The Last Lear - Preview

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

Is it a play? Is it a movie? Whatever it is, it's a collage of brilliant performances. If only story had some clear direction!

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NOT A REVIEW - Just a bit on the names involved with the movie...

A tale within a tale. Theater in cinema. And apparently, the plot assumes that theater is superior to cinema, and yet cinema is used as the medium to portray the thought.

In an interview, director Rituparno Ghosh talks about his passion to bring Utpal Dutt's work outside Bengal -

Utpalda has always been known as a comedian and a character actor. He never got the recognition he deserved. I wanted to revive this play as a tribute to him, as his contribution to cinema is very important. His work was known and confined only to Bengal. I wanted to change that.

In the same interview, the director is all praise for his cast Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal, and of course Amitabh Bachchan. But not-so-complimentary things have been said in reviews by people who have seen The Last Lear in the festival circuit. And the third English review on imdb is just about lukewarm. The gist being that it’s confusing, slow and the actors are good at over-acting.

I was wondering how it'd feel to see Amitabh Bachchan in a play. 'Awesome' is the only word that I can think of. And this is the closest we are going to get watch him in a play. But, come to think of it, theater-acting, in general tends towards over-dramatization. Which is also the typical fashion in which Shakespearean dialogue is delivered. So, it'll be interesting to see him when he's not the character in a play/movie.

Which brings me to a quote from the official site and other promo material: "this is Bib B's best till date" Now, that's a tall claim. Obviously, I don’t expect them to advertise that the response at the festivals was not the best. But, this marketing claim in combination with producer, Arindam Chaudhuri's name reminds me of the huge controversy about 3 years ago revolving around his business school.

Anyway, still nothing can take away from the fact that the movie is certainly going to be a different experience. Whether the experience will also be special or not, is a question I'll be able to answer tomorrow.