The Hangout Series #3

The one thing that can be said about Kancharapalem is that, you feel that you know what is going to happen. But the way they take this story forward is quite interesting. I do not want to say more and spoil it for those who haven’t yet seen it.

This is a film with four ‘different’ stories that talk about one emotion – love. We see love of different ages and shades and the keyword here is relatability. No matter how old or young you are, there is something that you can relate to and that is the beauty of the film.

A film like this needs to have interesting characters to work and thankfully it has quite a few of them. Take one look at your neighborhood and you are sure to run into someone who is quirky in their own way. Kancharapalem at times feels like a documentary. This is not in its cinematic form but rather in its treatment of the characters. We feel like we are a fly on the wall that is observing what is happening.

When this happens, you do not need to have a plot per say, all that needs to happen is for the proceedings to flow in an organic manner. This happens for the most part and aside from a few cinematic moments at the end of the film, what we see is a highly realistic portrayal of small-town India.

Another aspect that works in the film’s favor is the universal appeal of its setting. Though the story is set in Kancharapalem, this could be any small-town in India. Everywhere, we get to see problems relating to religion, caste, social status etc.

There is a lot of humor present in the film and that makes it possible to truly hangout with these people. Yes, there are some really emotional moments but you do not feel overwhelmed by them. Even when something poignant happens, the way it is presented is very simple. It is just everyday people having everyday realizations.

This is nice because not all of us have these realizations in a big dramatic way. Kancharapalem presents this in a more understated fashion and for that I would like to thank director/writer Venkatesh Maha.

As for flaws in Kancharapalem, I did feel that the length was a little too much at times. But every time that happened, there was something to make me smile or tear up. A true hangout film doesn’t make you feel the same emotion over and over. It takes you on a journey that can sometimes be bumpy but the destination is beautiful and that makes it worth it.

Until next time, bye.

The Hangout Series #1

IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS FILM YET, IT IS AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX.

When I think of a hangout film, it is one that works very well when your hanging out with your friends or family. But if you happen to be watching it alone, you can hang out with the characters and that is fun as well. I like to think of it as something that you pretty much know how it’s going to turn out, but you are still along with it for the ride. In Hollywood, a lot of Indie and Mumblecore films would fall under this category. The story is pretty low-key though it can have some real emotional moments. They are more often than not feel-good films that are bound to leave you with a smile. Now that we have got that out of the way, I would like to talk about one of the more underrated films to come out of Hindi cinema in the recent past. Tu Hai Mera Sunday is in many ways the right kind of hangout film. It does not take much effort to watch but the characters are so real that you want to see what happens to them.

While the film does have a plot to speak of, the focus is more on the characters and the interactions between them. By using the central concept of football, the director Milind Dhaimade is able to bring together these people that showcase the multicultural beauty of Bombay or Mumbai, whichever you prefer. It is a bit surprising to me that this film didn’t do well as it has the sensibilities to appeal to what the industry would call as the “multiplex audience.” Every emotional moment is followed by one that is lighter and the more the film goes on, you do not realize the time passing by.

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Perhaps this film will appeal more to those who live in a metro where space is at a premium. The true beauty of Tu Hai Mera Sunday is that it uses the search for a place to play football and finds ways to show us people who find love, companionship and most importantly happiness. At no point do you feel a sense of melodrama that can creep into films like this. The characters are etched out with a lot of detail even in the short amount of screen-time they have. Whenever they speak, it feels like we are listening to real people and the actors bring this out in a beautiful manner. In terms of performances, the highlight would have to be what could be considered as the lead pair. Both Barun Sobti and Shahana Goswami have a story that is both endearing and relatable. This dynamic is one that we may have seen in earlier films but the actors make it different. All of this is just my way of telling you to watch this film. If you see it and don’t like it, talk to me. At least then, I will know what kind of films you would like to hangout with.

Until next time, bye.