Akash Deshpande


Deep Focus: The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

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How do we define a great personality? Is it about the amount of work one was able to do while being alive or is it their values that stay even after they are gone? ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’, which speaks about the late transgender activist, does not indulge heavily in her accomplishments.
Stills from Gold laden sheep and sacred mountain

Tracing the Meditative Paths from ‘Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain’

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It comes as no surprise when more young directors are trying to latch onto such particularities. Ridham Janve’s film is no exception. And I mean it in the best possible way. ‘Sona Dhwandi Bhed Te Suchha Pahad’ is based in the local Gaddi language, which is spoken by the people where the film takes place. There are wide landscapes surrounding the Himalayas and the local myths. The whole plot revolves around that.
We Are One

We Are One: A Global Film Festival - Short Film Highlights

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With the pandemic hitting every country from all over the world, several film festivals decided to unite with a special programme. ‘We Are One’ is their initiative to introduce us to varying cultures - assessing how cinematic language is probably the only one that a viewer needs to understand in order to resonate with other human experiences. We take a look at some of the short films aired at this festival.
Tejaswini Enterprises

The Portraits of Women from ‘Awake’ and ‘Nathicharami’

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Will the sexually independent female characters, like those in Almodovar’s film, be a reality for those written in our land? Or will our society keep resisting showing them while calling spade a spade, without any signs to change or outlook – to move on from our biases? In a country where domestic abuse is still a pertinent issue, that is tough to answer.
Columbia Pictures

‘Bottle Rocket’ and the tragedy of the weirdos

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Wes Anderson roughly belongs to the same generation. And there is at least a semblance to this relatability (with such misfits) that gave a gigantic push to his career. Throughout his filmography, he has largely worked on the characters that are a result of their dysfunctional families and/or troubled childhood.

MAMI Film Festival: The India Gold Section takeaways

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While the reviewing process was a little tiring since we were supposed to write about ten films in the period of six days, the Indian films under this category did not disappoint us this year.

Films that left an impact from MAMI 2019

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The film festival which entered its 21st year in 2019 endorsed a wide range of cinema just like the years before. There were several festival-favourites in MAMI that attracted a large number of people to the screens. Last year, if the films like Climax or Roma did that, then this year the longest queues were for Scorsese’s much awaited crime-saga ‘The Irishman’ and the black-and-white psychological horror- ‘The Lighthouse’.

The Naïve Simplicity of the Mainstream World

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In a way, we’re becoming more aware of the content that we’re consuming. That leads us to how intellectual hunger seems to be rising in our country, at least to a degree. But, there are mainstream films still being made that often get an easy pass for their diversion from reality. Their conclusions often lack the believability or logical sense, even if they hit the right emotional notes.
streaming platforms

Urban content of the streaming era

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While most of the television serials used to speak about families and traditions, they revolved only around privileged households. The Hindi daily soaps were largely about how the grandeur of Gujrathi-Marwari families prospers with the undying devotion for their moral codes. The over-saturation of similar setting had since plagued the TV shows and no matter how much they tried to unequivocally shift to lower financial classes, the established formulas hardly changed.
The Tale

Film Review: The Tale

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The narrator from ‘The Tale’ had been trying to deceive herself from her own actuality. But the way she realizes the truth rather accepts it for what it is, will certainly send shivers through your bones; without knowing the exact feeling of being in that situation.
The Wife

Film Review: The Wife

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The best thing about ‘The Wife’ is that it cast Glenn Close in the titular role. While playing the companion of a successful and often revered author, she embodies the stoic persona like very few actors can.
Japan Nagaland

Film Review: Japan in Nagaland

‘Japan in Nagaland’, a 52-minute documentary, is primarily about the COSFEST (costume festival) that is held in Nagaland. Just like the events of Comic-Con, a lot of people come to this festival dressing up as one of their favorite characters, either from comics or films.
Stan and ollie

Film Review: Stan and Ollie

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For a biographical film spanning just one and a half hour, ‘Stan and Ollie’ is remarkable in its scope. It is based on Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, arguably the most beloved comic duo in the history of comedy.

Film Review: Happy as Lazzaro

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The scenic beauty from the earlier frames gives an illusion that the film belongs to an older era. It feels like it belongs to a part of history, where exploitation was natural taking the course of time in mind.

Film review: Paddleton

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For a film dealing with a character with terminal cancer, 'Paddleton' hardly dwells on the cliché pathos often attached to it.

‘Meal’- Short film Review

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A fear, that invites you slowly to immerse in it rather than sharing all the cues; you feel its palpable presence. ‘Meal’, written and directed by Abhiroop Basu does the same, with very minimal yet precise efforts.

New Netflix release : 15 August (Review)

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Even with the simplistic approach, it hardly seemed like a critique of the characters that we see, being a part of. But the tone is just a choice to take a bigger point forward- what is freedom, and how it affects the mundane lives of ‘regular’ people.
Mooz Films

Film Review: Capernaum

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Despite all the good intentions, what the film lacks is a clear focus. Towards the second half, it becomes a mush of ideas; although having enough tension for investing us in the characters and their motives. What makes one glued to the screen is cinematography and real-to-life earnest performances.
Mard ko Dard

Film Review: Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota

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The film unabashedly celebrates all the clichés associated with those films yet makes fun of them at every chance it gets. It doesn’t treat the audience as unintelligent beings, yet gives them the blast of entertainment that they crave for.

Film Review: Photograph

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Nothing from Batra’s new film seems that tender and sweet when we first listen to its plot. Yet, he manages to take this plot to a meditative journey of both of these characters, very unlikely to have fallen in love.
Black Tide

Black Tide

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Vincent Cassel was so effective in this role that this might be one of the best performances of his career. From the minute details like scratching his ear to almost running to beat the shit out of his own son, he embodied the role of this alcoholic, repulsive cop.

Bombay 70 se Gully Boy

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For a director with such a vision, the film felt unsatisfying for some reasons. Mainly for its writing which doesn’t have the rage enough to fulfill the lyrics.
Can you ever forgive me

Can you ever forgive me?

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It does seem obvious or predictable of the plot where she tries to redeem herself by confronting to her wrongdoings. Perhaps that was too simple. It hardly had anything surprising that subverts itself in the next moment. But the simple structure is what helped the performances to shine even more.
Eight Grade

Eighth Grade

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Eighth Grade. A film that I disregarded as just another teen drama. I hated the tendency of teenagers, getting sufficed by the technology and not treating others with the love that they seek. Alas, I realised how difficult it can get at times, despite having been bad to others.

Film Review: Roma

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This film is definitely about the world inhabited by the female characters around others. But it’s more than just one thing. It is Cuaron's most personal film.

Speak, for your lips are free

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Unlike some other day, I had this incredible amount of pride of being myself. I was walking a bit faster just because of that. I wasn’t completely unaware of what I was doing, like usual. I was more conscious of my own persona, in a good way.
the wild pear tree

IFFI Goa roundup

Entering its 49th year, IFFI, the International Film Festival of India, 2018 edition, took place in the pristine lands of Goa from the 20th to 28th November. But, there was hardly anything satisfying about this festival in almost every way imaginable.

Must watch films from the film fest

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I was able to catch 27 films from the festival. Here are those which caught my attention and lingered in me for quite a while afterwards. These are just the quick afterthoughts and not the complete reviews.

I need a break

Although I do consider being happy in the situation one is, the peace of mind just doesn’t work like that. Being comfortable in one’s own skin is getting more and more difficult, not just for me, but for many I have come across.