Sunday, September 13, 2009

Up in Arms: TS Reviews Lagaan

I love Bollywood movies--they have so much heart. I like getting a taste of another culture and rooting for the underdog. Subtitles don't bother me, and great costumes and music are always a plus. And, too, there's Aamir Khan.

We first learned of Aamir Khan from some new friends of ours from India. While discussing movies with them one day, we intimated that we were part of the "Slumdog Sucks" community. They agreed, although I don't think they used that particular phrasing.

We related how we had gone out and purchased the Slumdog Millionaires DVD with high post-Oscar expectations, only to find that after the first 10 or 15 minutes, we didn't want to see any more. Call me provincial, but watching an extended scene portraying the cruel, sick torture of a teenage boy is not the way to my heart. I just want it to stop. The film seems to be an interminable string of horribly disgusting scenes. "But it's really like that," exclaim some of my American friends. Really? "I'm not sure of that," say I, "but even if it is, I don't have to see it." Anyway, how does my watching such filth improve anything? If you have a cause, then don't just sit around in your comfy chair "raising awareness." Get off your b*tt--or your wallet--and do something about it.

Our friends from Tajikstan say that Slumdog was comparable to what you'd have if an American filmmaker found the poorest, most crime-ridden, disgusting place in the U.S. and filled up a couple of hours of horrifying footage. Of America, they could say, "But it's really like that!"

But, I digress. Anyway, Monsoon Wedding is much more to my taste.

When our new friends recommended a film called Lagaan, we bought it on the Internet, and it arrived shortly thereafter. Now, this movie is three hours long, and our attention spans are a little shorter than that, so we knew that this could be a weeks-long affair. Treating it like a mini-series, we settled in to watch it over several cozy evenings.

The plot was appealing, the characters intriguing, and the romantic triangle endearing. I think there was enough action to suit DH. But frankly, if you didn't care for any of that, ladies, you could just unwind the time gazing at Aamir Khan's arms. Just between you and me, I am planning to add to our collection partly for that reason.

If you haven't see any of them, I recommend that you try some of the best movies from India--you may find that you like them better than the Hollywood flicks.


the roomie said...

Interesting...we have Slumdog Millionaire but haven't watched it, yet. We got it just after it came out on dvd, but somehow never got around to it. I do find it disturbing that the film's producers trotted the child actors out for the Oscars, then sent them home, seemingly without much thought, after the film publicity was over. I think they've now been pressured into doing a little more for the kids on a long-term basis. I've never seen a Bollywood film. Do the Bollywood dances on "So You Think You Can Dance" count?

TS said...

Well, yes, I think that would count! Bollywood dances? I should be watching that show. And maybe next we'll blog about movies with great dance scenes.