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Varanasi

Mohalla Assi, Review: Holy river, unholy Babas

Mohalla Assi, Review: Holy river, unholy Babas He’ll get there, eventually. Beginning with the TV serial Chanakya (321 BC-283 BC), about the life and times of the master strategist in the Maurya dynasty period (322 BC-185 BC), Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi gave us a good follow-up in the form of the feature film Pinjar, set in India’s partition, circa 1947.  After three more period dramas, largely unseen, he now lands up in more recent history, with the 2004 story published in 2...

Kashi—In Search of Ganga, Review: Searchomania and Schizophrenia

Kashi—In Search of Ganga, Review: Searchomania and Schizophrenia Suspense thriller it could be. It is not. Search for a sibling it could be. It is not. A film that takes the audience for a royal ride, it is. A classic case of the script and the direction tying up the story in knots, and then, not knowing how to unravel the Gordian knotty, only getting naughty and clever by half. Lucknow-based journalist Devina meets Kaashi in Kaashi (another name for Varanasi or Banaras) and takes an ...

Mukti Bhawan review, by Siraj Syed: Pulsating, Soulful, Lively tale, of Death

Mukti Bhawan review, by Siraj Syed: Pulsating, Soulful, Lively tale, of Death Mukti is Hindi for release or detachment, and Bhawan is home or mansion. Don’t wait too long after Mukti Bhawan is released in the nearest mansion (cinema hall). And do yourself a favour: Don’t die till you have seen this film about death. A sublime blend of realism and metaphor, Mukti Bhawan is ostensibly the tale of an old man who wants to move to the ‘dying quarters’ in the city of Banara...

Masaan (a.k.a. Fly Away Solo), Review: Burning bodies, tormented souls and a minor classic

Masaan (a.k.a. Fly Away Solo), Review: Burning bodies, tormented souls Set in a city known as the holiest cremation ground in India, Masaan is made with fired-up creativity, and has won encomiums it richly deserves. Seven years ago, a documentary was made on life at the ghats (banks) of Varanasi (Banaras), of which Kashi is a part, where a large number of Hindu devotees from all over India bring their dead for cremation, and immerse the ashes in Ganga, their holiest river. The rites are perf...
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