Hello everyone. My name is Tusshar Sasi. Here I try my hand at an archetypal description about myself. I guess I should start from Spring 1995. That was when Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Bombay released. The fact that my family appreciated good cinema and I was way too young for other thoughts to preoccupy my mind helped. The film left me spellbound. I could immensely connect with the lows and highs faced by Shekhar and Shaila Bano. I was enamoured by the way Manisha Koirala performed and the lilting ‘Kannalane‘ courtesy A. R. Rahman and K. S. Chithra .
My next step was to find out who were the people behind this film. As an easily embarrassed 5-year old, I had a tough time figuring out that Manisha Koirala worked in a different language, a different industry called ‘Bollywood‘ that churned out popular Hindi films. Next up was 1942 – A Love Story directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The first Hindi film I watched with minimal understanding of the language. That day kick-started my tryst with films.
The next step towards pursuing my interest in music was rather conventional. A. R. Rahman and K. S. Chithra were prominent figures in the South of India. Despite having no active inclination to cinema or any sort of arts, my family appointed a teacher to tutor me in Carnatic classical music. I thank my stars they did because music has given me a LOT… probably even more than my passion for films ever did. I still treasure my music collection of more than 4000 OSTs from 1995. Music taught me languages, scripts and what not.
Well… I can’t exactly call myself an insatiable film fan as I don’t watch anything & everything that comes my way. A movie has to generate an interest in me so that it drives me to pull up my socks and hit the theatre. Reviewing films is something that comes to me as easily as breathing. I don’t exactly agree with the statement that a critic is a “legless man who’s teaching how to run”. A fine critic is supposed to be a keen observer who’s goal is to lay out constructive ideas and opinions so that the craftsmen behind a product can hold fast to their strong aspects as well as nullify their shortcomings in their future ventures. As a movie fanatic, I’ve been watching and analyzing cinema for two and half decades. There has been no other aspect or entity in my life which I had loved (or let’s just say, romanced: in a poetic sort of way) more than cinema.
My earliest memory of writing about films goes back to 2001 where I wrote an embarrassing handwritten letter to a film magazine along with their annual awards form. Today, having been trained in film criticism (including a course at Film & Television Institute of India, Pune) and an award at the closing ceremony of 6th Bengaluru International Film Festival in my kitty, my bond with cinema has become all the more strong. In September 2018, another milestone came to me in form of a membership at the prestigious Online Film Critics Society, which is the world’s oldest organization of online film critics.
To sum it up, I don’t think there exists a name better than Filmy Sasi for the website. My speech, mannerisms, sartorial sense and the way I speak… they are all derived from cinema. I watch films, I rewatch them, I learn the dialogues, the songs, the background score and the works.
Essentially, movies make me smile. They make me cry. They move and inspire me. They challenge me to do better in my personal life. There is no reason why I shouldn’t celebrate this wonderful medium which made me who I am today.