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Jithin K Mohan
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“Hell and Heaven” released in Bangladesh as “Poramon 2” is a spiritual sequel to the 2013 romantic drama film “Poramon”. “Hell and Heaven” was released to critical acclaim for a commercial film in Bangladesh, then went on to become one of the highest grossing films to come out of Bangladesh.

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Talking about issues of corruption, inefficient system, exploitation and hardships of lower caste and uneducated people, especially women furthermore touching upon environmental issues, the first film in Kurmali language, “Death Certificate” is an absolutely important film even though it can’t be called a very well crafted one.

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As a supporting actor, Dinesh Prabhakar has always been someone who can mirror the talent he acts against with. It is evident here in his first main role where his performance is considerably better with experienced actors rather than with amateur actors appearing in the village who are not convincing enough. Being the casting director himself, he should have been aware of his own strength and limits during the casting process.

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We speak with Nila Madhab Panda about his latest film, "Dark Wind" (Kadvi Hawa), climate change and its consequences, Sanjay Mishra, and other topics.
Filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda has received Padma Shree, one of the highest civilian honors in India, presented by the president of India in 2016. He has directed six Hindi feature films. His first feature, the iconic I AM KALAM, has won thirty-three International awards and one National Award. He followed that success with a series of acclaimed films, including JALPARIA, BABLOO HAPPY HAI and KAUN KITNEY PAANI MEIN.

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As a film about climate change, “Dark Wind” doesn’t give long expositions on the subject matter, but the atmosphere and the unravelling of the story show the problems. The only time it is actually mentioned is when a boy in school tells the teacher how he has only seen two seasons, the hot and cold ones rather than the four seasons that are being taught. Later Hedu agrees with the boy, noting that there was a time when there were four seasons.

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While for most of the Indians this documentary may feel like a common depiction of the life in India, for someone uninitiated with the culture, this may look like a horror comedy. Though the directors have never looked upon it in a judgmental light, they have portrayed it as objectively as possible. The documentary never relies on anyone specific but rather presents many of the everyday chores, allowing the thoughts of the people involved to flow organically. While the objectivity helps towards an extent, the lack of such a focus occasionally feels like a futile exercise.

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The nights of Kochi have never been so beautiful in any other films before. Jayesh Mohan's cinematography captures the beauty and pathos of the lives of the protagonists juxtaposed through the backgrounds. The walks along the roads under the Kochi metro are hypnotically romantic. "Mayaanadhi" ("Mystic River") is a multifaceted romantic thriller that paints a realistic and poetic tale of love among urban Malayalee youth. Even when the survivor in Mathan fades the fighter in Appu remains fighting and hoping. The viewers are left with melancholy, ever haunted by the fates of characters from this world which is surreal and hyper-real at the same time.
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