Friday, September 18, 2009

Konkani film - Poltodcho Munis

Goan Konkani film - Poltodcho Munis- captivates Toronto Film Festival audience
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Man beyond Bridge - Konkani film - Poltodcho Munis

A Film Review by Silviano Barbosa Toronto

Based on Konkani Poet/Novelist Mahableshwar Sail's story and under the magic touch of young Director Laxmikant Shetgaunkar, the Konkani film Poltodcho Munis can easily be classified as Goa's best Konkani movie ever to captivate the world film audience.

This movie has everything in it: best direction, a touching unconventional story, natural acting, attractive scenes, simple yet effective dialogues, down-to-earth
characters, rural jungle terrain with a river running through it, and a typical Goan native population to bring out the volatile soul of the land in front of the appreciative world audience.

The music is enlivening, and every moment of the film feels precious and satisfying to the soul and you wish and hope the movie never ends.

The emotion is boundless and you empathize with the main characters throughout the film. Who is to decide what is righteous or not, but you can believe and love the
dazzling treatment the director paints the film with.

The chirping of the birds, the quaint sounds of the wild, the smooth running of the fresh pure water in the river, the dark mountains, and the flora and fauna of this
beautiful Goan terrain that has hypnotized the poets and sadhus of this world for ages, embellish the environs that forms the backdrop to this magnificent film.

The film ends sadly with Vinayak cutting off the rope of the bridge as he cuts off his life from the other side - POLTODDI.

The Man Beyond the Bridge is directed by Laxmikant Shetgaonkar (also screenplay). The cast includes Chittaranjan Giri, Veena Jamkar, Prashanti Talpankar and Vasant Josalkar. The music is by Debasish Bhattacharjee/ Ved Nair, sound by Rajendra Hegde, cinematography by Arup Mandal and edited by Sankalp Meshram.

The affable portrayal of Vinayak by Chittaranjan Giri is commendable. Veena Jamkar as his live-in companion/
mentally challenged woman hardly speaks, except to say "Naka..", but acts superbly. So do the fine charismatic characters of SarPunch, adviser/midwife (voijinn) Prashanti Talponnkar, Bhott and Possorkar, who give this film its finishing touches.

Director Shetgaonkar has tackled various aspects of life in this film: loneliness, yearning for love and companionship, serenity of nature, conservation, religious passion and fervour, politics, community celebrations, social mores and traditions and most of all he has used appropriate spoken Konkani language to give a legitimate touch to this film's locale.

With films like Poltodcho Munis and directors like Laxmikant Shetgaunkar, India, if not Goa, can be proud of its own *Slum Dog* achievements in the world of films.

You have to see this marvellous film for its mercurial soul and most of all for its MUNISPONN .

Reviewed by Silviano C. Barbosa,
Author of the Canadian/Goan novel, "The Sixth Night"
goache@hotmail. com

September 15, 2009


Rare Konkani film gains Toronto festival spotlight

Reuters / Euan Rocha

The Toronto International Film Festival has catapulted several
well-known Bollywood movies to global prominence in recent years, but
2009's event has showcased one Indian movie that had audiences buzzing
for its use of a rare language, Konkani. Skip related content
Related content

"Paltadacho Munis," or "The Man Beyond the Bridge" is the first ever
film using Konkani -- a language only spoken in the tiny state of Goa
in Western India and a few surrounding areas -- to be selected among
the some 300 movies playing here.

Only a handful of movies have ever been shot in Konkani, mostly due to
the small market. Recent estimates put the total number of Konkani
speakers in India at roughly 2.5 million, a mere 0.2 percent of the
country's 1.2 billion people.

Still, the film about one man's struggle to accept and love a mentally
ill woman, has generated strong interest among a small group of the
language's speakers who are excited by the rare opportunity of
watching a Konkani film.

Director Laxmikant Shetgaonkar hopes his movie will appeal to a wider
audience and that the festival's backing can give it the publicity it
needs to play in cinemas around the world.

Last year, Anees Bazmee's 'Singh is Kinng,' was showcased at Toronto
and was one of Bollywood's biggest hits, and the festival also served
as a platform for Karan Johar's romantic drama 'Kabhi Alvida Naa
Kehna' and Kabir Khan's first feature film 'Kabul Express,' which were
both released in 2006.

"The Man Beyond the Bridge" follows the life of Vinayak a lonely
forest guard, who one night comes across a filthy, unkempt and ill
woman outside his house. Vinayak initially attempts to drive her away,
but she keeps returning and a relationship slowly develops between the

But Vinayak is ridiculed and ostracized by local villagers, who cast
out anyone with a mental illness and believe Vinayak's relationship
with the woman is morally incorrect.

Shetgaonkar hopes the movie, set in the hinterlands of Goa, will cause
audiences to question attitudes towards the mentally ill.

"The idea is to raise an issue, try to reflect different perspectives
and make people think," he said.

Shetgaonkar also hopes the recognition gained by the film will
encourage Indian filmmakers to produce works in other regional
languages that do not have a long cinematic history.

"Konkani movies have a very small market ... But, since this movie is
being screened here in Toronto, it shows that it is all about making a
good film, irrespective of which language you make it in."

"The Man Beyond the Bridge" is the first feature film directed by
Shetgaonkar, who has previously won critical acclaim for his
documentary film "A Seaside Story," and the film was produced by the
National Film Development Corp of India.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.