TV Times

Dasgupta Retrospective films in Colombo

A Retrospective Festival of Films by the world renowned eminent Bengali based Indian film maker Buddhadeb Dasgupta would be held for a week staring from September 12 at the Russian Centre, Colombo 7.

Acclaimed as one of the most outstanding film directors of India today, Buddhadeb Dasgupta has won numerous international and national awards as the best director and for the best film including prestigious Venice Film Festival Special Award for the Best Director. having directed more than 17 feature films and around 12 documentary films, he was awarded by Life Time Achievement twice in 2008 from the International Film Festival of Spain and in 2007 from Athens International Film Festival, Greece. He is also a versatile script writer, novelist and a poet too.

The festival is organized by the Asian Film Centre and films will be screened at 6.30 p.m. daily on September 12, 13, 15, 16 and 19 and each film will be introduced by Buddhadeb Dasgupta. All films are subtitled in English and entry to the screenings is by purchasing a leaflet on the film.

The film to be screened on September 12, will be an early work of Dasgupta. “Bagh Bahadur” (Tiger Man) deals with the human and artistic crisis in the life of a grass-root performer, Ghunuram, and his struggle to prevent his descent into a life bereft of love and pride. Bagh Bahadur won the National Award (Golden Lotus) for the Best Film of the Year and the film was rated as an outstanding film at Canes Film Festival.

“Uttara” (The Wrestlers) will be screened on September 13 and it is based on a short story by Samaresh Bose. The film contrasts violence, human vices and lawlessness in a seemingly peaceful setting, in a quiet village in Purulia district in Bengal. Uttara won the National Award (Golden Lotus) for the Best Director of the Year. Also the Best Director’s Award at the Venice International Film Festival and was programmed at the Masters of World Cinema section, Toronto International Film Festival.

“Mondo Meyer Upakhyan” (A Tale of a Naughty Girl) will be screened on September 15. Based on a short story by Bengali writer Prafulla Roy, the central idea developed by director Dasgupta, tells the story of a girl, Lati, whose mother Rajani is a prostitute living and working in a brothel in rural India.

The film won the National Award (Golden Lotus) for the Best Film and got an International Recognition by programming in the Masters of World Cinema Section, Toronto International Film Festival.

On September 16, the film “ Kaalpurush (Memories in the Mist) which won the National Film Award (Golden Lotus) for the Best Film in 2006 will be screened. It is a story of a father and a son and the women in their lives, is set at two different places. The characters meet is desperation and utter their unspoken words in the strangest situation where love, physicality and pain melt into different levels of time and reality.

‘Ami Yasin Ar Amar Madubala’ (The Voyeurs) will be screened on September 19 and tells us a story about human values. When a young man falls in love, he cannot imagine that this innocence will turn to guilt and lead to him and his friend being chased by the police. Nor can his friend imagine that his religion is a death warrant.

Neither can understand how a peccadillo involving the girl next door could become the equal of a crime of passion. The film got international recognition by programming in the Masters of World Cinema section, Toronto International Film Festival.

‘Suseema’ on screen

‘Suseema’, Rohan Weliwita’s maiden film venture based on his 1980s famed teledrama story around a musical band is now being screened in MPI circuit cinemas. The first HD (High Definition) film to be made in Sri Lanka, it will be screened in two HD theatres, Ritz Borella and Riky 2 Colombo and other cinemas around the country.

Based on a story that first came in print as a comic story written and drawn by Janaka Ratnayake, Suseema was made into a teledrama twenty years later by Rohan Weliwita. The famous characters of Ranga, Asela, Suradewa, Mike and Suseema are played by Palitha Silva, Jackson Anthony, Granwil Rodrigo, Sathischandra Edirisinghe and Menik Kurukulasuriya in the teledrama version. The same characters played by Suraj Mapa, Saranga Disasekara, Kapila Sigera, Dusmantha Prasad, Robin Fernando and Paboda Sandeepani in the film version.

Others in the cast include Nirosha Thalagala, Melani Asoka, Wasantha Gunasekara, Pavithra Wickremasinghe, Ransiri Jayawardana and Rose Alagiyawanna. Story and dialogue are by Janaka Rathnayaka, the art director and editor is Janaka Enimankada, and make up by Priyanka Rathnayake. Camera is handled by Dinesh Prasanga and A. S. P. Liyanage produced the film.

Another important feature of ‘Suseema’ is that acclaimed film music director Nimal Mendis returned to music making after twenty years for Rohan Weliwita’s film, having written the musical score for films like ‘Kalu Diya Dahara’, ‘Rampage’, ‘God King’, ‘Ganga Addara’, ‘Yahalu Yeheli’, ‘Ahasin Polowata’, ‘Beddegama’, ‘Gehenu Lamai’ and ‘Duwata Mawaka Misa’ which contained unforgettable songs.

‘Arakshan’ Controversial movie on cast system

Latest Bollywood movie ‘Arakshan’, a story on the rigid caste system which was banned in some parts of India will be screened for a limited engagement from September 8 to 14 at Regal cinema Colombo.

A star-filled movie on India’s caste system churned up passionate debate as it on August 8, with angry lower caste groups trying to torpedo its release, saying it reinforces social prejudices against them.
Directed by Prakash Jha, the film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone in the major cast is a socio-political drama based on the controversial policy of caste based reservations in government jobs and educational institutions.

Aarakshan is the story of Prabhakar Anand (Amitabh Bachchan), the legendary idealistic principal of a college that he has single-handedly turned into the state’s best. It is the story of his loyal disciple, Deepak Kumar (Saif Ali Khan) who will do anything for his Sir. Of Deepak’s love for Prabhakar’s daughter, Poorbi (Deepika Padukone), of his friendship with Sushant (Prateik). It is the story of their love, their lively friendship, their zest for life, and of their dreams for the future.

Centered on one of the most controversial issues of recent years, with the Supreme Court’s order on reservations, the story suddenly becomes a rollercoaster ride of high drama, conflict, and rebellion, which tests their love and friendship for one another, and their loyalty to Prabhakar Anand.
The controversy ridden movie was banned in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh before its theatrical release on fears that certain scenes and dialogues in the film may inflame the passion of some communities.

Following complaints of its objectionable content the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) viewed the movie and concluded “while the overall theme of the film is not objectionable, it is loaded with anti-Dalit and anti-reservation dialogues,”. However the Board, which granted the film certification, concluded that it would defend the director’s right to free expression. Following ‘Arakshan’, Regal Colombo will release Janitha Marasinghe’s latest film ‘Kiwada Nahi Nokiwada Nahi’, a comedy.

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