this one relies on the story and the treatment to keep you on the tenterhooks! Definitely a must watch. #indieyogi #lapachhapi

I luv Mom

While the buzz was about 'Mom', I thought it was a highly overrated movie. The plot was a predictable revenge saga, Sridevi was good in phases in her botoxed avtar while Nawaz is getting predictable with his cranky understated acting- however good it might be. Sajal Ali was the find of the movie with her brilliant portrayal of a rape victim.
 

The Zookeeper's Wife

"You look in to their eyes and you know exactly what is in their hearts"- exactly sums up the core of the movie, though these words are said by Antonina Zabinski (Jessica Chastain) about the animals. She is the Zookeeper Jan's (Johan Heldenberg) wife and is extremely fond of and an expert with animals. The opening sequence of animals running around her and when she brings back an ailing elephant calf to life leaves you weak in your knees especially if you are an animal lover.

However it is 1939 and this scene is shortlived as the Nazis soon invade Poland leaving the zoo at the mercy of the newly appointed zoologist Lutz (Daniel Bruhl). Contrary to Hitler's reputation of being a vegetarian and an animal lover, most of the regular animals are killed while a few of them are taken away by the zoologist to a safe location.

Thus begins the real life story where the Zabinski's save more than 300 Polish Jews by hiding them in their basement meant for breeding pigs. The lead actors, especially Jessica, are excellent in their restrained yet powerful portrayal of the characters. She balances the fine line between her devotion to the hiding Jewish while subtly thwarting the romantic overtures made by Lutz.

The narrative is striking, more as a real life story than as a movie. Some of the ghetto scenes are predictable and so is the ending. If you have been to the Auschwitz ghetto that is still preserved in Poland, it will make you wonder about the cruelty of human race.

But a good watch this weekend for its cute animals and Jessica... Noor not even being a very distant alternative!

Interviews

Venues

Hard Rock Cafe1

Located in a former mill, the Mumbai outpost of the US chain of resto-bars has a mixed reputation among the city's musicians. In the first couple of years after opening, in 2006, indie rock acts were often asked to include a stipulated number of cover songs in their set lists. These days, Hard Rock Café, which hosts gigs every Tuesday and Thursday night, sticks mostly to cover bands, with a couple of dates a month spared for indie groups. Skip these gigs, and come here only for the ticketed events, when one of the seating areas is cleared to make room for a larger stage, for performances by Indian indie icons (folk-fusion veterans Indian Ocean, electro-rock superstars Pentagram), international chart toppers (Wyclef Jean, Jay Sean) or club-packing DJs (Bob Sinclair, Paul van Dyk). Be warned, though: the waiters break into a synchronised jig every time the Village People's "YMCA" comes on.


Bombay Dyeing Mill Compound, Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Worli, + 91 22 2438 2888, Hardrockindiablog.com. Open daily noon-1.30am. Performance times and entrance fees vary