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The Best of Cinema 2010-19

Although I belong to the school of thought the numeral system begins with 1 and not 0, since the entire world is betrothed to the idea of a new decade beginning 2020, I thought of sharing my favourite films of the past ten years. If there is one thing that this decade (ahem) 2010-19 has shaped in me, is the love for cinema.

So, here goes:

2010

Bengali – Abahaman

English – Inception

Hindi – Guzarish

2011

Bengali – Baishe Srabon

English – Midnight in Paris

Hindi – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

2012

Bengali – Chitrangada

English – Argo

Hindi – Gangs of Wasseypur

2013

Bengali – Shobdo/Bakita Byaktigoto/Phoring

English – Gravity

Hindi – Lootera

2014

Bengali – Jatishwar/Chotushkone/Asha Jaoyar Majhe/Apur Panchali

English – Interstellar, Birdman

Hindi – Haider

2015

Bengali – Nirbaak, Belaseshe, Abby Sen

English – The Martian, The Man From Uncle, The Bridge of Spies

Hindi – Masaan, Dil Dhadakne Do

2016

Bengali – Cinemawala

English – Moonlight

Hindi – Pink, Parched

2017

Bengali – Bishorjon, Dhananjoy, Mayurakshi

English – Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name

Hindi – Tumhari Sulu, Newton

2018

Bengali – Rainbow Jelly, Pupa, Ek Je Chilo Raja

English – The Favourite

Hindi – Mulk

2019

Bengali – Rajlokkhi O Srikanto, Nagarkirtan

English – Marriage Story

Hindi – Soni

 

Five Srijit Mukherji Films You Should Never Miss

It’s 23rd September and I cannot keep calm because it is the birthday of my favourite filmmaker of our times – Srijit Mukherji. Since October 2010, he has become synonymous with meaningful cinema. From thrillers to period drama, adventure or even gangster action movie – no matter which genre he adopts, Srijit Da always churns out gold.

 

 

The eclectic mix of ‘art house’ and ‘commercial’, his films are always thought-provoking. As a dialogue writer, he always creates magic with the subtle references and puns. And music forms a pillar of strength in all his movies. That is why most of his films have turned out to be chartbuster albums, too.

On his birthday, I wish to share my Top 5 favourite Srijit Mukherji films. It was an arduous task zeroing-in on these titles, but after ruthless consideration, here they are:

5. Nirbaak: An unconventional love story, which was ahead of its time, Nirbaak deserves praise for the experimentation. Coming close on the heels of some of Srijit Mukherji’s award-winning works – it elicited curiosity, and required conviction to go ahead and make a film like this. From narcissism to necrophilia – social ‘ills’ have been portrayed in such poignant and poetic depictions, that one cannot help but fall in love with these profligacies. The film re-introduced us to the actor in Anjan Dutt, but the adorable dog stole the show.

4. Ek je Chilo Raja: Based on the controversial Bhawal Sanyasi case, Ek Je Chilo Raja is different from Srijit Mukherjee’s other films, but also bears his signature style of filmmaking throughout. The film provokes you into introspection. From the word go, the film charms its way into your hearts – with the breathtaking cinematography by Gairik Sarkar, the muted colour palate (black and white for the court scenes, a brilliant thought), astoundingly real make-up (the heart of the film – Jisshu has 4 different looks in the film) and soul-stirring music.

Full Review: https://antorjatikbangali.wordpress.com/2018/10/13/movie-review-ek-je-chhilo-raja-by-srijit-mukherjee/

3. Baishe Srabon: “Autograph, Srijit Mukerji’s first film was a tribute to Satyajit Ray’s Nayak. Baishe Srabon establishes him as a director par excellence. Tribute the unsung poet found in almost every Bengali home, the film touted as a musical thriller, delves deep into the human psyche and shows us a dark facet of life, answers to which we seldom seek.”

This is what I wrote in my review on my blog. You can read the full review here: https://antorjatikbangali.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/22se-srabon/

2. Jaatishwar: It is not a film; it is an experience that takes us for a joyride through the annuls of history – freely flowing from present to the past, from fiction to history. If Baishey Srabon was a tribute to the Hungryalist era of Bengali literature, Jaatishwar seeks to revive the Kobigaan period of Bangla music.

Full Review: https://antorjatikbangali.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/movie-review-jaatishwar-a-musical-of-memories/

1. Chotushkone: It is not just a story of who-dun-it. It is a journey of self-realisation, a journey of tying the loose ends of old strings. Former friends come together to relive their old days, some with a desire for vengeance, and some simply to escape the monotony of life. In a way, Chotushkone is a journey of introspection; it is the song of life.

Full Review: https://antorjatikbangali.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/film-review-chatushkone/

Honourable Mentions:

Rajkahini – The tale of Partition often leaves out the marginalised in the narrative of history. The film seeks to set the record straight by telling us the tale of prostitutes who fought ‘against’ partition to save their ‘home’.

Review: https://antorjatikbangali.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/movie-review-rajkahini-by-srijit-mukherjee/

Uma – It may not be a technically great film. Neither can one say it is an epoch-changing story. It is the honesty behind the storytelling that makes Uma a winner. The triumph of the human spirit, against all odds, to fulfil the promise a father made to his dying child – Uma is an ode to life itself.

Review: https://antorjatikbangali.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/movie-review-uma-by-srijit-mukherjee/

Hemlock Society – The best music album among all of Srijit Da’s works, Hemlock Society would have been among my Top 5 choices, had its length been a little shorter. The ‘Anand’ style ending could have been avoided, is what I felt. At a time when there is worldwide concern about mental health, this beautiful film on suicide-prevention can work wonder for sensitisation. The writing was top-notch and so were the performances. For the first time, we saw Koel Mullick in a new avatar.

What are your favourite Srijit Mukherji movies? Do let me know in comments.

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