DVD/VCD reviews

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 22.04.05

It?s really incredible. Disney has already come up with the VCD/DVD edition of one of the most entertaining animation films of recent times. The Incredibles, 2-disc VCD is priced at Rs 299 each and its Hindi version Hum Hain Laajawab, 2-disc VCD at Rs 199 each. Both have a bonus included: the VCDs come with the Academy Awards nominated Pixar short film, Boundin?.

Written/directed by Brad Bird, this action-packed animated adventure is about a family of superheroes. Bob, Helen and their three children Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack get into action to save the world. The Hindi version has Shah Rukh Khan in the voice of Mr Incredible, with Rakshanda Khan as his wife. Shah Rukh?s son Aryan gives voice to the character of Dash.

But that?s not all, Disney has also designed a Collector?s Edition. The 2-disc DVD is priced at Rs 699 each. It is the first time in India that a Hollywood movie has been mastered with a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound dubbed in Hindi language along with the original English language as optional on the same movie disc. This Collectors Edition comes with a bonus as well. Along with the Pixar short film, Boundin?, it has an all-new animated short film, Jack-Jack Attack, along with the Making of The Incredibles, filmmakers audio commentaries, Pixar deleted scenes and alternate openings and the Top Secret Files on all the Supers. That?s a complete entertainment package for keeps.

Channel B picks Satyajit Ray at the pinnacle of his skills as a filmmaker with his unforgettable third and final part of Apu?s trilogy ? Apur Sansar (Rs 299). The World of Apu can be viewed without mentioning the other films in the trilogy, as it is constructed such that it can be felt as intensely even by one who?s unfamiliar with what precedes it.

Here we are introduced to the adult Apu (Soumitra Chatterjee), a struggling writer living in Calcutta during the 30s. Apu is alone in the world, having already lost his sister (Pather Panchali) and parents (Aparajito). But amid all the trouble and poverty Apu finds true love and companionship in his young wife (Sharmila Tagore). Ray strings together a beautiful and deeply moving romance into their relationship in slightly more than 30 minutes.

As is true with life, happiness is fleeting. Tragedy strikes and life takes yet another turn. Ray is a master in expressing the reality of life with amazing artistry. In spite of all the tragedy that Apur Sansar depicts, Ray holds up hope from each despair. Based on Bibhutibhusan Bandhopadhyay?s novel the universality of the story is excellently transformed into the cinematic language. Ray?s screenplay and direction combined with Subrata Mitra?s cinematography and Pandit Ravi Shankar?s music gives Bandopadhyay?s novel a different life.

Channel B has two National Award-winning films by Rituparno Ghosh ? Dahan (Crossfire, 1998) and Asookh (Malaise, 1999).

Dahan (Rs 199) looks closely into the life and attitude of the educated middle-class in Calcutta. When a newly-wed couple Romita (Rituparna Sengupta) and Palash (Abhishek Chatterjee) were attacked on the open road, nobody came forward to help. When one lone schoolteacher, Jhinuk (Indrani Halder), rushed to the spot she was hailed a heroine by the press. But punishing the assailants turned out to be a frustrating experience for her when even the victims and their family decided to back out. Director and screenplay writer Ghosh made a pointed statement about middleclass hypocrisy in Dahan. The performance of each protagonist makes the film worthy of the accolades received. The cinematography is by Hari Nair.

Asookh (Rs 199) probes into relationships ? between a wellknown filmstar Rohini (Debasree Roy) and her father Sudhamoy (Soumitra Chatterjee). Between the actress and her good-for-nothing boyfriend (Shilajit Majumdar) who she thinks is taking advantage of her fame and playing around with a younger actress (Arpita Pal). The story is about how a daughter misunderstands her father when her mother (Gouri Ghosh) is taken ill and the doctor wants a certain blood test done. A story of changing relationship, of dwindling faith and loss of love. A malaise of the mind that makes a person feel utterly insecure. Abhik Mukhopadhyay ?s cinematography and Arghyakamal Mitra?s editing deliver, as always.