Movie goers will be spoilt for choice this weekend as six very different films hit the screens. Vishwaroop, the Hindi version of Kamal Haasan's controversial Tamil film Vishwaroopam, releases along with Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children, based on Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning controversial novel of the same name.
Also releasing at the same date is ace Tamil director Mani Ratnam's love-story about the lives of poor fisherfolk in Rameshwaram, Kadal and also Bejoy Nambiar's much talked-about David. Asha Bhonsle makes her acting debut in Mai and Deepti Naval and Farooque Shaikh return to the big screen as a lead pair in Listen Amaya.
So, what will you be watching this weekend? Here is a little brief about each film that will help you decide.
Vishwaroop: Directed and produced by Kamal, Vishwaroop revolves around a married couple Vishwanath alias Wiz (Kamal), a Kathak exponent, and Nirupama (Pooja Kumar), who has acquired her PhD. All seems to be going well till Nirupama aspires for more and plans to opt out of marriage.
However, it is difficult for her to cite any specific reason to leave Wiz, as there is nothing much to complain about him. So she decides to hire a detective and find something about him, so that she can find a reason to end her marriage. Wires get cross-connected and all hell breaks loose.
Shot in scenic locales of the US, Canada as well as cities like Chennai and Mumbai in India, the film features Shekhar Kapur, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab and Andrea Jeremiah.
The film has been reeling under controversies even before the release. The film was to release on the DTH platform but was opposed by theatre owners. Muslim groups have protested against the film and claimed that the community has been shown in bad light due to which the Tamil version of the film has not been released in the actor's home state.
Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children is based on author Salman Rushdie's Booker prize-winning 1980 novel of the same name.
At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are each fated to live the destiny meant for the other.
Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India's whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.
The novel came out in 1980 and objections were raised on unflattering portrayal of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi and internal emergency of 1975 in the book. Indira Gandhi sued the author for defamation in 1984. She won the case shortly and the publishers were forced to slightly alter the text and remove an offending passage.
Shot entirely in Sri Lanka, the film features an ensemble cast of Satya Bhabha, Siddharth, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Shabana Azmi, Kulbushan Kharbanda, and Darsheel Safary.
Salman Rushdie is said to have sold the rights of the novel to Mehta for $1 and after much coaxing, the author agreed to be the screenplay-writer of the film too. The film's production cost reportedly is $12 million.
The shooting of the film was stalled after the Iranian government expressed distress to the Sri Lankan ambassador over the filming of a Rushdie book, but the controversy was resolved and the shooting resumed.
Kadal: Kadal features debutants Gautham Karthik and Thulasi Nair. It tells the story about the lives of Christian fishermen.
The cast also includes Arvind Swamy, Arjun, Lakshmi Manchu and Thambi Ramaiah in important roles.
David: Action-thriller David is directed by Bejoy Nambiar. Starring Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vinay Virmani, Tabu Monica Dogra, Isha Sharvani and southern star Vikram, its story is set in three different time periods and the plot revolves around the lives of three different men named David.
One narrative, set in London in 1975, is about 30-year-old David who works for Iqbal Ghani, a dreaded Mafia don. Another David, a devout Christian, is a 19-year-old musician in the year 1999 in Mumbai, while the third David is a 40-year-old fisherman, who lives in Goa in 2010.
Mai: Mai, the acting debut of veteran singer Asha Bhosle, narrates the story of an old mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's and is tossed between her four children.
When her son and two youngest daughters try to run away from making her their responsibility, the eldest daughter Madhu, played by Padmini Kolhapure, takes a stand against the wishes of her husband and tends to her mother. How the daughter's family life is affected by this, and how the relationship between 'Mai' and her son-in-law takes a miraculous, life-changing turn, forms the rest of the story.
Directed by debutant Mahesh Kodiyal, "Mai..." also features actors Ram Kapoor, Navin Kaushik and Shivani Joshi.
Listen Amaya: Directed by debutant director Avinash Kumar Singh, the film tells the tale of Leela Krishnamoorthy, played by actress Deepti Naval. She essays the part of a middle-aged widow, who owns a library and runs it. Amaya, played by actress Swara Bhaskar, is Leela's only child. She is 22, quick-witted, confident and an open-minded writer.
A widow for 12 years, Leela refuses to become a stereotypical wallflower and falls in love again with Jayant Sinha, played by actor Farooque Shaikh. In the film, he is a 60-year-old retired photographer and Amaya's good friend. The film explores multiple relationships and traces Amaya's journey of anger, betrayal and disbelief at the new developments.
A self-funded movie, Listen Amaya, which has been to international film fests and been awarded too, is also in line to be screened at the 15th London Asian Film Festival in March.
inputs from agencies