Monday usually lends itself to memes that mean back to work for grown ups and to study for students. At the film festival Iâm hoping Monday will thin out the crowds. Why? Because the films I have chosen need a handkerchief for tears, tea as fuel to watch inner feelings play out, and the anonymity in the darkness of the theater. I wish there could be a way to simply ban cell phones from the movies where people are simply compelled to see who sent that message.
If you are a parent, you will know why I chose to begin the day with Boy Erased. Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe are parents unable to accept their sonâs sexuality. They are Christian, and bound by faith and social custom, unable to understand why their son is ânot normalâ. They send him to a reform program and try and change him. The overturning of the Draconian Section 377 has given many people the long needed relief in India too. But the film also points out to what we as a generation have suffered:
âLog kya kahengeâ. While many of us broke ranks and chose not travel the career paths forced on us (âGood at science, then doctor or engineerâ, âGood at math, then become CA, âGood at arts, then UPSC, or bas shaadi karva doâ) by family and other âwell-wishersâ, some of us even married âoutsideâ social and religious compulsions will always be a strain on relationships. How much do we support our children? Do we understand their anguish? Are we still emotionally blackmailing them into doing what is socially acceptable?
Joel Edgerton's Boy Erased looks like this:
Haruki Murakami released a collection of 17 short stories called The Elephant Vanishes (Zo no shometsu) in 1991. Barn Burning is one of the stories from that collection. This two and a half hour film is an adaptation of the story which is about a dozen pages long. It tells the story of two men, one rich and cultured and seems to have everything, and another, a little lost and vague, doing odd jobs in the hope that someday he will be a novelist. They are brought together by a woman who is emotional and a free spirit. Which character are you? A man who has everything and yet lives with a secret, a man who wants to do something but doesnât know how to break ranks, or the girl who is mysterious and emotional andâ¦
Burning (Boening) is the Korean film by Chang-Dong Lee:
Alfonso Cuaron has made movies like Gravity, giving film lovers the never-to-be-forgotten image of George Clooney in space. When people talk politics, I look up to the sky and if people notice my inattention, then I tell them I was getting advice from George Clooney. Mexico City is more than the dizzying views from Torre Latinoamericana or being amazed by the murals of Diego Rivera. Roma is a upper middle class neighbourhood in Mexico city (Bandra for Bombayites, Whitefield for Bangaloreans, GK2 for Delhi Wallahs, Salt Lake for Kolkatans and Anna Nagar for Chennai folk) and the film is Cuaronâs ode to his childhood: being brought up by maids, learning life values, being loved, watching social and political turmoil when growing up... His Roma has received rave reviews at the film festivals (Netflix will release it soon).
After Cuaron, it seems like one should just get into the train and soak in real life until you put that key into your door. But thereâs a double bill Mandy and Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre to watch. This is the India premiere of Mandy and shows Nicholas Cage lose it (as perhaps only he can). The trailer is here:
The last is the horror comedy, especially chosen for all the women out there. Itâs about what happens when one woman gets fed of men explaining things to her, or Mansplaining.
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati â an online writerâs forum, hosts Mumbaiâs oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. Disclosure:Â Jio MAMI 20th Mumbai Film Festival With Star Â is sponsored by Reliance Jio, a subsidiary ofÂ Reliance Industries thatÂ controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.