Friday, January 1, 2016

Hollywood vs Bollywood

The half-Indian, teenaged boy in the video store proudly informed me that he did not watch Indian films in a tone reminiscent of my childhood when all things to do with Indian culture was regarded as backwards and just good for making fun of.  I had dragged my nose out of my books and YouTube videos to get a few DVDs to see in the New Year with my parents who used to make a big traditional celebration of joining to book a table at one of the many New Years' parties around the City.... these days it has gone dead except for the few organised parties..vastly overpriced and full of bored people watching each other and spending half their time on their cell phones:   So not following the current vogue in films I asked for suggestions...I vaguely remembered a comment in a keen blogger's post about Dilwale about Bajirao Mastani but of course by the time I shut the computer and made it to the video store all I could remember was two Indian words beginning with 'b' and apparently set in the past. Mr Teenaged-helpful came up with Bajrangi Bhaijaan cos that was what he had on his shelf that fitted that description.

I wanted something light and wandered to the children section to look for Frozen, as I must be the only person to have not seen it, but Mr Helpful said The Good Dinosaur was better, then at the desk changed his mind to Pixels, if I had known Adam Sandler was in it, I would not have taken it, but that is what happens when you can't read the blurb.  As a back-up I looked to the wall for a rom-com and selected Some Kind of Beautiful, with the advice of Mr Helpful.

After dinner, we settled down with our bags of crisps and wine to watch Some Kind of Beautiful. Within the first 5 minutes the director's idea of fun was a young boy wandering through a party looking for his mother seeing a couple having sex on the kitchen counter and being told to 'bugger off' ...turns out later that it could have been his father who is a womanising Literature professor who the boy grows up to be like...everything bad about the West seems to be thrown in... dysfunctional families, rampant promiscuity, drinking to get drunk to the point when dangerous decisions are taken .... the list could go on... I don't even know why they bothered to make such a movie.. there were the odd funny moments but on the whole not worth watching. []

Not expecting much we slipped in the Indian movie and were pleasantly surprised... humourous, a cute child, not much gratuitous violence, an uplifting storyline of goodwill of the common man, nice photography, and a catchy qawwali at the end... it took us to midnight but we were more interested in the end than going on the verendah to see the fireworks.... even my stepfather stayed up to see the end, well after midnight..ending the night with a beer!

Sweetened up, we moved onto Pixels and switched off in disgust at its inane stupidity, glorifying Adam Sandler's rude smart-assed remarks... no wonder American kids are so screwed up if this is the rubbish that passes as entertainment for them!

NO competition.  In American movies' defence, I enjoyed the 3D and other effects of The Force Awakens but the Guyanese public voted with their feet and there were a mere 15 people in that part of the cinema showing it while the Dilwale was sold out... take THAT Hollywood.