When the not-so-charming sneaked in

That the average movie-goer is capable of demanding more than just entertainment is something many directors will tell you, and the Bangalore International Film Festival (Biffes) has carefully weaved a good selection of movies to feed the minds of the varied audience.

“Cinema is education, education is cinema,” the organisers had said at the inaugural. And in line with that promise, a host of films from varying backgrounds had the crowd vying for a seat. But for many of them, the attempts were in vain.

For the 12.30 pm screening of ‘Lessons in Forgetting’, almost as many people who were inside the hall had to be denied entry and the situation was the same for many other movies at other centres. Amid all the rush to catch movies like Michelangelo Antonini’s ‘Blow up’, Sakari Kirjavainen’s ‘Silence’, ‘The City of Life and Death’ et al, people were also subjected to a movie like ‘Prasad’.

Produced by Ashok Kheny and starring Arjun Sarja, the movie epitomised what Biffes
Artistic Director H N Narahari Rao had feared. “...It was difficult to put things together in just three months,” he had admitted on the inaugural day. And the selection of ‘Prasad’ could have been the result of such limitations.

‘Prasad’, seating for which initially came as a relief for people who had waited in long queues, was a disaster.

Kheny’s introduction to the movie that it is a movie that touched his heart and reformed him was so long that the audience ‘applauded’ before he concluded — forcing him to conclude.

And the movie was much like its producer’s speech. Not so charming, dragged and almost completely failing to ‘touch the heart’. It, however, managed to tickle one too many ribs and pain a few heads.

A host of people left the hall before the interval, even as Arjun Sarja, who was received with a lot of enthusiasm, was in the front row. And many others could not prevent themselves from passing comments. The story revolving around a dumb and deaf boy has dealt with the issue loosely. With a background score that can never strike the right chord, Arjun’s attempt at writing the dialogues were the only thing more disappointing than the script.

The fifth edition of Biffes, was otherwise a hit on Saturday, ending with the screening of K Vishwanath’s ‘Sagara Sangamam,’ Kamal Haasan dancing on the ring of the well to ‘thakita thadhimi thandhana...’ at the Freedom Park.

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