Utpal Borpujari

June 14, 2009

DVD Reviews: Slumdog Millionaire / I’m Not There

Slumdog Millionaire (Collector’s Edition); English; Shemaroo; Rs 499

There is hardly anyone who has not seen Slumdog Millionaire on the big screen, thanks to the tremendous hype it generated during its release. Now is the chance to take this movie home, and while there is a normal edition too, this Collector’s Edition is worth every rupee you spend on it.

The two-DVD set not only gives you the chance to savour the movie again and again, but also takes you behind the scenes, including into the mind of director Danny Boyle, as he shares his vision behind the film in a special chapter titled “Slumdog Dreams by Danny Boyle”.

You also have on this DVD access to a number of deleted scenes, and it is always interesting to watch scenes that are more often than not riveting but get chopped off on the editing table. Added attraction are the segments “The Making” and “The Premiere”.

The Jamal-Latika love story, the details of which are too well known to be discussed here, and which fetched its makers eight Oscars, seven BAFTAs, four Golden Globes and 90 other awards is worth bringing home.

I’M Not There; English; Excel Home Videos/NDTV Lumiere; Rs 399

Who, rather what, is Bob Dylan? Musician, balladeer, poet, social commentator, star, enigma, hero -what exactly is he? For all his fans, he is all of this, and maybe much more than this. And fans he has in legions all over the world.

So, when one plans a movie on the living legend, how does one approach it? – as a straight-forward, linearly told biopic, or as something that will capture the spirit of what Bob Dylan is all about. Todd Haynes chooses the second path, and comes up with I’m Not There (2007), a dramatic telling of Dylan’s life story through seven characters who in a sense are various phases of the singer’s life itself.

Cate Blanchett, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for her role, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Richard Gere are in the cast that delivers a memorable performance in this film that uses Hollywood paraphernalia but develops its own identity beyond a studio venture.

I’m Not There is a film that is more about the spirit of Dylan than Dylan the person, and that’s where it scores.

(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 14-06-2009)


March 8, 2009

Manjha an exclusive feature on Slumdog Millionaire Blu-ray disc

In a first of its sort, an award-winning Indian short film portraying the harsh life of street kids is being added as an exclusive special feature in the Blu-ray discs of Danny Boyle’s Oscar-sweeping movie Slumdog Millionaire.

What is significant about this black & white Marathi-Hindi short film Manjha, directed by young director Rahi Anil Barve, is that it provides a shocking counterpoint to the feel-good climax of Boyle’s film that swept award juries as well as viewers across the globe.

Both Blu-ray discs and DVDs of the Boyle’s film, which has globally collected $200 million, can be expected to be surefire bestsellers because of its successful Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe run.

However, the DVDs of the film would not have Manjha, which had won the best film award in the fiction category and the IDPA award for the best first film by a director at the 10th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) in January last year.

Boyle selected the film for inclusion in the Blu-ray discs of his film after he was particularly taken in by its fresh approach to the narrative format. He is believed to have watched the film as part of a number of Indian short films director Anurag Kashyap had showed him sometime back.

Manjha is an extraordinary film. With little resources it is visually stunning and emotionally captivating,” Boyle said on his decision.  “I’m delighted to include Manjha on the Blu-ray DVD release of Slumdog Millionaire throughout the world.”


 “With little resources it is visually stunning and emotionally captivating. Surprising and gripping, it’s everything a short film should be, and I look forward with great anticipation to the Director’s next project,” he said in his comments about the film to Barve.


While 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the Blu-ray disc and the DVD in the Western markets on March 31, in India Shemaroo  Entertainment will release the English and Hindi dubbed versions of the film on home video.


The selection has come as a real surprise for Barve, who is preparing for his feature film Tumbad. “After MIFF, this film was not sent to any other festival, though it won an Apsara Award. I guess Anurag, who knows Boyle well, had shown him mine as well as many other Indian short films,” he said.


A short film that has remained largely unseen will now reach all corners of the globe riding on the Slumdog wave –  should we say, “Jai Ho” to Manjha?




(Published in Deccan Herald, www.deccanherald.com, www.deccanheraldepaper.com, 08-03-2009)


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