Movies to Review
For the next installment of the Weekend Movie Club, I am going east, to India. If you missed our first installment check it out, here. I grew up watching Hindi movies and more importantly listening to Hindi movie numbers. I must have heard and watched many more songs than the movies themselves. Growing up I used to turn up my nose at most of the offerings that came out of the movie industry which is now popularly known as Bollywood. There was a dichotomy between commercial cinema and art cinema and there very few popular Hindi movies that didn’t insult your intelligence or so it seemed to me. For twenty odd years, the new Hindi movies that I must have watched could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Now that I am at a distance from both my childhood and Bollywood, I think I may have judged those movies harshly. Hollywood can be pretty formulaic too. They have different formulas, that’s all. Since last year I have been rediscovering Indian cinema, particularly Hindi movies, mainly through their music. Through my YouTube meanderings, I have stumbled across many gems. The list of movies that I want to see keeps growing by the day. Either I have become more forgiving or the movies have gotten better. For example, there are many more movies with female protagonists which don’t have a love story as their focus, than the Hindi cinema of yore or even present day Hollywood. Here is a list of three movies with strong female leads. You can click on the links below to see the trailers with English subtitles.
Queen: Rani (Queen), a sheltered young woman from Delhi gets dumped the day before her wedding. Her solo European honeymoon turns into a voyage of internal and external discovery.
Neerja: A biopic about Neerja Bhanot, flight attendant on the hijacked Pan Am flight 73, whose bravery saved many lives.
Jai Gangaajal: A district police superintendent takes on a corrupt and lawless politician who rules the district within an iron hand in the north Indian hinterland.
So vote early and often. You can also leave suggestions in the comments below.