If this year’s hits forced us to rethink what we consider ‘good’ films, many also gave us gorgeous and nuanced portraits of looking inwards, while others dug up the past to reveal something new.
When a couple elopes in a movie, their love becomes a story. And this story is often immortalised by the tragedy that awaits them. The romance is fuelled by a sense of shared rebellion. It shines until there’s someone to defy — society, family, bigotry, history.
How can a film both play an ode to the past and ground itself firmly in the present? Does it not smell of cultural anxiety — to be relevant to as many people as possible, casting a net so wide that it has nothing to do but snap?
The leaders have failed, the system is corrupt, and a superstar has decided to take matters into his own hands. This intervention is disguised as one of the most enjoyable, pulpy, ditzy and progressive entertainers in recent memory.
Three of Us plays out like a no-frills funeral conducted by a person who is about to die. It isn't a narrative of memory, but the cinema of life itself. It’s a story of reclaiming and letting go at once. It is an ode to the anticlimactic grammar of living.
Directed by Vijay Maurya, Mast Mein Rehne Ka is a love letter to Mumbai that romanticises the city without losing sight of its ugliness. A way of processing the characters in the movie is to look at them as manifestations of the city’s relationship with Bombay cinema.