Recently, I had the privilege of watching two distinguished movies, Matrubhumi and Malena. Both the movies boast of great direction, handling a very precarious topic and powerful acting. And ofcourse both belong to the "cult cinema" category. I won't recommend either, because they also belong to the "brutal cinema" category :). Watch at your own risk.
Both the movies have the same underlying motif : How degenerate can we, as humans, become.
Malena is set in a Sicilian town. It is about the only beautiful woman in the town from the perspective of a boy who has just hit his adolescence. "The beautiful woman" is portrayed by Monica Bellucci, so, you know how beautiful "beautiful" is! :). The director doesn't believe much in subtlety. Some parts of the movie are crude and "crossing the line". But, this crudeness is what helps the movie generate the effect it does.
"Matrubhumi : A nation without women" is set sometime in the future. It assumes that killing the girl child had become prevalent in the Indian villages and imagines a situation when there are no women left. None at all. The movie doesn't indulge in needless scenes of crude violence, but instead uses euphemisms, which makes it bearable. Credit to the director for that. Tulip Joshi has done a great job and so have all the others.
Both the movies are worth an applause, but, both are brutal in their own way. They would make Deepa Mehta's "Water" look tame. If you are into off-beat cinema, do watch Matrubhumi. If it doesn't move you, probably nothing else can. Afterall, movies aren't just meant for entertainment, are they?
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