20 Nov : As a part of 39th International Film Festival of India – 2008 pre festival screening commenced today for the press and Media. Yarwng, Katha Parayumpol, Gulmohar, Aakashgopuram, Doha, Little Zizou, Desierto Sur and Cumbia Connection are being screened in Macquinez Palace I and Inox multiplex theatre. The synopses of these features are as below.
Sukurai (Sushil Debbarma) learns that his wife Karmati (Meena Debbarma) had been the lover of his jhum companion Wakirai (Nirmal Jamatia). He demands an explanation. Karmati tells him that she and Wakirai were to be married but, on the night before, the newly built dam submerged the village and separated them forever. Karmati’s village Bolombasa was lost when the twin river Raima and Saima overflew their banks. Many families like hers had to bid farewell to their way of life, shift to higher planes and depend on jhum for subsistence.
Karmati’s father Chokdri (Amulya Ratan Jamatia) had got hurt when soldiers destroyed their house the night before her marriage to Wakirai. It left him with a wound on his head and a hurt pride. Robbed of his zest for life, he succumbed to death.
For the village Ochai priest (Manohari Jamatia), laden with an ailing wife, the harrowing times are a test of faith. When he moves out he takes along his sick wife but leaves behind the mantras and materials of his profession. Perhaps he has forgotten them, perhaps not…
Wakirai now tells Sukurai that his large joint family, too, had moved out of the village. Sukurai, himself a victim of the catastrophe that drove people from the fertile valley to the hills, understands the twists of destiny. He decides his wife must meet the one she’d intended to marry. But when Karmati goes in search of Wakirai, he is taken aback. Will Wakirai ruffle the smooth sailing boat of Karmati and Sakurai’s life?
Balan is a barber in a remote village, struggling to make both ends meet. His tools are worn out, and the only chair he has is old-fashioned. The new barber shop opposite his boasts better equipment and contemporary hair cutting styles, and the village people are slowly getting attracted to it. At home he has to support his wife and three children on earnings that scarcely suffice for the school fees. His attempts to get a loan also prove unsuccessful.
Into this bleak world comes a film shooting crew. They bring to the sleepy village the glamorous and fantastic world of cinema. What follows is the surprising news that Ashokraj, the superstar who acts in the film, is a childhood friend of Balan. The villagers who are enthralled by glamour throng Balan and plead with him to get a glimpse of the superstar. The school authorities who threw out his daughter for not paying the fees now want him to bring Ashokraj to their Silver Jubilee celebrations.
But a proud and righteous Balan is unwilling to approach Ashokraj. He is apprehensive that his celebrity friend might not recognise him, and even if he does, it might only embarrass him. Soon his silence and reluctance backfires and people start abusing him for spreading lies. Even his wife and kids are cross with him for not introducing them to the star.
In the end the superstar comes to the school and while addressing the students he recalls with tearful eyes the friendship with an old schoolmate who loved him and was instrumental in making him what he is. When he reveals that he wanted to meet this dear friend, Balan, the entire village repents its mistake. Like in a fable, the superstar arrives at Balan’s house and reclaims his friendship in a dream come true for Balan and his family.
How far would you go to fight the atrocities against the downtrodden? How far would you go to rekindle the spirits of your comrades?
Gulmohar is the story of a man who went far, even out of his way, to stay put in the ideologies he believed in. He failed, so did his vision, but he never lost his resilience. The true warrior fought on for those who fell every time they stood up.
Induchoodan journeys from his days as an academic in youthful vigour to a gracefully silent yet resistant old age. From the present we track back to the turbulence and angst of the era that followed the Emergency in the country.
A writer, fighter and lover, Induchoodan dreamt of a resurgence that never came. He also dreamt of his forlorn lover, whom he let behind amidst the gulmohar blooms. Ironically she never came, too.
None of these could make him bow down, not even the physical assaults of Police Interrogation. But he was shattered when his comrades gave their lives for the cause. Induchoodan goes into a recluse after an imprisonment to return to the story as an idealistic school teacher.
