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To the strains of Bollywood masala

Saathihara

Director: Biresh Chatterjee Cast: Jeet, Swastika, Meghna Haldar, Tapas Paul

4.5/10

Without getting into the question of whether Jeet emotes well in Biresh Chatterjee’s Saathihara, let’s say he is perfectly cast as the romantic, droopy-eyed guy with a tormented past, who is brought down from the hills to the proverbial big, bad city life where his life gets tangled between his trying to prove his worth as a music composer, and his two heroines, Swastika and Meghna, well cast, too. Chatterjee exploits every Bollywood masala he can think of, from Jeet’s mother’s suicide to its revenge years later; from the husband-wife abhimaan that develops between him and Swastika to the evil stepmother act.

Not too badly done to begin with, but by the time Jeet lapses into his memory loss state it has been dragged so much one frankly doesn’t care if he is going to jump up and grab the guitar his son throws at him. Which he does, anyway. Very quick recovery, that!

Considering it’s a film on musicians, one would have expected to have been left humming a few of the songs, which doesn’t happen. Though the title track, Heere manik to na/Aami sudhu tomai bhalobashi, does grow on one.

Deepali Singh

Well-crafted horror

the exorcism of emily rose

Director: Scott Derrickson Cast: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Jennifer Carpenter

5/10

There is something singularly clear about the horror movie genre. Either you like it, or you don’t. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category. Blackish blood streaming down people’s cheeks, a young girl screaming her lungs out in inconceivable horror and the eerie creaking of doors are simply too much for me. Terrorised, I shut my eyes. A couple of shrill shrieks in the hall only add to my trauma.

But that only goes to show how well crafted the movie is. A surprise hit in the US last year, in fact, a top grosser at the box-office, The Exorcism... claims to be a true story set in suburban America. An elderly priest goes on trial on charges of “negligent homicide”, that is, he tried to cure by faith what should have been cured by medical treatment.

Director Derrickson does a balancing act with the district attorney as the voice of reason and the agnostic defence counsel pleading with the jury to see beyond facts. Laura in her second role as a lawyer (remember her in Primal Fear') is utterly convincing as is Jennifer as the poor possessed girl. Tom as the embattled priest, too, puts in a credible performance.

Pallabi Biswas

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