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Movie Review – Vinci Da by Srijit Mukherji

 

The Übermensch (meaning super-human) is a concept developed by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In his book ‘Thus Spake Zaruthastra’ Nietzsche describes how God is dead and it is up to the Übermensch to set the world in order, for a better future. Srijit Mukherji borrows this concept in his latest venture ‘Vinci Da’ – a psychological thriller that questions the very concept of what is good and evil.

Vinci Da is the story of a mentally-deranged man Adi Bose, who considers himself Nietzsche’s Übermensch. A ‘lawyer’ by choice, Adi had a troubled childhood (having murdered his own father, just half an hour before turning 18; thus avoiding capital punishment) – more of that later. Adi Bose is law unto himself, who does not care about a few ‘collateral damages’ in this war against law-breakers who escape justice because of the corrupt system.

To bring his ‘noble cause’ to fruition, Adi Bose hires the services of a prosthetics make-up artist in Tollywood – Vinci Da. A Leonardo Da Vinci fanatic, Vinci Da finds it hard to find work in Tolly-para because of his uprightness and refusal to budge from the righteous stand. Inadvertently, his artistic acumen suffers as he is forced to earn a livelihood by working for local drama companies. It is not a surprise that he laps up the proposal of a challenging work from Adi Bose, which will demonstrate to the world the wonders he has up his sleeves.

What follows is an intense Ken and Abel-esque clash between two ideas. Vinci Da is torn between his artistic enterprises and the hapless suffering the innocent ‘collaterals’ have to bear. Adi Bose, on the other hand, metamorphoses from the vigilante who wants to rid the society from law-breakers into a shrewd, manipulative, power-hungry villain who would stop at nothing. In signature-Srijit Mukherji style, the duel enters the final act with a bang and curtains fall with a dramatic twist. Fate has the artist imprisoned in his own work.

‘Vinci Da’ may not be Srijit Mukherji’s best work, but surely is among the front-runners to qualify as his best five films. With power-packed performances by the two leading actors, hard-hitting dialogues (a forte of Srijit Mukherji), spellbinding art direction, foot-tapping music by Anupam Roy and the brilliant use of lighting in some scenes, Vinci Da easily makes an impact. The chemistry that Ritwick Chakraborty (Adi Bose) and Rudranil Ghosh (Vinci Da) share would remind one of Feluda and Maganlal Meghraj.

There are scenes in the film, which stay with you. The dream sequence where Leonardo Da Vinci is painting Mona Lisa – with Rudranil and Sohini’s voiceovers, or the sequence before the interval where Adi Bose demolishes Vinci Da’s reverence from Da Vinci, are truly of international standards. And then, there is the gruesome murder sequence in the beginning of the film. Riddhi Sen hits the ball out of the stadium as young Adi Bose.

Alas, after all the memes and videos on DCDD Poddar, one had to satisfy themselves with a scene or two of the enigmatic character – forever in pursuit of Bose and Vinci Da. Even in his short presence on screen, Anirban Bhattacharya is a beacon that shines bright. As does Sohini Sarkar as Vinci Da’s love interest, and a pivotal character who significantly influences the game of nerves between Adi Bose and Vinci Da. The hasty climax and jarring background score in some scenes are the only sore-points in an otherwise Srijit-esque thriller.

As I had said in my immediate reaction on Facebook after watching the film, Vinci Da is more psychological than thriller. The film provokes you to think and question your belief-systems. Notwithstanding Nietzsche and Übermensch, Vinci Da is also a socio-political commentary on the daily mockery of democracy in our country, that has become the mainstay.

May be, our very own Übermensch will rise from within.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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

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91st Academy Awards – My predictions on who will take the Oscars home

It’s that time of the year again. The 91st Academy Awards will be given away in less than 24 hours. 2018 was a great year at the cinemas. As a viewer, I got entertained as well as my hunger for cinematic beauty was also met. And the films that have made it to the nominations richly deserved their respective spots.

 

 

There is a diverse mix of films nominated this year at the Oscars. On one hand, you have ‘Roma’ which is a masterpiece portraying conflicting relationships in the backdrop of political turmoil in Mexico, and on the other hand you have ‘Black Panther’ a superhero blockbuster. While ‘Blackkklansman’ takes you back in time and deals with xenophobia, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ makes you fall in love with Freddie Mercury all over again. Then, there are period pieces like ‘The Favourite’ and ‘Vice’ which stand out for stellar acting. How can one not spare a line for ‘A Star Is Born’ which reminds us once again why the little moments of joy and togetherness make a relationship work.

So, without much ado, let me share with you, which films I’d give the Oscars to (I have not included a few categories – like Docu feature and Short Animation – which I do not watch).

 

Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – Vice

Marina De Tavira – Roma

Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone – The Favourite

Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

 

Costume Design

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Mary Zophres

Black Panther – Ruth Carter

The Favourite – Sandy Powell

Mary Poppins Returns – Sandy Powell

Mary Queen Of Scots – Alexandra Byrne

 

Sound Mixing

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

First Man

A Star Is Born

Roma

 

Sound Editing

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

First Man

A Quiet Place

Roma

 

Original Score

Black Panther – Ludwig Goransson

BlackKKlansman – Terence Blanchard

If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell

Isle Of Dogs – Alexandre Desplat

Mary Poppins- Marc Shaiman

 

Film Editing

BlackKKlansman – Barry Alexander Brown

Bohemian Rhapsody – John Ottman

The Favourite – Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Green Book – Patrick J.Don Vito

Vice – Hank Corwin

 

Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali – Green Book

Adam Driver – Black Lansman

Sam Elliot – A Star Is Born

Richard E Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam Rockwell – Vice

 

Foreign Language Film

Capernaum – Lebanon

Cold War – Poland

Never Look Away – Germany

Roma – Mexico

Shoplifters – Japan

 

Production Design

Black Panther

The Favourite

First Man

Mary Poppins Returns

Roma

 

Cinematography

Cold War

The Favourite

Never Look Away

Roma

A Star Is Born

 

Visual Effects

Avengers: Infinity War

Christopher Robin

First Man

Ready Player One

Solo: A Star Wars Story

(Although I want this movie to win, I feel First Man could clinch the Oscar)

 

Makeup and Hairstyling

Border

Mary Queen of Scots

Vice

 

Animated Feature

Incredibles 2

Isle Of Dogs

Mirai

Ralph Breaks The Internet

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse

 

Original Song

“All The Stars” – Black Panther

“I’ll Fight” – RBG

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” Mary Poppins Return

“Shallow” – A Star Is Born

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 

Adapted Screenplay

The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

BlackKKlansman

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

If Beale Street Could Talk

A Star Is Born

 

Original Screenplay

The Favourite

First Reformed

Green Book

Roma

Vice

 

Leading Actor

Cristian Bale – Vice

Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born

Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s GAte

Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Moertensem – Green Book

 

Leading Actress

Yalitza Aparicio – Roma

Glenn Close – The Wife

Olivia Colman – The Favourite

Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born

Melissa Mc Carthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

(Although I feel the award will go to Glenn Close)

 

Directing

BlackKKclansman – Spike Lee

Cold War – Pawel Pawlikowski

The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos

Roma – Alfonso Cuaron

Vice – Adam McKay

 

Best Picture

BlackPanther

BlackKkclansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star Is Born

Vice

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