Archive of films Island City / Island City
2015, 111 min
Section: Another View
The director uses contemporary Bombay as a backdrop for three stories evoking a range of moods. Anything can happen here – first, there’s an ordeal involving a dark vision of the future, then a naïve fad breaks out over a TV soap opera featuring Bollywood-style romance, and, finally, a young woman’s wistful disappointment, so reminiscent of the unhappy seamstresses of old melodramas.
In the first of the movie’s three loosely-connected stories, a massive firm dubbed Systematic Statistics has now taken charge of its employees’ free time as well. It’s no wonder that, after a day of strictly organized fun at an entertainment center, pusillanimous office worker Mr. Chaturvedi loses it. The tragicomic tale that follows this sarcastic dystopian vision is introduced by a scene in the hospital, where Mr. Chaturvedi’s coworker Anil lies in a critical condition, one of the victims of his drastic revolt. Anil’s contrite family decide to pass the time without him, watching their newly-purchased TV set. A soap opera has just begun, starring a dreamy and noble hero, and Anil’s wife, sons, and grandma can’t take their eyes off him. The pedantic, ever-haranguing Anil comes out of the comparison smelling like anything but a rose… In the melancholy final story, gentle and quiet Aarti is dissatisfied with her brute of a partner, and so she begins setting her hopes on letters from an unknown admirer. Who could this sensitive soulmate be?
About the director
Ruchika Oberoi (b. 1974) studied literature at the University of Delhi and began writing poetry at this time. After moving to Bombay she turned her attention to film, graduating from the Film and Television Institute of India in nearby Pune. She cites Aki Kaurismäki as a major influence for his sense of humor and for his take on black comedy in all its diversity. Island City is her debut; in 2012 she took the film’s script, two of whose storylines were provided by her husband, to the NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab held in Venice. The film premiered last year at the Venice festival, winning the FEDEORA Prize for Best Young Director.
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About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Sylvester Fonseca|
|Art Director:||Krishnendu Chowdhury|
|Producer:||Nina Lath Gupta|
|Production:||National Film Development Corporation|
|Cast:||Vinay Pathak, Amruta Subhash, Tannishtha Chatterjee|