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Three Indian films at Scotland’s Glasgow Film Festival

by Mignonne D’souza


While Vasan Bala’s ‘The Man Who Feels No Pain’ will compete for the festival’s only award, Devashish Makhija’s ‘Bhonsle’ and Sudipto Roy’s ‘Kia and Cosmos’ screen in its various sections.


The Glasgow Film Festival (GFF), one of UK’s leading audience-focused film festivals will take place from February 20 to March 3. Over the 12 days, their program will screen three Indian films for its Scottish viewers.

After winning accolades the world over, Vasan Bala’s sophomore feature will compete yet again for the Audience Award – the sole award the festival presents. ‘The Man Who Feels No Pain’ will make its UK Premiere in the Future Cult section, which embraces the weird and wonderful world of cult cinema. In a Bollywood-flavoured homage to ‘80s action films, the crowd-pleaser centres on the outrageous story of a young man born without pain receptors, but with dreams of becoming a martial arts master. However, his over-eagerness to be like the action heroes he grew up idolising creates a world of trouble that even someone who feels no pain may struggle to handle. Loaded with inventive martial arts brawls and musical delights, the film marks Abhimanyu Dassani acting debut, with Gulshan Devaiah and Radhika Madan in pivotal roles.

Following up on his gritty revenge-drama ‘Ajji’, Devashish Makhija’s next fearlessly critiques India’s class structures and racial divides. Starring Manoj Bajpaayee in the titular role, ‘Bhonsle’ focuses on an unusually empathetic retired policeman, living a slow and frustrating life. Despite being a respected and distinguished member of the community, he finds himself living in squalor. Upon the arrival of a new family from a lower social class, Bhonsle finds himself unwillingly caught up in a racist war. The film will screen in GFF’s Window on the World section, a selection of films that allow audiences to travel to the far corners of the globe.

In the Pioneer section — a selection of debut and sophomore features confirming that the future of film is bright — is Sudipto Roy’s ‘Kia and Cosmos’. Shot using the first mirror-less camera capable of shooting 4K, the film is inspired by Mark Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’. In a heart-rending tale, 15-year-old, autistic Kia lives with her single mother and tries to define her place in the world. What began as a quest to investigate the murder of her neighbourhood cat, Cosmos, takes her from Kolkata to Kalimpong to uncover the strange disappearance of her father, writing a mystery novel along the way. The film introduces Ritwika Pal as India’s first teenage girl detective, alongside Joy Sengupta and Swastika Mukherjee.