The last six days of the Jagran Film Festival have been a visual treat for film buffs. That the event was a huge success was apparent, as the swell in the crowds never ebbed for once. The general public made the most of a holiday as well as the Bollywood fare on offer.
Zero, the Moroccan drama, garnered gasps as well as claps. The crowd however seemed partial towards their home favourites that were simultaneously taking place in the neighbouring auditoriums: Hindi movies. Under the Indian Showcase segment, Neeraj Pandey’s Special 26 earned a long orderly queue.
When asked, most of them had seen the film before but on television. So that explained why the lure of watching it on the big screen was too much to ignore. “I love this thriller and that’s why I came all the way from Chunabhatti. I left home before nine in the morning for this 11 am show,” says an audience member.
The same thrill was visible among the queue-standers who came to watch Kai Po Che. The Abhishek Kapoor-directed drama registered a houseful with youngsters dominating the crowd. Something similar happened with the afternoon show when Subhash Kapoor’s Jolly LLB was showcased to full house. A perfect day for the filmi janta.
In the international section, Architecture 101 was the first film of the day. The Korean drama had a reasonable start in terms of viewers and it was one of the finest Asian endeavour screened at the fest. Directed by Lee Yong-ju, the title of his film has lot to do with his academic qualifications. He’s a graduate in architecture and his expertise in buildings was employed to the fullest in his cinematic extravagance as well.
Since the nation in focus was South Korea, five celebrated movies were open to public. Almost all of them pulled in considerable amount of crowd. However, Park Kwang Hyun’s Welcome to Dongmakgol was the clear winner. Coming back to the Indian Showcase, Sant Tukaram was received well by the crowd comprising mostly of Marathi-speaking Mumbaikars. Coincidentally enough, Duniyadari was shown on the first night of the festival and engaged similar sentiments.
Later, Vijay Anand’s evergreen classic Guide was lapped up nicely by connoisseurs as well as laymen. What’s intriguing is the cinephiles’ desire to watch their favourite classics on a bigger screen. The film gala proved yet again why Mumbai is a city that never sleeps after all there is always a movie to watch. And next year promises to be bigger and better, in every way.