A colorful compendium of Indian folk tales and modern-day polemics, “Seventh Horse of the Sun” is as expertly told as a favorite campfire saga, and as haunting as a dimly remembered love song. It will take a bold market-minded rider, however, to get this horse to run in foreign orbits.
“Don’t tell the kind of story where events just pile up on top of each other, " pleads one of the young professional men who gather frequently to hear tales spun by Manek Mulla (soulfully handsome Amrish Puri).
But Manek takes his own sweet time spinning stories, which veer between the intensely personal and the mythically grand. Whether he’s talking about his own harsh schooldays or the gilded carriage of an unhappy princess, the tales always seem to involve sharp longing and sudden separation, along with digressions into Marxist dialectic.
Vet helmer Shyam Benegal imbues each flashback segment with a different tint of color and mood, but never gets too schematic about it. There are dark moments in the most farcical passages, and hints of comedy even in quasi-mystical parts: An apparently devoted servant suggests impotence-curing tasks to his master that are Herculean to the point of absurdity (that’s where the equestrian title comes in). Stunningly lensed events are moved along nicely by Vanraj Bhatia’s synth and sitar score. —Variety
Shyam Benegal (Konkani: श्याम बैनेगल, Telugu: శ్యాం బెనెగల్) (born 14 December 1934, in Andhra Pradesh) is a prolific Indian director and screenwriter. With his first four feature films Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975) Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977) he created a new genre, which has now come to be called the “middle cinema” in India.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991. On 8 August 2007, he was awarded the highest award in Indian cinema for lifetime achievement, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005. He has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times.
Shyam Benegal, was born on 14 December, 1934 in Trimulgherry, Secunderabad then a British Cantonment, and now a twin city of the state capital, Hyderabad. It was here, at age twelve that he made his first film, on a camera given to him by his photographer father Sridhar B. Benegal. He received an M.A. in Economics, from Nizam… read more