The BFI’s India on Film season turns to crime thrillers in October and November, with four films from the Hindi, Marathi and Tamil industries. Alongside the murder and mayhem, there’s also searing social critique, and some of India’s most critically acclaimed and bankable talent.
The pick of the lot has to be Sairat, directed by a Dalit filmmaker, with students in the lead roles, made for less than £500,000 – and Marathi cinema’s runaway hit. It received a standing ovation at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival. Sairat is the inter-caste love story of a headstrong upper-caste girl and and a Dalit boy with a shocking twist in its tail. Lauded for the film’s strong female lead, director Nagraj Manjule has spoken about his hopes for using to film to tackle India’s gender and class inequalities – “Sairat is my reaction to Bollywood”.
Sunday 19 November, 7.15pm/ Sunday 26 November, 4.40pm. Tickets go on sale on September 29, 11.30am here.
Following close on its heels is Talvar (Guilty). It’s based on the 2008 double murder case in the city of Noida. After a 14 year old girl was found murdered in her bedroom, along with the family’s Nepalese housekeeper elsewhere in the house, her parents were found guilty and jailed for murder. It is widely believed that the convictions were wrongful, influenced by various failures in the police investigation as well as sensationalist media coverage. Irrfan Khan and the brilliant Konkona Sen star.
Tuesday 17 October, 6.10pm/ Thursday 26 October, 8.40pm. Tickets go on sale on September 29, 11.30am here.
The 2014 Tamil feature Jigarthanda, is a film about making a film. The lead character is a filmmaker who’s only made short films, and gets a shot at a feature about the life of notorious gangster. So he infiltrates his gang. As you do. The reviews lauded the film for its originality and quirkiness. The music score is highly cool too.
Saturday 28 October, 12pm/ Sunday 29 October, 4.45pm. Tickets go on sale on September 29, 11.30am here.
Anushka Sharma starrer NH10 highlights the growing disparity between urban and rural India, as well as the misogyny that transcends and pervades its geography. A city slicker couple’s trip to the countryside turns murderous when they witness a so-called ‘honour killing’ and are subsequently pursued by the perpetrators. It didn’t get the best reviews when it was released in 2015, but watch it as one of Bollywood’s few takes on the roadtrip slasher/ horror genre, and Anushka’s Kill Bill avatar?
Saturday 4 November, 5.40pm/ Wednesday 8 November, 8.30pm. Tickets go on sale on September 29, 11.30am here.
When: Tuesday 17 October – Sunday 26 November 2017
Where: BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT
Tickets: £8.80 – £12.10
More info: BFI India on Film
By Seema Khan.
Posted on 27 Aug 2017
Photos courtesy of the BFI