Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another rainy day


I can thank the rains or blame them, but for once, last weekend was spent peacefully at home as the roads around me once more gave way to a gush of water and life in Mumbai came to a familiar grinding halt. As usual I was again confused if I like living in Mumbai or not. After all, a peaceful day at home with the perfect excuse of rain is a rare blessing. My only complaint is that this should have happened on a week day to grant some respite from the monotony of office.

I utilized the day in watching three movies - all three of them interesting to watch, if a bit depressive at times.

The first one was Como agua para chocolate (Like Chocolate for water), a 1992 Mexican movie based on a book by Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel. It is actually a story of a young girl's love struggling against tradition (No! not in the traditional Bollywood style). The incomplete love manifests itself in her cooking, which becomes a mode of communication between her and her lover. Like other South American writings, an element of magic realism is dominant in the story in form of magical effects of food, ghosts, etc. I think Sir (!) Rushdie took inspiration from the plot when writing down the character of Alia (Saleem's aunt) in Midnight's Children. A very different movie.

The second one was a 2002 French movie Irréversible by Gaspar Noé, the Argentinian-French film-maker strongly influenced by Mr. Kubrick. The most impressive part of the movie is its tagline: Time destroys Everything, and the director shows that emphatically by moving in backward frames - starting with a violent, dark present and weaving back to a happy, dreamy past. The plot depicts revenge for a rape, but it is in a way a story of time. The movie is jarringly depressive with its frank graphics, and on a clouded, rainy day threatens to push one into a gloomy state of mind. Monica Bellucci, unlike her other movies (especially Malena), is less impressive and beautiful, though really there is very little role for her.

The third movie was the very popular 2005 film - V for Vendetta, which was very entertaining to watch. This movie depicts the Big Brother in one of his variants, and is set in a future Britain. The central character V in this movie is the rebel who single-handedly tries to overthrow the Big brother rule. The film is an adaptation of a comic book series by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Interestingly, Alan Moore refused to watch this movie because of his disappointments with the previous adaptations of his works (From Hell, The League of extraordinary gentlemen). I don't know if the movie would have disappointed him and the readers of the original comic, but to me it was a thriller - a nice perk from the darkness of Irreversible.

3 comments:

Rafael del Castillo said...

Just wondering. Did you ever read Laura Esquivel's book? Like it tends to happen it's so much more complex and better than the movie...

Madhuri said...

Hi Rafael - no I haven't yet, though it is on my to-read list. My favorite bookstore has burned down, and I am only waiting for it to come up before I can start buying again. For the time being I am relying on old collections or what I can manage from here and there :(
Even I am a strong believer in books over movie adaptations. Written words can express a lot more, esp when it comes to magic realism.

Rafael del Castillo said...

That's too bad! If I find it in English here in Mexico I'll only be too happy to send it to you...

I live in Cancun and I hardly ever find what I'm looking for. I miss big old European bookstores.

I really like your views on books and movies.
Regards,

Rafael