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Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Landlady (1961)
Season 6, Episode 19
An absolute stunner !!
10 May 2007
When I first read the story (by Roald Dahl), I was left speechless. The impact it left, clubbed together with the hour of the night when I finished my reading, left a distinct dryness in my throat.

The story is simple (I will not give away even an iota of what it is about) and involves mainly two characters... well, MAINLY. A typical Dahl-ian touch, comprising of suspense coupled with dry humour - all that makes a perfect concoct for Hitchcock to hit a home run !!!

Hitchcock-Dahl combination works very well, and I suggest that if you already haven't done so, try catching the other shorts of this master combination - The Man from the South, Lamb to the Slaughter, Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat !

Two thumbs up !!
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Sonar Khancha (1973)
A very unusual Bengali film
18 July 2005
When I saw this movie for the first time, I was surfing through channels, and one particularly melodious song by Lata Mangeshkar caught my attention. I went on to see the remainder of the movie, and was pretty impressed by the ending.

Next, when I saw this movie being advertised to be shown on a forthcoming weekend, I made it a point to watch it. And I did. And I was swept away !! A very unusual film, since Bengali films made in that era were different. Essentially a romantic story, the movie has a sad, almost far-away effect that takes the viewer with it to a height of pathos. Brilliant performances by the evergreen Uttam Kumar, and Aparna Sen hog the limelight; short but effective side roles played by Konika Majumdar(Teen Kanya, Basanta Bilap), Tarun Kumar and Subrataa add the necessary lights-and-shades to the story. Only Nirmal Kumar's role seems a little loud and melodramatic.

All in all, a fantastic romantic tragedy, which have been missed by many.
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An actually good Bengali film
28 June 2005
In the current era of Bengali cinema, where often the average wit required to endure a 3 hour torture is less than a 3 year old's, this Rituporno whodunit comes as a fragrant zephyr. In fact, unlike some other critically acclaimed movies made by Rituporno (like Raincoat), this one is well-paced, and holds the audience till the very end.

Granted it is taken from the Miss Marple story 'The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side'. But for someone who has NOT read Agatha Christie to a great extent, this will truly be worth the ticket. Again, for the ones like us, who have been die-hard Christie fans since our teens, we should know pretty well how difficult it is to make a screenplay out of a Christie novel. Simple b'cos her stories have the psychological treatment much more than actual actions. This is where Rituporno excels. He has got a fantastic script, acted out by brilliant actors, and what we get in the end is a true treat.

A very good Bengali film after a L-O-N-G time.
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Sublime tragedy
22 June 2005
A story about a young man, who had to quit his studies as a doctor due to difficult circumstances, coming back and saving a young lady by performing a very difficult surgery. Dilip Mukherjee, a once brilliant student of medicine is asked by the doctor Sanyal, to perform a complicated surgery on Kajol Gupta, which involves opening a heart blockage in 99 seconds.

Albeit a touch on the melodramatic side, the movie scores on account of good performances by Dilip Mukherjee, Kajol Gupta and Pahadi Sanyal, which make this movie a sublime yet tragic saga. The wonderful use of the Rabindrasangeet when Kajol Gupta sings with some children is an additional treat.
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Good retake on 'The Rainmaker'
24 March 2005
Mr. Palekar has created a thoroughly watchable Hindi version of the 1956 movie 'The Rainmaker', starring Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn. Nana Patekar has put in another commendable performance, as has Anita Kanwar.

I felt one or two sequences were a bit too lengthy, and maybe the movie could have been completed within 2 hours.. but It's okay. Definitely watch the movie if you like a little unconventional romanticism.

If you like watching this movie, I can also suggest watching English movies like 'The Bridges of Madison County', 'Sweet November', 'Notting Hill'.. and Hindi movies like 'Ijazat' and 'Manzil'.
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