October 27, 2016

Mumbai 2016, Day 4: Taste and Tone

‘Multiple Maniacs’ (1970/ USA/ John Waters) is a C-grade crime comedy and is really, really bad. But the reason why it has gained a cult status is exactly that: so bad that it is good. I overheard some delegates sharing their disapproval after watching more than one hour of it. I was prepared for both – the movie and the audience’s reaction. In fact, I would have been disappointed if either were any better.

Shakun Batra believes a director’s primary job is to keep the tone of the movie right. Tone, he says, comes from taste. And taste comes from exposure. It is important to be open to all the varieties that come our way during a film festival. Taste buds grow fast during this one week.

‘Clash’ (2016/ Egypt/ Mohamed Diab) is Egypt’s Oscar entry this year. The entire film is set inside a van as the world outside clashes in one of recent history’s most violent political movement. Despite being a drama set in war, it had moments of brilliant humor and gripping thriller.

‘The Red Turtle’ (2016/ France-Belgium-Japan/ Michael Dudok de Wit) won Special Jury Prize (Un Certain Regard) at Cannes this year. This silent animation film tells an extremely simple story, with a fantastic twist that will leave you wondering what it is actually about. I plan to write a post on it soon. The interpretation aside, watching it on big screen was a meditative experience. I stepped out as if from a spa, cleansed from within, calmed from outside.

And the last film of the day was ‘Elle’ (2016/ France/ Paul Verhoeven) which was a brilliant example of the director meticulously controlling the tone of the film. It was a drama with elements of thriller, horror and mystery. But despite this it was funny and thoroughly entertaining. It is France’s Oscar entry this year.

18 movies in four days. Really happy.

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