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IFFI Reviews

Highlights of the Festival

Let’s take a look at some of the best film offerings so far of the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

 

Like father, vialis 40mg Like Son – 2013

Director:  Hirokazu Koreeda

Country: Japan

 

Like Father , drugs Like Son could be the most surprising movie of the festival.  This Japanese flick, well received at the festival, depicts the lives of two families whose kids are swapped at birth in a hospital and only realise this after 6 years. The most striking element of the movie is the treatment of the emotions, which are both subtle and real (anyone who’s visited Japan knows these are not folks prone to wearing their hearts on their sleeves!)The two main male characters of the movie are fundamentally opposite, one a hard-working ambitious achiever and the other a laid-back family man. They are at loggerheads on and off throughout the movie. The film begins with the revelation of the ‘real’ identity of the kids, which leads to their parents planning a lawsuit against the hospital. Then begins a cinematic journey of twists and turns, leading to the conclusion which, of course, I will not reveal! Japanese cinema, although famed for gangster and war movies, over the past few years has produced works of value in other genres too, this being a prime example.

 

Burning Bush -2013

Director: Agnieszka Holland

Country: Czech Republic

6

Burning Bush is a 3-part series produced by HBO which depicts the true story of the Czech student Jan Palak, who in protest  against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia burned himself in daylight.  Timing in at around 240 minutes, this series provides a haunting and important testament of Czech history. This act of protest by Jan Palak leads to various sub plots which keep the tension alive. The narration of the movie is tightly bound by the director, which not just  makes the long screen time bearable, but also enjoyable. Another striking feature about the movie is the treatment of the facts in the form of storytelling. We all love a good yarn, and this movie gives us one.

 

The Act of Killing – 2012

Dir: Joshua Oppenheimer

Country: Denmark – Britain – Norway

7

The Act of Killing is a documentary movie, based on the death squads of Indonesia, seen through the eyes of one of their most brutal killers during a military crackdown in 1965 that killed a half a million people. The movie follows a few main characters, who are all either ex or present members of the death squads and asks them to recreate their personal  killing stories by shooting a film in the style of their favourite American movies. The squad members, proud and unashamed, narrate their stories through props, sets, costumes and even dancers. This movie is shot and portrayed as raw as possible, which intensifies the brutality of the subject matter and hence achieves the desired reaction from the audience. The movie is brilliantly put together, and provides a thought provoking yet satisfying informative document. And the emotions shine through, too.

 

September – 2013

Director: Penny Panayotopoulou

Country: Greece

5

September is an emotionally subtle and intense movie. It is the bittersweet tale of a young woman, who is trying to deal with the death of her beloved dog.  After the death, the owner enters a state of extreme sadness and loneliness (all the pet owners out there will understand these emotions, though if you’re not one, it’s possible you will find the subject matter strange).   The movie keeps you involved and interested, despite the fact that the topic can be mistreated very easily. The movie captures the complexity of emotion while keeping the plot simple. With a little self investment and patience, this is a good movie you can enjoy.

 

 

Mystery Road- 2013

Director: Ivan Sen

Country: Australia

8

Mystery Road revolves around the investigation of the murder of a teenage girl in a desert town in Australia. The movie progresses at its own pace, slowly unravelling the mysteries surrounding the murder. Although the plot is somewhat stereotypical, it does manage to engage you because of its extraordinary delivery. The cinematography is the top draw, with wide-angle shots capturing the beautiful landscape of the Down Under countryside. Mystery Road attempts to keep its viewer invested, and to some degree it succeeds, although it might not go down in the history as one of Australia’s greatest films. Still, the characters and events are authentic. When someone shoots at a long range of a few miles, there’s a 2 to 3 second pause before the bullet reaches the target. The depiction of a destroyed town in the desert is also haunting, with an almost post-apocalyptic look. In terms of ideas, it does overlap a lot with the American greats, but still manages to make a novel point or two.