Passions die hard, as do the dreams of revoloutionaries. Induchoodan armours up as Gulmohar, for his comrades, for the masses who lose their land and hope. And to win over the battle, he must give himself up. Faced with this eternal dilemma, will he give himself up, or give up?
This adaptation of Ibsen’s Maser Builder is set in London’s Indian immigrant community.
Albert Samson (Mohanlal), a middle-aged architect, has clawed his way to prominence. However, his single-minded focus on his job has hardened him and stalled a meaningful life with his wife Alice (Swetha Menon).
Samson’s ambition to reach the top also cost dearly his assistant, Abraham Thomas (Bharat Gopi), who was Samson’s former employer. Thomas, now dying, wants his son Alex (Manoj K Jayan) to have more independence in the firm. But Samson refuses to let Alex design original houses or to leave the firm and strike out on his own. Either of this, he fears, will lead to his eclipse.
Into this tension comes Hilda Vargehese (Nithya), a vivacious young woman who has idolized Samson since the early stages of his career. He had built a large church in her hometown and during its dedication ceremony, climbed up to its tower and promised Hilda, then a girl of twelve, “a kingdom.” Now Hilda has come “to collect” her kingdom. As Samson struggles with the destructive consequences of his manic pursuit and his growing fear that he has lost his creative powers, the mysterious Hilda helps him gain a glimpse of his former robust self.
Known for his deep commitment to female empowerment, K P Kumaran paints an intriguing portrait of one man’s consuming desire for success.
Based on the Marathi novel Kaleshar Pani by noted author H M Marathe, Dohaa portrays an impoverished pocket of rural India, through a story of physical lust and its horrific consequences for two tender lives.
Bhiki, a single mother of three, is the mistress of the macho Vishnu and survives by selling fritters under his abusive protection.
Kamli, her eldest daughter, is not academically inclined but insists on attending school as it is the only escape from her impoverished surroundings. On the verge of puberty, Kamli is shunned by her classmates and picked on by the teacher. While the village grocer and the class bully lust for her, Kamli develops tender feelings for the handsome, intelligent and kind Ajay, who arrives from Mumbai and joins her class.
Confused by Bhiki’s constant pressure to ensnare Ajay into a physical relationship, Kamli awkwardly tries to seduce him. Watching Ajay and Kamli in the act, Bhiki offers herself forcibly to Ajay.
Will the swirling Dark Waters of poverty and animalistic lust surrounding Kamli devour her innocence and destroy her capacity to love tenderly, or will she survive to grow stronger?
Little Zizou depicts the fascinating world of Bombay’s Parsi community. It is the rambunctious story of how two battling families finally come to terms. In the spirit of Federico Fellini, with just a hint of Mel Brooks, Little Zizou presents characters that show us the necessity of love and the possibility of grace.
Xerxes, ‘Little Zizou’ to all, is an eleven-year-old soccer-mad Parsi whose fervent wish is that his idol Zinadane Zidane visit Bombay. His older brother Art is a talented artist whose wild fantasies come to life in surprising ways. Their father Khodaiji is a power-crazed, self-proclaimed protector-of-the-faith who thrives on the attentions (and donations) of hopeful believers.
Art is hopelessly in love with Zenobia, the daughter of Khodaiji’s arch rival Pressvala, a free-thinking newspaper publisher. To the extreme displeasure of Pressvala’s other daughter, Liana, Xerxes adores the maternal Mrs Pressvala. But the fireworks begin when Pressvala writes a scathing critique of the would-be prophet and the public reacts. As the two housholds intermingle and conflict, their differences become hilariously apparent and life becomes deliciously complicated for everyone.
Starring a galaxy of Indian talents, Little Zizou celebrates music, dance, lush Indian scenery, even heartbreak. In her directorial debut Sooni Taraporevala, the award winning screenwriter of The Namesake, Salaam Bombay and Mississippi Masala has created a wildly original and exuberant comedy with a subtle, yet transcendent message of tolerance.