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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

HIndie Awards 2017: Best Director [Indian Language]

Best Director

[Indian Language]

Mel Gibson just got a directorial nomination at this years Academy Awards, a well deserved one for his visceral work in Hacksaw Ridge. This is despite his controversial past and anti-Semitic views. 

I'm sorry, I'm just a bit ecstatic. When a filmmaker despite all that is his personal life creates a film worth viewing and at least doesn't overtly or in this case even subtly display his questionable views then there's nothing wrong in applauding the worker, the work and the workmanship if not the person.

I mean to be fair, even despite the obviously Nazi glorifying propaganda Leni Riefenstahl is still a fine filmmaker if not even one of the finest.

That is the power of a filmmaker, regardless of agenda the vision should flourish and flourish such that the essence of cinema remain intact; even when they push a point or make a film for commercial appeal.

The best example being last years winners both Meghna Gulzar [Talvar] and Chaitanya Tamhane [Court]

So whether it was a mainstream Marathi sensation or a specific indictment of the law and order system, these five directors deserve the applause and more...

Vetrimaaran for Visaranai

Overall as a filmmaker, Vetrimaaran has an astute understanding of the power of conventional and unconventional cinematic techniques.

So where one gets the outlining of underdog protagonists that bring out empathy, one also gets the unconventional method of not giving a face to the enemy and rather boldly proclaiming it as the faceless system.

So where one finds the cumulative final act action set piece in the midst of a moral quandary, then one also gets the surprisingly two structure plot within the confines of minimal location creating for a moody and tense piece of art.

Vetrimaaran's aim with this film was to experiment and create something that hit hard when considering the real to life story he adapted it from, if a director's views are his vision and then the film; in that case he won a long time ago.

Nagraj Manjule for Sairat

Nagraj Manjule might as well be considered a vicious prankster, setting up a near three hour long film and at its centre a genuinely touching and blissful romance between young hearts; he hacks you down with his harsh finale.

However that truly isn't the case when one examines the poetic beauty with which he builds a film on a bed of thorns, not roses.

Yet the light hearted and very intense romance still remains and that is a testament to the directorial abilities of Manjule. Not only does he manage to leave you with a heart wrenching message and thought on the outdate caste system, but he also presents a cinematic flourish and depth in a mainstream film proving that you can have best of both worlds.

Gurvinder Singh for Chauthi Koot

With Chauthi Koot, Gurvinder Singh provides proof of his fine capabilities as a filmmaker if that weren't already obvious from his maiden venture.

His sophomore efforts is an amalgam of two poignant Waryam Singh Sandhu short stories and could very well have made effective short films too. However despite what should have turned into an indulgent feature film art house piece becomes a powerful examination on paranoia and the breakdown of innocence when violence is around the world.

Suffocating and tense, Singh manages to hold the audience into a lengthy film where nothing much actually happens except for the menacing fearful build of the atmosphere. He keeps you reeled in for a silent but horrific pay off, encompassing the viewer into the world.

It's a haunting skill for a haunting film.

Q for Brahman Naman

With Brahman Naman, Q manages to do something different and for a filmmaker that is wildly different; this is nothing short of a miracle. He crafts a film with a heady heart, a breezy feel but more importantly an observant eye on what makes young men tick despite their sexual perversions and unlikeable self inflated egos and opinions without being judgemental or actually giving a damn about judgement.

What Q does despite a story that is never really his is also not short of a miracle, as he keeps his own identity intact in creating a film that gives to his writer and teams vision without ever compromising his own distinct style.

What Q does then is create a miracle, a film that is an absolute comedic abomination of epic proportions and undeniable wit.

Karthik Subharaj for Iraivi

Subharaj is fast becoming a master of genre cinema in Tamil films, it's that post modern subversive outlook that make his films a treat to watch again and again.

Where most filmmakers are trying to cash on half heartedly on the whole feminist phase and women oriented film, in comes in Subharaj with a feminist film viewed from the prism of men. Not just any men but an array of them, who try to be on the wrong or right side if there is one in order to be men only to fall woefully short [though not without either a lack of trying or a judging tone].

With this Subharaj brings the elements all together in a heady cocktail of an unconventional noir thriller while playing with elements most profound in mainstream Tamilian cinema, specifically the reverence to music and with an added heft of symbolism of all kinds.

It's a film that propels the talents of Subharaj further because he propels the film further with his brilliance.

And the Winner is...

Vetrimaaran for Visaranai!!!

A winner by a whisker, all five were on each others tail in a race that proves that cinema and cinemawalas are beyond language barriers. 

Up Next: with another huge win is Vetrimaaran's Visaranai a shoo in, or does biggest threat Chauthi Koot with a huge screenplay win match up? Best Indian Language Motion Picture...

'Nuff Said, 

Aneesh Raikundalia 

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