Village Rockstars (2017)
Critic Reviews for Village Rockstars
All the kids are natural actors, but Bhanita Das is a standout in every scene. As the work-worn mother, Basanti Das embodies the refreshing lack of sentimentality that gives the film its modern attitude.
Pluckily optimistic and unsentimental to a fault, writer-director Rima Das' second film is a tonic to third world poverty porn.
Das' warm direction conveys a palpable affection for these people. But the thin plot keeps the audience at a distance.
More than Terrence Malick and the existential poetry of his films, Village Rockstars' closest cinematic cousins are Benh Zeitlin's 2012 fable about climate change, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Sean Baker's 2017 masterpiece, The Florida Project.
The most appealing is the persistence and simplicity with which Das subverts gendered expectations and norms.
The atmosphere of Village Rockstars is so real that it almost feels like a documentary. Rim Das' direction is the opposite of fussy, allowing the characters and their actions to breathe on screen in a way that speaks to her affection for the subject.
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