wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
I AM is a set of strong 4 short films. Each one of them is well-made and takes you into its own little world.Read more
The synopsis tells us about the people that form four stories that the film compiles. Each one of them have lost their identity because of various socio-political reasons. They can move on only if they deal with their past. The film touches upon taboo topics - homosexuality, sexual abuse, motherhood without a man.
Yes, this is more than enough to pique my interest. Even if Onir manages to mess the execution - the film does boasts as being made by 400 people across 35 cities - too many cooks? - the topics itself are so interesting that I'm curious about the stories by themselves. The writing would have to be awfully superficial to be uninteresting.
And of course, there are awesome performers to look forward to. Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Suri, Nandita Das, Rahul Bose, Purab Kohli - these people have hardly ever failed us.
There's something else that gives a feel that this film is "different." Somehow, these names give the film credence of passion. Maybe it's because many of these names are known activists. But it feels like they have a personal take on the stories and is beyond just a 'job'. Maybe a part of expecting something "different" comes from the fact that these stories are true life incidents. Maybe a part of it is also that the "I AM Abhimanyu" is the story of a popular blogger, a dear acquaintance, and an adorable person.
If you haven't guessed it yet, I am so absolutely looking forward to watching this one. Till then, enjoy this trailer and the music reviews are listed below.
milliblog - "I Am has an interesting soundtrack, but it isn’t compelling enough…despite Amit Trivedi."
music aloud - "8.25/10"
Bollyspice - "3/5"
Bollywood Hungama - "2.5/5"
HappySing - "Lovely album."
- meeta, a part of the audience
A social commentary on four very contemporary topics without getting into sermons, itself is an amazing experience. It's non-judgmental and makes you feel for each of its characters. Each story is so beautifully scripted that you don't really care if they are linked to each other or not. Nor does it bother you that you don't know how they all fit in on a timeline. You are willing to go with the flow and take it matter-of-factly when a character from one story appears in another one without any specific purpose.
All that matters are the characters and what they are going through. Afia wants to be a mother, if she can't find a man, she'll get a donor. Everyone around her thinks she has gone nuts but you want to root for her. Megha is bitter, but you don't mind the resentment because she has after all been uprooted from her homeland in the most cruel fashion. How can you not feel for Abhimanyu who has been molested as a child, even though he has now turned into a person who doesn't mind using people around him. And Omar well, his story is more about the story and mistreatment afforded towards homosexuality rather than his character. You feel confused with the actors, you see their dilemma and their pain. If they are stubborn you want to give them the benefit of doubt.
The treatment given to each story is consistent and has a very smooth flow. That must be some achievement considering it involved different teams working on each of them. Of course, there are times when you feel like there are some parts that you'd like to know more about. For example, Afia's story feels complete. But obviously for a topic as broad as the situation of the people in Kashmir, Megha's half-hour can do only so much justice. It still doesn't take away from the beauty that you feel bad for both her and her friend Rubina.
Abhimanyu's story is also painted very broadly but then again, I'm not sure whether we want to know/see the gory details, especially when they are coming along with so many heavy issues. Same goes for Omar's homosexuality. The logistics are unclear but then again you don't know how much more you want to hear.
All of this only makes me think that each one of these deserved a little more time, maybe even a film each. But as it stands, they are serious short films, have some brilliant performances, are well-shot and executed. A worthy watch, you just need to get into that serious mode.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Prateeksha Khot, Bolly Spice : ...The best part of the movie is that Onir doesn't overplay any characters or scenes and lays it all out before you without spoon feeding you. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Deepa Gahlot, Film Impressions : ...The film has some jagged edges, but Onir is earnest, honest and not afraid to make a statement at a time when films are meant to be just light entertainment.... full review
Thumbs up, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...I Am is the voice of characters living on the fringes of 'respectable' society, marginalised for being deviants, or victims of forces beyond their control.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...There is however, a slight sloppiness to the dialogues in the third film starring Sanjay Suri, and interlinking the four stories through common characters comes off as a tad labored. ... full review
Thumbs up, india today : ...The rawness of the material in the Megha episode set in the Valley makes up for the incongruity of Manisha Koirala's Kashmiri accent and for some of the truly ugly sexuality on display here.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...It's not a flawless film that will change the course of cinema but a relevant one, funded by more than 400 individuals, that has more on its mind than today's news. ... full review
So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...It should also be as noted achievement for online social networks that, along with professional producers, the filmmaker found 400 unknown investors from across 45 cities of the world to back this vision. ... full review
So-So, by Komal Nahta, koimoi : ...I Am may be a bold and good attempt for the festival circuit but it will have to struggle hard to establish its own identity in the commercial arena. ... full review
So-So, by Tushar Joshi, MiD DAY : ...Definitely a piece of work that can't be ignored, I AM works because it fosters debate, discussion on topics that are still considered to be a taboo.... full review
So-So, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...Has something that most contemporary, uber-slick Bollywood flicks lack--quietude and calm. It's a world of thoughtful pauses than a furious pace. ... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by garcinia cambogia extract
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Rema Anand : Bold , gritty , non judgemental coupled with fabulous acting.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by sell silver nj
So-So, by metacafe.com
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.