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Old 03-18-2016, 08:47 AM   #1783
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Blu-ray Knight
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Dec 2010

With my PC having issues of abruptly turning off (probably a fault in the PSU), I watched a couple of films on DVD purchased recently from Induna.

Har Har Byomkesh is the latest Byomkesh Bakshi film (there seem to be a glut of them, it's a little hard to keep track now). Abir Chatterji has been playing the character in the recent Bengali films, including previously Byomkesh Bakshi, Abar Byomkesh and Byomkesh Phire Elo. Besides these you had at least 2-3 other Byomkesh films all within the last 5 years. Of all the Abir-Byomkesh films I've seen this was the best. The mystery isn't particularly good (even before the interval you can guess who the killer is), but Arindam Seal has directed well, and it's attractively shot in Banaras (my only complaint being that it uses too much of the flat full-bright lighting in most scenes). It's also a semi-reboot in that Byomkesh here is a recently married man and his wife Satyavati (Sohini Sarkar) a shy romantic girl-woman instead of the constantly bickering nag the previous films had. Byomkesh is also more romantic and attentive to her needs even in the midst of solving the case. The film also has great music from Bikram Ghosh. The DVD from Sangeet India Network gives an extras-free but decent presentation of the film, although you have to deal with a large red logo on the top left of the screen and a *continuously present* smoking kills logo on the bottom right

Road to Sangam - Based on a true story, RtS deals with a Muslim neighbourhood in Allahabad where able mechanic and well-respected community member Hashmatullah (Paresh Rawal) gets the job of restoring an old Ford V8 engine, later revealed to belong to the vehicle that carried MK Gandhi's ashes in 1948. Shortly after he begins work, a bomb blast followed by aggressive police action against local youths rouses the neighbourhood to organize a shutter-down protest, as ordered by the community leaders (played by Om Puri and Pavan Malhotra). After Hashmatullah comes to know the origin of the engine and its purpose (to transport the last remaining ashes of Gandhiji for immersion in the Triveni Sangam), he feels morally obliged to complete the task, even if it means defying his community's protest call. The film deals with the opposition he faces and how he overcomes it by Gandhian principle.
The intentions behind the film are noble and a couple of scenes are well-played, but in general it is made in such a clumsy, preachy manner with poorly drawn stereotypes for most of the characters, I found its 2-hour plus length a little hard to sit through and not particularly moving. Gipsy's DVD is weak video-wise (non-anamorphic widescreen presentation in 2010? ) and features a constant gray logo on the top right. There's a (16x9 non-anamorphic) making of, which I haven't seen.

Last edited by ravenus; 03-18-2016 at 12:33 PM.
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