We just saw Dhadak; an excellent and important film about an inter caste romance starring Jhanvi Kapoor (SriDevi’s daughter) and Ishaan Khattak (Shahid Kapoor’s half-brother).
The funny moment is when shortly after intermission was over 2 black guys walked into the cinema hall. The whole audience was so confused but they then realised they were in the wrong hall to the merriment of all.
A few observations:
(1.) Christianity is a big winner; the couple are seen attending church a few times and their most helpful friends are the Christians (we also see one of Mother’s Teresa’s missionaries).
(2.) the evil father is a riff on a BJP politician though of course the “far-right” Hindus would probably more partial to intercaste marriage simply because they want a reformed Hinduism.
(3.) Jhanvi and Ishaan have a strong pairing; Ishaan has perfected the handsome mid caste charmer (as per his other film Beyond the Clouds). Jhanvi nails her performance as the elusive strong-willed “princess” of Udaipur.
(4.) the move took an unexpected turn by showing the practical problems of rich girl marrying poor boy.
(5.) it’s amazing, as per the States, Just how much intercaste marriage is low caste boy with upper caste girl (white women black men). There is a theory about status swap in intercultural relationships. I can’t imagine this movie being made the other way round (high caste boy falling in love with low caste girl).
(6.) Hindu society has taken a deeply incisive view of itself the last two hundred years by actively rejecting all of its difficult bits (Sati, caste etc). Islam really hasn’t done that because it’s tough to do so with a literal and “infallible” religion.
(7.) I welcomed the more intimate cinematography of Udaipur and Kolkata; Bollywood is rediscovering it’s authenticity.