Category Archives: film

Web Series Review – REKKA

Femme Fatale – the phrase that strikes your mind after watching ‘Rabindranath Ekhane Kawkhano Khete Asenni’.

Mushkan Zuveri, the enigmatic, mysterious, esoteric protagonist of the novel by Md Nazimuddin, comes alive on screen. Azmeri Haque Badhon portrays Mushkan with élan, as if the character was penned for her to play. The owner of a restaurant in a quaint town of Sundarpur, she is known for (in)famous for her cooking skills. But she has more cards up her sleeves, than meets the eye. Investigator Nirupam Chanda’s (Nure Chhafa in the original) arrival in this small town ruffles up feathers and sets in motion incidents that disturb the ‘beauty’ of the idyllic suburb.

Whether you’ve read the original novel or not, you’d be hooked to this web-series directed by Srijit Mukherji from the word go. He has not only breathed life into the characters created by Mohd Nazimuddin, but made them his own, by adding the little eccentricities, and smart one-liners. To distil 400-odd pages of written text into nine episodes is no mean feat, but Srijit Da has successfully assimilated the flavour of the original work, with creative licenses of his own, making this a visual treat. Specially the sequence in the flashback, which I do not want to disclose to avoid giving out spoilers, will sicken you to the core – in a good way (such is the brilliance of Srijit Da’s craft).

Talking of visuals, one must acknowledge the brilliant ‘dark’ setting of this series, matching the ‘gothic horror’ theme of the plot. A mysterious lady who lives alone in a mansion, disappearance of male guests at an eatery, graves dug in advance, a pond full of crocodiles, foggy nights and nocturnal truth missions, idiosyncrasies of the police bureaucracy, and an uncomfortable truth at the heart of it all – REKKA makes for a wholesome meal of weekend binge.

Those who make it possible – Azmeri Haque Badhon, Rahul Bose, and Anirban Bhattacharya as Mushkan, Nirupam and Ator Ali respectively, live up to their characters to the T. Sequences where Badhon’s character sings Rabindranath’s songs – as if they were composed for precisely these moments, feel eerily magical, yet horrifying. She has an amicable charm, a fatal attraction in her manner, which makes her so enigmatic and powerful. Badhon carries REKKA on her shoulders with her fluid, natural performance.

Rahul Bose on the other hand is suave, stoic, serious. A departure from the original character in the book, who was more of a ‘gobechara’ officer. The final meeting between Nirupam and Mushkan was no less than David battling Goliath, no prizes for guessing, who took the laurels. Anirban, on the other hand, brings to life Ator Ali – the police informer, with his eccentric shenanigans. Not for a moment does it feel we are watching Anirban act. He embodies Ator Ali to the core.

Although Kharaj Khasnobish doesn’t have much space in REKKA, but in the sequel his character assumes a significant role, so where’s expecting Anjan Dutt to deliver his above-mediocrity level performance, as usual. Anirban Chakraborti, too, delivers as the OC of Sundarpur in his limited capacity in the scheme of things.

The man of the match is obviously Srijit Mukherji. Adapting a literary work is no child’s play, specially since comparisons with the original (damned if you deviate, damned if you don’t) are bound to come up. In REKKA, he has remained true to the text, but made the characters his own baby. More importantly, he has added the essence of Rabindranath, who was missing in the original text (apart from the title).

All I can say after watching REKKA is that it was a Friday well-spent. And I hope to catch the sequel soon. And may be we can actually have Chanchal Chowdhury in the cast (as the influential minister).

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

My Predictions for Oscar Awards 2021

It is that time of the year again! Well, two months late, but nevertheless. Amid the raging pandemic, there is still hope. 2020 was an exceptional year with theatres around the world shut down, and streaming services coming to the rescue of cinephilles. Now, it is time to celebrate the best of the year!

Here are my predictions for Oscar Awards 2021:

Best picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best director

Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

David Fincher, Mank

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Best actor

(I have multiple favourites in this category, including Anthony Hopkins and Riz Ahmed. But probably Boseman will win this).

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Gary Oldman, Mank

Steven Yeun, Minari

Best actress

(My favourite in this category is Frances McDormand. Although, Kirby is poised to win this time).

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day, The United States v. Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Best supporting actress

(My favourite in this category is Olivia Colman. However, Minari is the favourite in award circuits)

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Movie film

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman, The Father

Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Youn Yuh-jung, Minari

Best supporting actor

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Best film editing

The Father

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best costume design

Emma

Mank

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mulan

Pinocchio

Best production design

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

News of the World

Tenet

Best sound

Greyhound

Mank

News of the World

Soul

Sound of Metal

Best original screenplay

Judas and the Black Messiah

Minari

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best adapted screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Father

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

The White Tiger

Best cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

News of the World

Nomadland

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Makeup and hairstyling

Emma

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Pinocchio

Best Visual effects

Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Tenet

Best Music (original score)

Da 5 Bloods

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Soul

Best Music (original song)

Fight for You, Judas and the Black Messiah

Hear My Voice. The Trial of the Chicago 7

Húsavík, Eurovision Song Contest

Io Si (Seen), The Life Ahead

Speak Now, One Night in Miami

Best Animated feature film

Onward

Over the Moon

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon 

Soul  

Wolfwalkers

Best International feature film

Another Round (Denmark)

Better Days (Hong Kong)

Collective (Romania)

The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia)

Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

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