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Two very different Indian language film in this review that show two different sides of life in India. I would recommend both films.
Indian films are different to those we see coming out of the Hollywood studios and might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I have really started to enjoy Indian films because they are fresh, different, entertaining, often humourous and enlightening. Netflix kindly supply subtitles to all their films that are not in English. Interestingly, actors in Indian films often jump between Hindi and English. Often combining Hindi and English in the same sentence.
The first film (2015) I recommend is Dhanak (Rainbow). The film traces the sometimes perilous journey a 10-year old Indian girl, Pari, and her blind 8-year old younger brother, Chotu, make in order to meet with an Indian film star, Shah Rukh Khan, who will, through his charitable works, restore Chotu’s sight. I am really not sure how a young actor of 8 years could play the part of a blind boy so very well. Both Hetal Gada (Pari) and Krrish Chhabria (Chotu) give excellent and sustained performances throughout this film which has a kaleidoscope of colourful, interesting, entertaining (and sometimes slightly unbelievable) supporting characters taking part. The journey the two children make takes them across the deserts of India to a film set in Rajasthan where they believe their hero, Shah Rukh Khan, will be filming.
Dhanak is a joyous film that has won many International awards. I recommend it highly.
The second film (2007) I would recommend is Jab We Met. This is a whacky romantic comedy starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor. Like all the Indian films like Jab We Met I have watched, there is plenty of dancing and singing. And, when the Indian film makers bring in dancing and singing, it is nothing if not exhilarating and uplifting to watch. This is very much one of those films where you hope and wish that the two lead characters are going to end up together but just how or, indeed, if they get together is something you have to wonder about throughout the film.
Jab We Met shows a different India to the one you see in Dhanak. In Jab We Met see a much more sophisticated and progressive India where the young are seen as being talented, professional, ambitious, worldly and educated. The sophisticated face of India if you like.
Both these films make me want to visit India.
I give Dhanak the PhotoNomad 10/10 award and Jab We Met the PhotoNomad 9/10 award.
Give Indian films a chance!