The Wisdom Tree Film FestivalThe Film and Television Institute of India was in the news again - this time for all the right reasons instead of the usual negative reports of strikes and resignations. The current lot of students with the Graduates Association of the FTII, GRAFTII, organized a film festival over the last few days. It gave many of the alumni, including many illustrious names, a chance to come back and reminisce about their student days. The organizers in concert with a nearby multiplex also had screened a bunch of films that all seemed to have an FTII connection. These films were a mix of commercial and art features and documentaries. I couldn't attend except for Sunday, where I caught a few films.
An amusing sidelight accompanied this screening: there are atleast two language versions of The Terroristthat I know of, the original Tamil and a dubbed Hindi version. The lady selling the passes (a student of FTII) had no idea the film had a Tamil version when I asked her which one they were showing. She said it might be in Hindi, dubbed perhaps - which was disappointing as I could see that version on Zee Cinema but then the 100 minute movie would take 200 minutes to air! So I was better off watching whatever they screened. In the theatre, I sensed most of the audience didn't question that the film would be in Hindi (the theatre was about 45% full - most of them being from the film school - this wasn't a big name commercial film, remember) - though one or two were wondering if the English or Hindi version would be telecast! I could hardly stifle my chuckle at the anguished sighs being let out when the first dialogues were spoken - in Tamil - and at the consternation when we realised there were no sub-titles! Half the hall emptied - they would probably watch Godmother - so much that I, who by now had settled back in happiness, started to half-worry if the screening would be cancelled! Still, the remaining people in the hall too had started to watch the film intently. I heard one Tamilian guy translate much of the sparse dialogue (true to his leanings, the cinematographer-director chose to speak out more with images) to his friend while another said "Forget the story - let's watch the photography, maan" - perhaps he was a cinematography student which would've made Sivan (himself a student in that subject in the early 80s) quite happy.
Trivia alerts: Harish mentions that Salim Khan and
Javed Akhtar contributed to the climax but were uncredited (IIRC). Careful perusal of the credits
showed the name Salim Khan under Additional Dialogues but no Javed Akhtar. Whoever
wrote the dialogues for AB's speech at the end - hats off.
This film (and not Hungama which released earlier is Rimi Sen's debut film (according to the opening credits).
Filmi Typo: AB the author is said to have won the "Booker's Prize".
The Holi song sequence gives rise to a small question: are the songs in Silsila (with AB) and Sholay (with Hema Malini) the two most yaadgaar Holi songs in Bollywood history?