Utpal Borpujari

July 26, 2010

DVD Review: Sankat City

By Utpal Borpujari

Mumbai has always inspired many a Hindi film, capturing its various hues. Sankat City provides a zany look how the city provides the scope for a million dreams. A madcap comedy in the thriller format, it is the story of an ensemble of characters, all of whom are pursuing a life of comfort but are condemned to live in the underbelly of the megapolis.

At the heart of the story is a petty car thief, played with deadpan élan by Kay Kay Menon, and his shenanigans that gets him embroiled in a life-threatening situation. Anupam Kher, as the Himachali-accented comic mafia don, occupies the antagonist’s space. Sundry other characters, all in the pursuit of quick money, make up the space in between.

This is one rare intelligent comedy from Bollywood, which usually relies on cheap jokes in the name of evoking laughter a la the recent Houseful. The director, who assisted Kundan Shah in Jaane Bhi Do Yaron, considered the best satire in Hindi cinema, sure knows his job.

Sankat City; Hindi; Dir: Pankaj Advani; Rs 149; Moser Baer Home Video

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 25-07-2010)

July 11, 2010

DVD review: Little Zizou

By Utpal Borpujari

Sooni Taraporevala the screenplay writer has successfully collaborated with Mira Nair to give us some powerful films like The Namesake, Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala. She has also written Sturla Gunnarsson’s critically-acclaimed Such a Long Journey.

But when she turned a director, Taraporevala chose to pick a light-hearted story backgrounded on her own Parsi community.

Little Zizou, as the name suggests, has football as one of the elements, but tells much more through its story about two fighting Parsi men, one a happy-go-lucky community newspaper editor and the other a hardliner religious head.

Even though the film has serious elements, it is seen through the eyes of little Xerxes, who is mad about Zinedine Zidane (hence the name of the movie).

The film’s camprises the director’s own son Jahan Bativala, who gives a compelling performance, and a large number of Parsi actors from Mumbai, including Boman Irani, apart from Imaad Shah and John Abraham in a guest appearance. A sweet little film, this one is.

Little Zizou (Hindi-Gujarati-English); Dir: Sooni Taraporevala; Rs 199; Moser Baer

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 11-07-2010)


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