Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s omnibus among Dubai film fest Indian line-up

November 19th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Nov 19 (IANS) Acclaimed Malayali director Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s “Oru Pennum Randaanum” will be the highlight of the Indian segment of the Dec 11-18 Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), where Sudhir Mishra’s “Tera Kya Hoga, Johnny…!” will also have its world premiere. “Oru Pennum Randaanum” is among seven Indian art-house films selected for the ‘Celebration of Indian Cinema’ segment.

“The films in this segment are thematically very diverse this year,” Uma Da Cunha, programmer for the ‘Celebration of Indian Cinema’ segment, said while announcing the segment.

“Adoor Gopalakrishnan is back this year with his new omnibus film, and a number of up and coming directors from which we can expect to hear more in the future. Each year this segment presents quality Indian art-house cinema, where valuable statements about universal human truths take place in technically astute and innovative cinema.”

Gopalakrishnan’s “Oru Pennum Randaanum” is a quartet of stories about law versus crime in every day life.

In “The Thief”, a schoolboy fights against taunts that his father is a thief, but is crushed when he is proved wrong. “The Police” depicts corrupt policemen who frame a poor worker. In “Two Men and a Woman”, a student thinks he has made a servant girl pregnant, and finally, “One Woman, Two Men” is about two rivals vying for the affection of a beautiful girl.

In the segment’s Special Presentation section, Tamil film “Kanchivaram”, set in the 1940s Tamil Nadu, will be screened.

Directed and produced by Priyadarshan, the film is about Vengadam, a silk weaver played by Prakash Raj, who weaves beautiful yards of silk, but yet cannot afford any for his daughter.

However, he promises his daughter that he will weave a memorable sari for her wedding day and in doing so, year after year, he smuggles home a coloured silken thread everyday in his mouth from the factory where he is employed.

Hindi film “Tera Kya Hoga, Johnny…!” is set in the mayhem of Mumbai’s back streets, where at the centre of each neighbourhood is usually one good soul who always tries to help everyone, but is repeatedly exploited in return.

It is the story of Johnny, a friendly youth who sells coffee from a bicycle, transcends his lowly status with inspiring decency, yet he is frequently taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals. As intrigue bubbles up around him, his moral integrity comes under unprecedented strain.

Another is Marathi film “Valu, The Bull” by Umesh Kulkarni, about misplaced power symbolised by Valu, a wild bull on a rampage in the small village of Kusavde. Two city officials arrive to capture him, accompanied by a documentary filmmaker. However, the camera entices the locals far more than the bull.

What emerges, on one side, is a sense of curiosity, competitiveness, and friendship, as well as destructive ego, blind religion and the need to survive.

“Kissing Cousins”, directed by Amyn Kaderali of “Call Center” fame, depicts a self-described ‘relationship termination specialist’ Amir undertaking break-up missions on behalf of others, but is troubled when his friends mock his singledom.

When his cousin Zara comes to visit Amir’s family from Britain, she restores his image among his friends by pretending to be his girlfriend.

It works, but even Amir believes it, until Zara reminds him that they are first cousins and a relationship between them is taboo. Amir is forced to analyse his need for emotional commitment.

Malayali director Shyamaprasad’s “Ore Kadal” (The Sea Within), starring Mammootty, Meera Jasmin, Narain, and Ramya Krishnan, examines the extra marital relationship between an intellectual economist and a housewife.

Bengali film “Ek Nadir Galpo”, which is director Samir Chanda’s debut work, will also be screened.

Set in a remote village in Bengal, the film is a touching story of a father and daughter and is also a commentary on Indian citizens’ tryst with politics and government.

Launched in December 2004, DIFF is organised by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

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