Film: Enemy ? (Konkani with English subtitles)
Cast: Meenacshi Martins, Salil Naik, Antonio Crasto, Samiksha Desai
Directed by: Dinesh Bhonsle
Duration: 1 hr 40 mins
Rating: * * *
It would be no exaggeration to say that Konkani cinema is at an all time high especially with regards to the number of films being released. The good news is that though they may not be in same league of other regional cinema but they are getting better on several counts and hence need to be encouraged. Relatively, Konkani cinema and the local film industry are still in a nascent stage.
Directed by Dinesh Bhosle whose debut film Marmabandh stood out while the follow up Calapor disappointed, Enemy deals with a unique subject and the treatment, by and large, is satisfactory.
What also works in its favour is the duration which is a crisp 100 minutes – many a times, films suffer because they are excessively long. Unless there is really a lot to say, film makers should keep it short and to the point.
Enemy is the story of a mother and son who are caught on the wrong side of the law for no fault of their own. On their return to their ancestral home, Sanjit (Salil Naik) a young soldier in the Indian army and his mother Isabella (Meenacshi Martins) discover that their house has been taken over by the government under the Enemy Property act. The law which was passed by the government in 1968, post the ’65 war, states that any property owned by a Pakistani national in India can be appropriated by the Indian government.
Through flashbacks we learn that Isabella’s father had acquired Pakistani citizenship and someone from the village has notified the authorities about this fact. Rajiv Hede plays the relative who has nefarious plans of his own while Samiksha Desai plays Sanjit’s love interest. Antonio Crasto plays the parish priest who lends a helping hand to the cause of the distressed.
The enemy property act is more of a contrivance used to portray the plight of a common man and his fight against the system. We may not know of many who have been affected by this particular law but we surely know several who have got the short end of the stick while dealing with corrupt and indifferent bureaucrats.
The screenplay also makes an effort to integrate the protagonist’s lives beyond this particular issue and Schubert Cotta’s tunes are well integrated in the plot.
While the climax makes a point but the manner in which it gets there is convoluted. The same essence could have conveyed without being so overtly dramatic. Characters like the greedy bureaucrat and politician are also bit one track, in the black and white mould.
Technically, the film is polished with quality sound design and the camerawork by Vikram Amladi who shot the acclaimed Marathi film Fandry.
All in all, Enemy is a step forward towards better Konkani cinema.
A Joy Ride
Film: The Peanuts Movie
Voices of: Noah Schapp, Hadley Belle Miller, Mariel Sheets
Directed by: Steve Martino
Duration: 1 hr 28 mins
Rating: * * *
For most, Peanuts is the popular cartoon strip by Charles M Schulz which was also seen as television specials in the west. Film aficionados will also remember Charlie Brown with reference to Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1
Directed by Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!, Ice Age: Continental Drift), The Peanuts Movie is a tribute to Schulz’s characters and in 90 odd minutes, they have tried to put together a best of Peanuts package. Co written by Charles’s son (Bryan Schulz) and grandson (Craig Schulz) along with Cornelius Uliano, the aim is to please the audience who are familiar with Peanuts. They also have to do a tightrope walk to target children who may not know the finer details of Charlie Brown and Snoopy.
The basic plot here is a love story – Charlie Brown (voice of Noah Schapp) is smitten by the new red head girl next door who also happens to be in his class. Like many, he soon discovers that falling is love is not just hard on the knees it affects his other senses as well.
The ball kid in the yellow shirt has other traits too – he loves to fly a kite but can’t. He tries to impress everyone with magic tricks he painstakingly learnt but it all comes undone. Snoopy helps him with dancing lessons but that also doesn’t quite go according to plan. There are other characters as well like his classmate Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller) who charges a nickel for therapy sessions and his sister Sally (Mariel Sheets).
There is a parallel and highly enjoyable track of Snoopy trying to save his love, a pink haired poodle called Fifi from the Red Baron, a World War I plane.
For those familiar with the cartoon strip and the characters, there is a lot to cheer. But young or old, everyone will take a liking to Charlie Brown who is as lovable as he always was. The animation is reminiscent of Schulz’ and keeping in mind the changing times, the colourful backdrops are eye catching.