India’s prominence at the ongoing 66th Cannes Film Festival could be gauged not just by the star turn outs but also films getting rave reviews from major trade publications.
Dabba,Bombay Talkies,Monsoon Shootout,Ugly are films that have tried to make the global audience realise that contemporary Indian films have much more to offer than the regular song-and-dance-sequences and receive praise from The Hollywood Reporter,Variety among others.
Director Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout had a midnight screening at the ongoing 12-day fest. The film starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tannishtha Chatterjee is set against the backdrop of corruption in the police force in Mumbai and has garnered positive reviews.
The Hollywood Reporter praised the film as being ‘a colourful Indian cops and gangsters tale that gets a successful makeover as an international art film.’
“Though the idea of Dirty Harry meeting Sliding Doors may sound abstract,writer-director Amit Kumar pulls it off gracefully,without losing the sense of heightened drama that earned the film a Midnight Movie slot in Cannes,” it said.
The Guardian said,”It’s an entertaining popcorn-movie with a twist,for which commercial success is on the cards.
There should be space for pictures like it in Cannes.”
Ritesh Batra’s debut film ‘Dabba’ (The Lunchbox) starring Irrfan Khan and Siddique,also received unanimous praise from critics.
Variety said that the film is ‘an indie Indian film with the crossover appeal of Monsoon Wedding.’
“Ritesh Batra’s debut is sure to be gobbled up by audience-friendly fests before heading into niche cinemas,” it added.
Screen International appreciated the effort of first time director Batra,saying,”A wistful,elegant love story played
out across the streets of Mumbai,’The Lunchbox’ is an unexpectedly aromatic charmer from first-time filmmaker Ritesh Batra.”
Bombay Talkies,directed by four top filmmakers- Anurag Kashyap,Dibakar Banerjee,Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar- was a crowd-pleaser back home and had its gala screening at Cannes in honour of India being this year’s guest country at the festival.
Screen International praised the film and said,”A consistent charmer,the Indian omnibus Bombay Talkies is vibrant and colourful,that rare portmanteau film where the whole is more than the sum of its likeable parts.
“The film could spark some interest in international markets thanks to its easy humour and omnibus novelty. More likely,this delightful movie could prove a calling card for its young directors,” it added.
Kashyap has been honoured with the Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government for his efforts in the promotion of Indian cinema across the globe.
His latest directorial venture ‘Ugly’ that was screened at Cannes received mixed reviews with majority of the critics panning the film.
Ugly is a kidnap drama starring Ronit Roy and Tejaswini Kolhapure in lead roles.
However,the Hollywood Reporter was clearly disappointed with Kashyap’s film especially after seeing his magnum opus Gangs of Wasseypur here last year.
“Did the jaw-dropping creative inventiveness of Gangs of Wasseypur set the bar impossibly high for prolific Indian director-producer-screenwriter Anurag Kashyap Ugly,his follow-up,will come as a major disappointment for fans of the marathon Godfather epic that set Cannes’s Directors Fortnight ablaze last year,” it read.
While International film website Twitchfilm was all praises for the film in its review.
The critic even tweeted to Kashyap saying ‘Ugly was much more interesting than most competition titles I have seen thus far.’