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Showing posts from August, 2006
OmkaaraOmkaara is Shakespeare’s Othello set in the heartland of India, in UP. It translates to this setting well. Othello is a Moor and a soldier, Omkaara a half-caste and a gang lord connected to the most powerful politician in the territory. Desdemona was white nobility, her hand sought by all who matter in the highest echelons of Venetian society. Dolly is a fair and beautiful upper caste girl, daughter of a prominent lawyer. In both cases, society does not sanction their union and they are forced to come together stealthily.The movie is shot beautifully – the vast barren landscape provides a fitting backdrop to the tragedy unfolding. It is also shot stylishly, with camera angles, the editing and the music building up tension and intrigue. The script is grabbing, though a lot of the meaning was lost to me in the mix of regional dialect and Hindi. At the end though, this movie had to be about the actors. And the casting is quite faultless. Ajay Devgan as Omkaara is pretty good, ther…
LondonstaniGautam MalkaniHere is chick-lit in reverse – a boy-book if I can call it that. Fun to read on a plane, not to be taken too seriously.
Set in a part of London, Hounslow, that’s more South Asian than English, the first thing that strikes us is the lingo - fresh and therefore interesting. It is an unabashed mix of English, Hindi and Punjabi – the ‘pehndu’ and ‘innit’ and ‘bhanchod’ and ‘wikid’ all flow effortlessly together. And this is probably the best thing about the book.
Londonstani showcases a fusion culture where kids grow up in Britain, yet stay Indian or Paki. In this twilight zone, arranged marriages are the norm and families are more Indian than those back home. Dads drive ‘Beemers’ and moms hold satsangs. Kids listen to Bhangra pop and integration is a dirty word. In the heart of Britain, the line dividing India and Pakistan is as strong as it has ever been – Muslim and Hindu are swear words you throw at each other across the line. It is all very laughable if you don…