This will be more of a Throwback review. With the wonders of Netflix I can get access to all sorts of movies that have been out for a long time (I will see Sholay someday. Someday. When I can devote the requisite four hours to watching it). The thing about Netflix though, is that the recommendations aren’t always accurate. Sometimes it will recommend movies to me, but only anticipate a 3.2 rating on it. Why not recommend things that I will actually love, or at least really like? And the recommendations tend to go by more popular suggestions or movies that a non-Indian audience may have vaguely heard of. Which is why I am so lucky to have friends to point me in the direction of movies I met never have heard of, like this one.
So, without further ado, my rating (big spoiler, I really liked this movie):
Ease of Pardesi Comprehension: Language 2.0/5
Like a lot of more modern movies coming out of India, there was quite a bit of English used in this movie, particularly at important moments, which helps a non native speaker during particularly climactic scenes. Plus the subtitles seem to follow what the characters were saying pretty well. However, the characters do talk pretty quickly, so any beginner Hindi speaker will struggle with following along.
Ease of Pardesi Comprehension: Subject 4.5/5
I am always partial to movies that interweave plot lines, but it is tricky to keep the different stories sufficiently separate so that they don’t confuse the viewer. And this one did have a number of threads that you had to separate out, but they were distinct enough that it was fairly easy to keep track. The format and style of the movie is very similar to the French movie Happenstance or the American movie Crash. While there are some plot points that are a little foreign to a non-Indian viewer, at this point the concept of arranged marriages are sufficiently well known that they won’t confuse anyone. And the overarching themes of the movie, are, to my mind, universal. The relationships and conflicts in this movie are easily recognizable, and the decisions reached by the characters are completely relate-able.
Overall Quality of the Movie: 5/5
I am not going to lie, there are parts of this movie that are very difficult to watch, Characters will make choices that you will not like (or at least, I certainly did not like). Characters will not get what they want, and you will be devastated for them. But it is a beautiful movie that is well done, and gives its actors some well deserved chance to shine. Irrfan Khan , Kay Kay Menon and even Dharmendra all deliver excellent performances, but I really enjoyed seeing young and emerging actors and actresses like Konkona Sen Sharma (rapidly becoming one of my favorites) and Sharman Joshi getting a chance to shine a little more. This was the first movie I saw of Shilpa Shetty, and I liked her performance a lot as well.
Number of Catchy Songs: hard to rate
This one is hard for me to choose. Honestly, the soundtrack is very good, and complements the movie perfectly. Plus, the inclusion of the musicians within the movie itself is an excellent touch. However, I personally would not describe the songs as catchy.
So there you have it! My first review, in a long, long, long time. Let me know what you think and please leave some suggestions of Bollywood films you would like me to review!
Just found your blog and really like it 🙂
Yes, definitely watch Sholay! Its a classic!!
I am so glad you like it! I hope to start writing on it more regularly, so thank you for the encouragement. I will definitely watch Sholay soon!