NFLX2019 March 29th: 15 August

15 August. Swapnaneel Jaykar. 2019. ☆☆☆★★★

Hey! Another Indian movie. Netflix are really going after the Indian market?

The other (three?) Indian movies so far this year haven’t all bin good, but they have a better track record than the American Netflix movies, so I’m excited.

One slight puzzling thing about the Indian Netflix movies is that none of them have been… well… entertainment? They’ve all dealt with some Social Issue. This one looks like it’s going to be more fun, but still no big dance numbers.

The cinematography is playful and interesting. It’s mostly subdued colours… perhaps a bit too adjusted towards teal? But it’s quite picaresquely pretty.

You know what this movie reminds me of? Fellini’s most meandering looks at small town life. It’s got the huge cast and the way the film progresses less by plot than by scenes happening adjacent to each other.

You’ve also got the humour and the tragedy and everything intertwined.

In these kinds of movies, it all depends on the cinematography (which this movie has nailed) and the acting. Which is… Well, you can’t do naturalistic acting, but the style they’ve adapted here isn’t super-stylised either. It’s kinda just TV acting. Which is a pity.

This is basically a farce (with a very annoying central conceit), but it’s not actually funny. It feels way too long. I can understand why, because individual scenes have good pacing, and they probably wanted to have it build and build in absurdity.

I loved the bit where the forlorn lover is looking forlornly at his beloved and it starts pouring rain. Most amusing. And the over-the-top ending is brilliant. But it took us a long time to get there.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

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