Top picks from the delightful line-up of films at Jio MAMI 2023
Movie buffs are in for a treat with tons of global, independent, and homegrown movies and short films being shown at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
The 23rd edition of Jio MAMI, Mumbai’s homegrown film festival, is all set to open with an eclectic line-up of films from across South Asia and the world. While over 250 movies and short films from across 70 countries will be shown, here are some that caught YS Life’s attention.
Opening film The Buckingham Murders features Kareena Kapoor Khan in the lead role as a British Indian police officer and a working mom. Directed by Hansal Mehta, its screening received a standing ovation at the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival earlier this month. It also stars Ash Tandon and Ranveer Brar.
Khan has been gushing about this part as a turning point in her career. This one is worth a watch, especially for its evolved storytelling.
Next, Anurag Kashyap’s Kennedy, a crime-drama that premiered at Cannes this year, is a must watch for fans of the genre and followers of his filmmaking style. Starring Rahul Bhat and Sunny Leone, along with an ensemble cast, Kennedy received a 7-minute standing ovation at the French film festival for its unpredictable story.
Also worth checking out will be Tahira Kashyap Khurrana’s film, Sharmaji Ki Beti. Starring Saiyami Kher, Divya Dutta, and Sakshi Tanwar, the story centres around three generations of women with the surname Sharma dealing with life in today’s times.
Rajat Kapoor’s Marathi directorial Everybody Loves Sohrab Handa will also be exhibited here—a whodunnit featuring an ensemble cast of popular character actors.
MAMI offers a chance to exhibit and present films beyond Hindi or regional mainstream, bringing unseen talent for connoisseurs. While We Watched, a documentary featuring India’s respected newsman Ravish Kumar and directed by Vinay Shukla, gives a chance for an important Indian reality to be seen by a larger audience.
Shukla had directed the documentary on the rise of Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal earlier with An Insignificant Man in 2016. This documentary has been very well received in New York and selected international screenings.
Competing in the South Asia Competition section here is another Indian documentary of relevance–Against The Tide. Sarvnik Kaur, who has won a National Film award before, tells the story of two Koli fishermen that risk their lives in desperation to hit a financial payday.
From global cinema, choosing a few becomes hard. Focusing on the best of the best, there’s Anatomy of a Fall by filmmaker Justin Triet. Having won the Palme’ D’Or, and other top prizes across film festivals, MAMI offers a chance to watch this critically acclaimed film on the big screen.
There’s also Monster by Hirokazu Kore-eda, the filmmaker that won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Shoplifters (2018). Kore-eda tackles a complex relationship between kids once again, this time in the context of a school.
Bradley Cooper’s directorial Maestro, featuring Michelle Williams and Cooper, will be screened here. Maestro is about the dramatic love story of composer Leonard Bernstein and Costa Rican actor Felicia Montealegre.
On the line-up is also Pedro Almodovar’s short film Strange Way of Life featuring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke. Cowboys that shared a few days of sensual pleasure meet after 30 years, and their conversation is the crux of this film. There’s also Dream Scenario featuring Nicholas Cage, an awaited drama from A24, the dominant independent film production company.
Perfect Days by Wim Wenders too is worth a watch. A Palme’ D’ Or nominee, this German-Japanese joint production is made in Japanese and features four short stories through the lens of a taxi driver.
One of the most interesting aspects of MAMI is the opportunity that it offers to smaller, less commercially viable Indian independent films to find an audience. Quite a few stand out in the South Asian sections here. Some merit mentioning.
Kanu Behl’s Agra premiered at Cannes and will be screened here. There’s The Monk And The Gun from Bhutan, a delightful indie.
Dibakar Das Roy’s Delhi-based indie Dilli Dark, about a Nigerian student coping with the unpredictable Indian capital, is anticipated.
Berlin, starring Aparshakti Khurana, and Rahul Bose, among others, is a whodunnit from Atul Sabharwal. Then there’s Paradise, a festival favourite, Sri Lanka’s Prasana Vithanage.
Joram, starring Manoj Bajpayee and Tannisstha Chatterjee, is a survival drama by Devashish Makhija.
Let us know which one you saw and what you thought about them!
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta