This past weekend I trucked it to the local Hindi cinema to see the new Yash Raj offering – Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. YR has been taking a beating lately in terms of audience, and I’m interested to see the different formulas they’re trying. By turns I was both endeared by and also annoyed by the hipster Inglish used to promote Tashan, and I imagine they had high hopes with the star star star star cast.
Anywho, there were some delightful moments in the film for me – mostly linked to the nationalism thread I’m tracing in film. The first dance number finds the kids bored in a museum, and their angel guardian, walks them through history, saying India has come a long way and will still go far, thumbing her nose at racist colonials along the way and inserting herself into grainy archival footage of Gandhi. “Now we will make everyone dance to our tunes,” she chirps, kids in tow. It would sound ominous but for the Disney–fied setting.
In LA Geeta the angel switched the HOLLYWOOD sign to read BOLLYWOOD (anyone else see a pattern developing in this film?)
But for me the penultimate surprise comes at the end of the film when Geeta in her hiding place is virtually upstaged by the large BUCK FUSH scratched into the brick wall. Kyaa baat hai!! After the sweetness of the film, with its clean and bright Yash Raj stylee, that was like jumping into a cold pool- a shocking wakeup that got me thinking. We need more Hindi film exposure in the US to give more people a chance to see some of the perceptions of our country from other places, ’cause we Americans may not be all clued in. This kind of message in such a mainstream family film is something worth noticing. Oh, and how about more people who aren’t put off by subtitles? That might help.
If you’re really looking around, you can read my snarky comment on the film at the Guardian’s blogsite.