Ten films to watch on Mubi India, from Manta Ray, Gandhi, Pyaasa, to Amy, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
Mubi India will offer 30 titles per month where each day, a new film, covering world cinema, indie classics and art house cinema, is added, while the oldest one is removed.
London-based Mubi, which bills itself as a “hand-curated” cinema service offering a select 30 titles per month covering world cinema, art house, film classics and other prestige genres, has launched in India. The streaming service has launched as a dedicated film channel under Mubi India which is being offered at an introductory price of Rs 199 for the first three months. Like its international channel, the Indian channel will also offer 30 titles per month where each day, a new film is added, while the oldest one is removed.
Mubi India offers an eclectic mix with such titles as 1988 cult classic Om-Dar-Ba-Dar by Kamal Swaroop, Duvidha from Indian art house master Mani Kaul, Gurvinder Singh's Anhey Ghohrey Da Daan, acclaimed director Shyam Benegal's Mammo, Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning Gandhi, Bollywood comedy Andaz Apna Apna and even short films such as Kanu Behl’s Binnu Ka Sapna, which premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.
Here are some of the best films that are currently streaming on Mubi India:
Manta Ray, 1957
An impressive feature directorial debut by veteran cinematographer Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, this mysterious, intoxicating work centers on the friendship between a fisherman and the mute refugee he rescues from a swamp. The fisherman offers him friendship and names him Thongchai. When the fisherman suddenly disappears at sea, Thongchai slowly begins to take over his friend’s life — his house, his job and his marriage. Manta Ray won the Orizzonti Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival and the Golden Gateway Award at 2018 Mumbai Film Festival.
Helmed by Asif Kapadia, Amy is a documentary assembled from the archival footage and personal testimonials and present an intimate portrait of the life and career of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. It chronicles Winehouse’s tragic decline from bright-eyed prodigy to doomed tabloid obsession.
Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive is a slick LA noir thriller, starring Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stuntman by the day and a driver by the night. Gosling's life turns around when he falls quietly in love with his next-door neighbour Irene and agrees to help her husband, an incompetent crook. However, when the job goes awry, the only way he can keep Irene and her son safe is to do what he does best: drive
Alexander Payne’s black-and-white comedy-drama, Nebraska, is a sentimental, tender father-son two-hander featuring Bruce Dern and Will Forte as Woody and David, an elderly father and middle-aged son respectively. Upon learning that he has won $ 1 million prize, Woody and David decide a take a rather very uncomfortable road trip together to collect it. Shot in monochrome settings, the film unfolds as a poignant drama with secrets being revealed, tempers thrown around, and some hard truths shared.
Hotel America, 1981
Directed by Andre Techine, Hotel America is a psychological and emotional film exploring the aspects of class, grief, jealousy in a layered love story. Hélène (Catherine Deneuve), a pill-popping anaesthetist mourning the death of her boyfriend, almost runs down Gilles (Patrick Dewaere) one evening. Gilles pursues her romantically, then backs away, deciding she could never love someone of lower class and limited prospects. But she does fall for him, and gradually her sadness eases. However, complications arise when Gilles becomes obsessed with Helene's ex-lover.
Guru Dutt's cult-classic Pyaasa is named one of the 100 best movies of all time by Time magazine. Directed by himself, Dutt stars as Vijay, a poet who writes unpopular poems about the destitute and poor. Ridiculed by his brothers and scorned by publishers, Vijay finds encouragement in a woman, Gulabo, who helps him to try and get his poems published. Pyaasa is a timeless piece not only for its outstanding poetry, music or cast but also for delivering a haunting emotional experience into love and art.
Helmed by Kalpana Lajmi, Rudaali delves into the age old custom of Rajasthan, where women of lower caste are hired as professional mourners to publicly display grief upon the death of upper-caste males.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, 1983
A dark satire on the rampant exploitation in India, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro continues to be relevant through the decade. Kundan Shah's slapsttick comedy bombed at the theaters initially, however, it has managed to achieve a cult-status over the years. The film unfolds rather humorously when two photographers come across a corrupted builder and accidentally photograph a high profile murder.
Shyam Benegal questions the idea of home, roots, and identity, in this poignant drama that reflects on the emotional cost of India-Pakistan partition. The film recounts a period in the life of Riyaz, a teenager who lives with his grandmother Fayyazi. One day, they get a visit from his grandma’s sister, once Indian and now Pakistani's resident, Mehmooda Begum Anwar Ali, commonly known as ‘Mammo.'
Mrinal Sen's Padatik spoke about a period of political unrest in West Bengal’s capital city. Sumit, a political activist, is used by his own leader to do unlawful acts. Upon realising his mistake, he runs away and seeks shelter at a wealthy divorcee's house. Stuck in his current place, Sumit begins to re-evaluate his life, the Leftist movement, and the condition of his beloved city and state.
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