3rd I South Asian Film Festival 2011 – “Ashes”, “Delhi Belly”, and “Patang (The Kite)”


Ashes

Ashes is the directorial debut of actor Ajay Naidu (The Indian nerd in Office Space.)  The story takes place in Brooklyn and is quite dark.  Naidu plays Ash, a man trying to find a balance between caring for his mentally unstable older brother and successfully navigating within the illegal dealings of drugs.  The film suffers from too much exposition when dealing with the drama associated with the hustling drugs part of the film.  There was no need to over complicate the story with sloppily arranged and pointless subplots of whose selling what to whom, and is so and so ratting on this one, etc.  Fortunately, I was able to ignore those ridiculous and inconsequential details and enjoy the film’s real heart: Ash’s relationship with his brother.  Naidu’s future as a director is promising, and hopefully, his next effort will have far less exposition.

Showtimes for Ashes:

Thursday, November 10th – 9:30pm (Roxie Theater)

Delhi Belly

Delhi Belly is a fart joke focused farcical romp of an antics infused Bollywood extravaganza.  The plot consists of comedic situations arising from mistaken identities, wrongful packages being delivered, and the always reliable flatulence.  Aside from the occasional Bollywood song and dance numbers, there isn’t anything this film has that any other “bad things happening to good people comedy” doesn’t offer.  There are laughs to be found in just about every scene depending on your sense of humor and whether or not you’ve grown tired of the Todd Phillips brand of comedy i.e., The Hangover I and II, Due Date, and Road Trip.  While there were no belly laughs to be found, this situational romp will probably be humorous enough to satisfy the more casual movie goer.

Showtimes for Delhi Belly:

Saturday, November 12th – 9:15pm (Castro Theatre)

Patang (The Kite)

Family drama slowly emerges over the course of Ahmedabad’s annual day of kite flying.  All around well acting, a subtle but effective script, and some beautiful cinematography converge to create one of the finest foreign dramas I’ve seen in quite some time.  My only gripe is – now I’m just nitpicking here – that I needed about 20 minutes to adjust my eyes to the quick cut style of editing, but once I did I was fully on board.  This film deserves all the praise that it has already garnered at festivals such as Berlin, Tribeca, Chicago, and most recently, Mill Valley.

Showtimes for Patang (The Kite):

Friday, November 11th – 7:20pm (Roxie Theater)



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