Has anyone seen Raazi or planning to do so? I’ll share my thoughts later on but for now I’m excerpting the Deccan Chronicle.

Does anyone at BP actually watch Bollywood or follow South Asia pop culture?

The two-nation theory has had far too many ramifications than the leaders would ever have imagined. For over 60 years, both India and Pakistan have remained sworn enemies despite them sharing history and having the commonalities that their people would not find anywhere else in the world. Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, based on Harinder Sikka’s book Calling Sehmat, gives us a taut espionage thriller that doesn’t take sides, although in many ways Pakistan’s intelligence seems to be failing and the officers made to look gullible. But what Gulzar emphasises most on is citizens of both sides of the border displaying their own brand of patriotism that indicates loyalty to their nation. In turbulent times like the one we are all going through now, when one word (or, a portrait!) of praise of the enemy camp leader could trigger a belligerent reaction from both sides, her standpoint is extremely relevant. She also manages to weave many humane and emotive characteristics of real men and women into the narrative that may border on the unlikelihood of the very premise itself, but never strays into jingoistic flavour.

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6 years ago

I must confess to not watching Bollywood (or Lollywood). I’m not a big cinema person and much prefer books.

The last Bollywood movie I saw (on the internet) was “Fitoor” and that too only because it was based on “Great Expectations”. When I lived in the US and had Netflix, I did watch a lot of stupid Hindi movies which I don’t even remember the names of. Some of them were amusing. One I think was called “Band Baaja Baraat”. I remember watching “Jab We Met” at a theater in NY or DC some years ago. Of course the movies of the late 90s and early 2000s somehow seeped into my childhood consciousness. “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham” and
“Devdas” are two that I remember. I was obsessed with Madhuri’s character in “Devdas” for the longest time.

The last Lollywood movie I saw was last Eid and it was called “Punjab Nahi Jaoongi”. It was OK but 3 hours is way too long for a movie.

Total disclosure: The last American movie I saw was “The Post” which I did find fascinating.

6 years ago

I like old movies: “Pakeezah”, “Mughal-e-Azam”, “Gone with the wind”, “My Fair Lady”. Most new movies, not so much.

In my opinion multi-season TV shows tend to be better than movies. There is also the fact that one episode lasts at most an hour and then you can move on with your life (unless you are binge-watching which is a thing). Novels are organized into chapters as well so no matter how long a book is you can divide it into semi-manageable pieces.

Brown Pundits