Court is a 2015 Marathi film by Chaitanya Tamhane. While from the name itself it becomes clear that the film has something to do with “court kachari ka chakkar”, it is only on seeing it can one fully appreciate why this movie is a great watch for any sympathetic observer of the progress of human rights, law and their systematic violations in India. The film starts with scenes of some children taking tuitions from one Narayan Kamble, who is the central character of the film. After taking his classes, we find him taking a bus to a spot where a cultural program is taking place to commemorate a (fictional) “Wadgaon massacre”. He is then invited to a stage where he sings a powerful song that calls upon the exploited masses (and evidently, the exploited castes) to identify the exploiters and rise up against them. From the picture of Ambedkar in the background, it is clear that caste oppression is one of the central themes of what comes later in the film to be called Kamble’s cultural troupe’s performances. Kamble is interrupted by cops who come and arrest him on charges that a song of his had reportedly led one gutter cleaning worker to suicide some days back. His case is taken up by a lawyer named Vinay Vora (played by Vivek Gomber) who has a personal interest in pursuing cases where human rights are likely to be violated. What follows in the film is an elaborate portrayal of not just the court proceedings that seem to make a mockery of justice (more on that later), but also of the personal life experiences of Gomber, the public prosecutor as well as the judge. In course of this portrayal, what we learn is not only the different lifestyles, social statuses and cultural values but also the different life views and ideological standpoints of these major stakeholders in the case. Continue reading “Court”ing Controversy – A Brief Review
Kangna Ranaut, R. Madhavan, Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhaskar and Zeeshan Ayyub starrer movie Tanu Weds Manu Returns went all good in its opening week. It has been the first movie of 2015 to cross the 100 crores marks in the box-office. Though some of the reviews I came across did appeal me to witness the movie, few among my friend circle did the opposite to me. Usually, I am a fan of Kangna’s acting. So I chose to watch this one despite my friends’ discouragement.
Kangna Ranaut as Tanu. Courtesy: Google Image
Actually, this movie started with showing the quarrel of a four years-old couple. Kangna has successfully finished her double role as Tanu (Manu’s wife) and Datta (later, Manu’s girlfriend). Madhavan played the role of Manu, Dr. Manoj Sharma. After getting married, they started to live in London. Good sense of humour will give extra impetus to your entertainment.
The bone of contention between the couple started after a year of their marriage and the issue is that they do not accept their faults and instead they are busy in noticing their partner’s fault. So, they do not want to compromise and their relationship starts decaying. Continue reading Review of Tanu Weds Manu Returns
The World Before Her is a documentary that attempts to contrast the lives of two women who apparently belong to very different worlds. One of them heads a Durga Vahini camp, while another is a beauty pageant aspirant. The director Nisha Pahuja must be congratulated for closely observing the women in their various moods. That said, while she explored and even commented on the regressive aspects of the Durga Vahini and nicely exposed at least some of the contradictions of that life, she failed to be nearly as critical of the other side of the binary. I will strongly argue that the director was not just “documenting” but also passing her own judgments, not only by the choice of footage and conversations, but also by showing some clippings of extremism by the Hindutva goons. Not once did she comment directly on capitalist consumerism which is at the root of the conceptualization of beauty contests. Right from setting a standard definition of what constitutes beauty to objectifying the human body, not to mention feeding the frenzy of presenting the human body as a consumable object [subsumed in the logic of market] – the beauty pageants happen to be hubs of regressive value generation.
Continue reading Review – The World Before Her  by Nisha Pahuja