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).