When fact is fiction

Posted in fantasy, movies, music, thriller by jrahman on July 15, 2017

I live in a country that Lyndon Johnson once called the ‘ass end of the world’ — whichever direction you travel, there is no short flight from this southern land.  One good thing about the long haul flight, however, is the chance to watch stuff that you otherwise might not have, provided you’re flying a decent carrier, of course.  My usual guilty pleasures are sitcoms — I think I watched more HIMYM and Big Bang Theory episodes airborne than on my couch.

I made an exception recently.  The Emirates have a reasonable collection of Bangla (or given they are from the Indian Bengal, should I say Bengali?) movies.  I was curious, and wasn’t left disappointed.  It appears that a number of noir films have come out of Kolkata recently.  How exciting, right?


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Posted in 1971, books, comedy, desi fiction, economics, foreign policy, history, India, micro, movies, Rights, thriller, TV, War crimes by jrahman on July 20, 2012

Seven trashes collected by the senses.


What the heart desires, in Sydney

Posted in movies, music by jrahman on September 30, 2010

It has been about nine years since I first watched Dil Chahta Hai.  The movie, its literal meaning is The heart desires, broke new grounds in Bollywood with respect to storytelling, production techniques and the subject matters.  And it heralded the dawn of a new urban culture in India (and indeed the entire region).  For example, just compare the way Aamir’s character introduces the song in the graduation party in this movie with the way it was done in his first hit — there are few better illustrations of how dramatically urban India had changed between the late 1980s and the turn of the century.

And then there was the way the movie depicted the west.

Years before he romanced a blind Kashmiri girl and a Gori filmmaker in Delhi, Aamir Khan explored Sydney in this movie with a Desi girl, discovering his own feelings along the way.  And this wasn’t done by swinging to bhangra beats in ‘Indian night clubs’ or ‘college campuses’ where only Desi kids are seen.  In fact, most of the Sydney scenes in the movie are very realistic — I speak from personal experience.  And it really was shot in Sydney (unlike, say, the Aishwarya-starrer where Italian scenes are shot in Hungary). That this is about the best silver screen depiction of Sydney, a city I am immensely fond of, is just a bonus.

Over the years, I traced these Sydney scenes, and I describe them over the fold.


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