wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)
Bow Barracks Forever has some well-etched out characters and excellent acting by most of the cast. Unfortunately though, the story is pretty much static and has no support whatsoever from the dialogues.Read more
Half an hour into the movie, I was amazed at how well I knew the dozen-odd characters. This was achieved by characters saying and doing things in a small sub-plot. Pretty impressive, that they didn't go the mundane voiceover route. Unfortunately though, most of the characters continue doing the same thing for the next hour and a half too.
Movies like this exist neither to shock nor entertain nor thrill nor to provide relief from the daily grind. They are made just because someone thought more people should hear this story. Almost all the characters are gray and they exist just for you to know them - not for you to judge or feel for.
Since the going was slow, I had a lot of time to pay attention to things other than the "object" of the camera, and what he/she is saying/doing. Especially, since they did not have anything new to say/do after a while. The background stood out. The narrative is set up in a crowded set of buildings - Bow Barracks. There is constant but changing noise (children playing, people cooking, etc) in the background which adds flavor to the scene. The messy rooms reflected the personalities of the occupants. Though it does raise a question in my organization-crazy mind - did none of them really care for any sort of orderliness?! Oh well...
I also enjoyed the picturization of the songs. The style was similar in all songs - shots of the singer singing, interspersed with the happenings at Bow Barracks. It was engaging, nevertheless, mainly because the singer was different every time and brought his/her style and nuances to the screen. The camera purposefully moves, in a style different from the way the rest of the movie is picturized, to give it the slightest video album touch.
Unfortunately, the screenplay and the dialogues make this a drag to watch. Thirty minutes shorter and the movie would improve on both counts, because inevitably all the repetitive lines would have to see the door.
So, if you are the kind for whom something needs to happen every minute, and the movie has to have an absolute definable purpose - please don't bother. But for those of you, who can ignore the flaws and focus on the characters - wait for the movie to be out on DVD and rent it when you are in a not-so-light mood.
Parental warning! Loads of profanity and sexual content. Moderate violence.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs down, by Manjira Majumdar, Upper Stall : ...music lacks the purity of the bitter sweet jazz blues sound; there is a mite of Beatles rock and roll sound, songs by Kenny Rogers but too much of techno to nudge the other sounds out.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
This movie is about the inhabitants of Bow Barracks, Calcutta. A set of two buildings that is more than a 100 years old. Its about how they deal with the problems in their lives.