Books and Movies

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Hiya. It has been a week full of books and movies. I had a stack of books in my drawer and I have devoured them one by one. Travelling in metro helps… it gives me time to read.

I wish this book didn’t have Rekha on its cover… the book barely mentions her and she does not represent the “history” of Bollywood.
Anyway, apart from the cover… I loved it. It caught my eye and I ordered from the library. It starts from the beginning… first film made in India and abroad and chronicles the history, rise and fall of actors/actresses, their personal lives etc. It is very revealing. It does not dwell on actors like Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Mithun etc but spends maximum time on the earliest actors… Dilip Kumar… Amitabh Bachan… Raj Kapoor… Prithviraj Kapoor etc. Worth a read. I found it very difficult to put it down and waited to get home from work so I could continue reading.

Another book by Khushwant Singh and a very honest one. He has not hidden the fact that he got a job as editor of HT through Sanjay Gandhi and that he was fired from it by Birla. It takes guts to be this honest. Planning to read the rest of the books also.
I had taken part 2 home to watch it with my bro. But the format didn’t work on the DVD player and we didn’t get enough time to watch it on the laptop. Part 2 is scarier and yet it is not. It is scarier because the events happening are not as subtle as in part 1. It is less scary because part 1 gave the feeling that this could happen to anyone… in anyone’s house but in part 2… the history is established. Which means… I will not have sleepless nights. I am looking forward to part 3… where it all began.

Downloaded and watched this flick yesterday. We were planning to watch “In time” but chucked it. I remember debating about it with my friends in school when I was in 7th std. The friends were Jainee and Monica. Jainee and I were of the view point that such movies should not be made. They set a bad precedent for the audience and gives them weird ideas. Monica was of the opposite view. So, unlike what I think now. I guess, then I didn’t know what it was actually about. I still lived in the world of Mills and Boon and Barbara Cartlands.
I loved the movie. Shekhar Kapur is a genius. I wish he had made more Hindi movies. I loved the actors he picked- Seema Biswas, Nirmal Pandey, Raghubir Yadav, Namdeo (don’t remember his first name), Manoj Bajpai, Saurabh Shukla etc. Its a wonderful cast… and at a time when they were nobodies. It shows an eye for talent.
The scene with Seema naked was a shocker. I had heard about it earlier… but thought it not be showing her completely nude. After all, which Indian actress will agree to such a scene? If she does, her reputation will be in ruins. It also made sense… if the movie is completely based on facts, why edit things out?
Another thing I loved was that… Seema does not have to mouth long dialogues or the rapes were not glorified to make the audience sympathize with her. The lines said by her; “Why no bullets for me?” when Namdeo (the villain) threatens to kill her partner. It means that her death will be a relief… she always has to suffer much worse… rapes… getting stripped in front of the village.
KC thought Phoolan was stupid to kill innocent villagers instead of the villains she had come after. If Phoolan was smart, she would have stayed with her husband instead of running away. The choice was getting raped by one man all her life or getting raped by many other men… of course, she didn’t know then.
Phoolan had protested against this movie. But after its release, she became popular. She even got her autobiography published. She was a low caste icon and that explains the rise of Dalits in UP. They were tired of the oppression by the higher caste.
And if anyone reading this believes that oppression and discrimination does not exist anymore… you are wrong. But thats fodder for another post.

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