October 22, 2014

Mumbai 2014 Day #7: The Best Day Saved for the Last

Five more movies. The last day. The total score goes up to 33. The festival comes to an end. And how amazingly!

Theeb (2014/ UAE-Jordan-Qatar) by Naji Abu Nowar set the perfect tone for the day. What stunning landscape. Great sound and music. Really, really liked the film. It had won Best Director at Venice Horizons this year.

Coming Home (2014/ China) by Yimou Zhang was for me the most moving film. A heart-wrenching story of a domestic family torn by the Cultural Revolution, it proved once again why its director is onr of the most revered Asian filmmakers today.

Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014/ China) by Yi'nan Diao was a glorious tribute to the Noir tradition of Hollywood of the 40s. A fallen cop, a femme fatale, and an ending that remains devastating despite the mystery being solved. Loved its writing - operating within genre space is not easy. And was absolutely stunned by its cinematography. This Golden Bear winner at Berlin this year was a very special film for me, if not so for others. It had also won Best Actor award at Berlin.

Nymphomaniac I and II (2013/ Denmark and others) was my most eagerly awaited movie of this festival. And did it reach upto my expectations? Boy, it surpassed it. Firstly, this was the most personal film I watched this year - only Lars Von Trier could have made this, his authorship is evident in every minute of its five and half hours of run-time. Secondly, I never thought this film could be such an involving and entertaining essay on human society that it was. So playful, apart from being explicit and shocking. And most importantly, especially to someone who has followed the maker and his previous films, it was almost like an open-letter to his detractors about why he is the way he is - an eccentric, unapologetic, shameless genuis. I could not have asked for any other film to end my festival experience.

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