We envision Payal Kapadia as Prakash with an 8-minute standing ovation

Cannes 2024: Payal Kapadia

Artist of All we imagine as light at Cannes. (Image courtesy: AFP)

New Delhi:

Payal Kapadia and the cast of her film, All we imagine as lightmade a fashion splash and left a strong impression on international critics – at its world premiere in Cannes on Thursday night. We all imagine…’ It is the first Indian film in 30 years to qualify for the competition section of the festival, making Kapadia a contender for the prestigious Palme d’Or. The eight-minute standing ovation at the end of the film’s screening was definitely the longest in this edition of the film festival.

Payal Kapadia is “competing with European heavyweights such as Jacques Audiard and Yorgos Lanthimos, American writers David Cronenberg and Paul Schrader, and Asian visionary Jia Zhangke.” IndieWire reminds us.

Trophy or not, the film impressed international critics upon screening, with Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian praising it for its “freshness and emotional clarity” and comparing Kapadia’s “fluent and absorbing” storytelling to Satyajit. Ray in his classics, metropolis And dark day night,

Ahead of the screening, the star cast of the internationally funded film graced the red carpet on the steps of the Palais du Festival, with Kani Kusruti standing with her watermelon clutch (the green and red clutch was literally designed like a cut out of the fruit!) ; Divya Prabha looks a world apart from her character in the film in her elegant copper colored gown; And Hridu Haroon is seen in vesti and long embellished kurta. Kapadia and her co-producer/cinematographer, Ranbir Das, however, settled for formal blacks.

Early reviews after screenings were glowing. In her review of the ‘gorgeous and captivating film’, IndieWire’s Sophie Monk-Kaufman wrote: This casual everyday vignette is full of sensuality (rain, clothes, food, women) that people don’t notice. When caught in the rhythm of life. It takes a photographer’s snapshot of the situation to realize how fraught these moments are.”

In Fionnuala Halligan’s words, “This imaginative debut of a talented documentary recalls the work of Lucretia Martel or Alice Rohrwacher, yet has a strong romantic streak that also recalls Wong Kar-wai’s love affair with the city of Hong Kong.”

And Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter could resist comparing this lackluster film to what the world now expects from India. He commented: ‘All We Imagine as Light’ is about as far as you can get from Bollywood’s masala music genre, even if there is a short and memorable impromptu dance scene towards the end. And yet the story of women searching for love and happiness in a troubled world brings to mind those popular films set in Mumbai, in which the heroines face a lot of heartbreak before things are settled.”

Will the jury share the sentiment behind this joyous reception? We all imagine‚Ķ, or listen to an eight-minute standing ovation? Will Kapadia return home with the Palme d’Or? It will be known only after the announcement of the award.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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