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Following are the honorable mentions which did not make the cut: 1.A Stranger Of Mine - Kenji Uchida 2.George Washington - David Gordon Green 3.Metropolitan - Whit Stillman 4.Tyrannosaur - Paddy Considine 5.The Cell - Tarsem Singh 6.District 9 - Neil Blomkamp 7.The Apple - Samira Makhmalbaf 8.Away From Her - Sarah Polley 9.Big Night - Stanley Tucci, Campbell Scott 10.Man Push Cart - Ramin Bahrani 11.Control- Anton Corbijn 12.Ajami- Scander Copti, Yaron Shani 13.Jellyfish - Shira Geffen, Etgar Keret 14.Maria Full Of Grace - Joshua Marston 15.Paranormal Activity - Oren Peli
Like all lists, this one too is subjective.
P.S. Few of the films are not of purely Indian origin as they are produced by other countries, but the films are Indian in content and subject matter. Also featured on this list are 6 TV series, which were incredibly well made IMO, therefore deserve their place in Indian Panorama.
P.S. I have added a few more films on this list....so now its a 100+ list.
Kaafiron Ki Namaaz (2013)
Kaafiron Ki Namaz: Utter Waste Of Time
The opening sequence is beautifully shot. Outdoor visuals are super strong. On-location Kashmir cinematography is dreamy and contemplative. That is where the good things end. That is it. The end. The rest is a trudge through a muck-filled failed attempt of filmmaking by inept hands which has given birth to this terrible hack-job of a pretentious low-intelligence wannabe piece of audio- visual waste.
Even the first few minutes of the film, a seemingly poignant conversation between the son and the off- screen mother lacks authenticity. But when the story starts to unfurl inside the abandoned hotel all things go haywire. Terrible writing, terrible dialogue. Bad pronunciation: 'Ismoking' (smoking), 'Istrayt' (straight), 'Exazzaration' (exaggeration), 'LiteRAYture' (literature), Koschen (question); there are many such instances of embarrassment in here. Funny thing is that this same character i.e. the writer corrects the mispronunciation of the tea seller. The writer who is supposed to be a Bengali, can't even speak a word of Bengali correctly. Total disgrace.
The acting is theatrical. Very uncinematic, to say the least. The characters keep repeating their lines again and again, sometimes 5 or 6 times. It is irritating and takes the focus away from the film. There is absolutely no tension throughout the film, no attempt to make the characters believable.
The failed attempts of comic relief, which are not required at the first place, are so heavy handed that the whole effort seems naive and loses it's credibility. The films preachy tone is so out of the place that it becomes laughable.
Oh and the outlandish characters! An orphan, pork-eating, homosexual, Gandhi-hating, Muslim, court-martialed, Indian soldier, who shoots a Kashmiri married Muslim woman, then rapes her dead body in the ass! Need I say more? Some realistic film they were making!
This has to be the worst film I have seen in recent times. It's sad to see an independent Indian film (which is a rarity) fail so miserably in almost all aspects. Bad film. Period. After 1 hour I really wanted to leave the film half way unwatched, but I stuck to my guns to give this overlong, empty film a fair chance to resurrect itself somehow. I wish I didn't. It only got worse. Utter waste of time.
There are some real good independent films from India in recent times: Masaan, Miss Lovely, Titli, Ship Of Theseus, Labour Of Love, etc and even zero budget films like Kshay, The Untitled Karthik Krishnan Project and Gandu. This film is not one of them. Please let's not make an undeserving piece the face of Indian independent film.