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Streaks of ingenuity

December 07, 2007 - Source: The Statesman

Excerpts of the Reviews available online at The Statesman

What redeems most of these slightly dog-eared tales is superb acting by some of the best professionals in the country. Shabana Azmi as the cantankerous, Hindu fundamentalist Tamil amma in Rice Plate, proves all over again that she is still light years ahead of any competition in this country. Naseeruddin Shah, who plays an extremely understated Bohra Muslim – and tries to make the poor, ignorant woman with communal values see reason by using a somewhat Gandhian strategy – gives the word ‘histrionics’ a short shrift. He can do a super job by just standing there and looking. Nana Patekar has a characteristically voluble role in Gubbare, but shines despite the predictable nature of the story. His is a performance carried by the strength of his conviction. Amrita Singh as the lovelorn middle-aged mother of a young bride, who is drawn ~ inscrutably ~ towards the beloved of her young days, with disastrous consequences, in Pooranmashi, comes across as a gifted across whose potential is yet to be tapped.

Anita and Rohit Roy as the newly-married couple on a bus to their honeymoon in Gubbare are a pleasure to watch.

Rice Plate is directed with sensitivity and intelligent restraint, by Rohit Roy (who doesn’t do too badly in the acting department either).