Today is my Grandpa’s birthday, last year I did a whole survey of his life, so this year I want to do something a little different. I control my Grandpa’s Netflix list, which means sometimes I sneak in Indian movies. Grandpa loves movies and has very clear and firm opinions on them, which he types up and shares with the rest of the family. He just sent his thoughts on Ghajini, which inspired me to track down a few other reviews to share with you all.
I’ll be seeing Padmavat tonight, mainly because I haven’t been able to go see a movie in a while, and here it is. A large part of the reason it will no doubt get a big box office, here it is and there hasn’t been anything else for a long time. And also, my friend Dina is free to go with me and I haven’t seen her in almost a month. But, to counteract what I am beginning to hear about Padmavat, I am going to give us a little reminder of all the wonderfully strong female characters that there have been in Hindi film, and all the wonderful historical Muslim characters there have been.
I’ve been kind of thinking about writing about this movie, ever since the Padmavat thing started, and now it seems like the write time with Hrithik’s birthday this week and all. So here I go!
Padmavati is almost definitely certainly not coming out tomorrow (I have learned to not really count on anything with Indian film releases, but it does seem pretty certain). So, if you are jonesing for a cinematic Indian history fix, what can you watch instead?
I’ve been watching City of God basically on a loop for the past 3 days, just sort of in the background while I do other things. And the one moment I have to stop and watch every time is the “Kaalangal” song. At first because it is sooooooo sexy, but on repeat viewing because it is just so pretty. In a way that felt really unique, until I started to remember the other song sequences I had seen like it before. There is something about that really sweet moment when two people figure out for the first time that they love each other.
Happy Friday! Last week I did traditional clothes, and did you notice I skipped Jodha-Akbar? That was on purpose! I had this in mind already, our kingly men.
So, I finally watched, Magadheera, yay! It’s just as good as everyone said it would be, like Bahubali but only slightly less so. And the hero has beautiful hair and the heroine is spunky and the special effects are super, and it has one sequence that was just jaw-droppingly beautiful:
It starts out just “kill a 100 men so you can show off a lot!”. But then it turns into this sort of endurance effort to show the triumph of the human spirit and soul and nobility, because he is proving himself to his ancestors and his warrior spirit. And then it goes from being bravado to triumph of spirit, to just pure “I must do this for the person I love.” It didn’t even feel romantic to me, more in that “mother lifts a car off her child” kind of arena. Which is why it was so powerful, it turned into something completely selfless and loving and triumphal.
Anyway, I don’t want to talk about any of that. No, what I find interesting in the clip above is the how the Muslim enemy leader comes to respect our hero’s bravery and achievements. Which was a huge relief, because it meant the Muslim character in this movie was going to be an “Honorable Muslim” instead of a “Rapacious Muslim.”