While Sudipto Sen’s The Kerala Story continues its dream run at the box office, the new releases Jogira Sara Ra Ra (the title itself is offputting), Aazam: Rise Of A New Don (please stop glorifying gangsters), La Vaste (poor Omkar Kapoor’s film about disposing unwanted corpses gets disposed on delivery) and Auhaam (a thriller with no takers) look as tempting as a visit to the dentist.
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This is what a personnel from a prominent multiplex chain had to say about this week’s new releases: “Faulad ki himmat chahiye aisi filmon ko dekhne ke liye aur us-se bhi zyada himmat chahiye inhe release karne ke liye (you need to have a braveheart to see these films you need to be even braver to dare to release them).”
The problem with the above is not that they are offbeat, edgy films (they try to be all of these). The problem is, they are bad films which would have been rejected even if they were shown pre-Covid, and before OTT took over.
This week again OTT takes the lead with the third season of Applause Entertainment’s City Of Dreams which miraculously escapes the curse of the second and third season to sustain its storytelling momentum even the third time around. A solid plot, a stellar cast and Nagesh Kukunoor’s astute understanding of power politics in the game of thorns (not thrones) ensures the spectators’ undivided attention to the end.
The same is true of Malayalam director Jude Anthany Joseph’s 2018. A blockbuster in Malayalam, it releases today in Hindi in the Northern belt. Although a lot of the original’s flavour is lost in translation, the Hindi version is still worth a lot more than the average original release in Hindi nowadays which espouses a politics of divisiveness.
If 2018’s message of humanism is universally relevant regardless of the spoken language, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is also all heart. Its message of love-conquers-all may seem like a stretch at a time when so much of cinema the worldover, including Anurag Kashyap’s Cannes-do-no-wrong Kennedy is all about hatred and bloodshed.
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Sadly animation films don’t do well in India.