Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dus Kahaniyaan (2007)



The promo for this movie reads 'Six Visionary Directors, Ten Spectacular Stories, One Cinematic Journey' and for the most part is an accurate description. Producer Sanjay Gupta scored quite a coup getting together over 20 of Bollywood's best actors to star in this unconventional yet highly entertaining movie. The ten stories have no real thread connecting them but instead present themselves as mini-movies unto themselves. The very idea of making a ten minute movie when the routine in your industry is the three hour mark was just one of the many obstacles faced by the filmmakers. The resulting movie (clocking in at under two hours) is fresh and thoroughly enjoyable. Some of the stories are stronger than the others and are split pretty evenly with three quite outstanding, three being good and four just mediocre.



My personal favorites were 'The Rice Plate' starring Shabana Azmi & Naseeruddin Shah and 'Gubbare' starring Nana Patekar & Rohit Roy (the director of 'The Rice Plate'). 'The Rice Plate' has Shabanaji playing a South Indian Brahmin grandmother in Delhi who is trying to catch a train to visit her granddaughter. The fact that she is racist towards Muslims and forgets her wallet at home create the necessary pathos to create a clinic on acting with the equally comparable Shah. Shabana had a special Tamil language tutor on set to help her speak Hindi with the right accent. In 'Gubarre' we see Nanasaab playing a man going to visit his wife on a bus who on the way teaches a newlywed couple a poignant lesson about life. While he known for his dark roles, Patekar is just a joy to watch here as a man caught somewhere between sadness and joy.



The song above is from the story titled 'Pooranmasi' starring a Bollywood star of yesteryear Amrita Singh. It is also today's selection, Vichode Ne sung by Shafqat Ali Khan. You can find most of the films on youtube as the limit of 11 minutes on the site is enough to get most of the movies on there (alas, most are without subtitles).

6 comments:

Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

I liked "Dus Kahaniyan'- though honestly the stories were all very predictable. Amrita Singh's story was my favorite; I disliked the one with Jimmy Shergil- very defeatist somehow...

Kiran said...

another reason to join netflix. thanks for the review, doc!

Anonymous said...

my fav was Rice plate as well! i liked pooranmasi and zahir too...the others were okay.
Nafisa

TS said...

I loved 'pooranmasi' and lovedale...I guess I liked seeing Anuradha Patel after such a long while after Izzajat.......now, Izajjat is a lovely one to watch too.

trupti

theBollywoodFan said...

What did you think of the soundtrack, doc? It's one of a kind, and I particularly liked the third of the three disc soundtrack. For anyone who hasn't yet checked it out, it is well worth a listen, especially if you're into poetry.

Sanket Vyas said...

Shweta - Yes, the stories were predictable for the most part & the Shergil one was my least favorite as well. Surprisingly my 3 favorite ones (including the Amrita Singh one) were the most predictable but I did not really mind as watching the stories being told with those actors were simply a joy to watch.

Kiran - netflix has it all my dear, just join the revolution :)

Nafisa - agree with you as I said above.

Trupti - thanks for reminding me about 'Ijaazat' as the only one I have seen with her is 'Utsav'. Add another film to my out of control Netflix list.

Bollywood Fan - The songs didn't make much of an impact on me at the time but listening to them again has given me fresh perspective on them. I was happy to see Bappi Lahiri doing music again but my favorite songs were the Shafqat Ali Khan ones (that he sang & provided music for). His father was an uncle as well as one of the first teachers of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.