Saturday, January 03, 2015

Vivah is a tale from 2006 but blocked in idyllic aesthetic space-time India 50s between traditions in formalin and improbable optimism. Poonam (Amrita Rao), a young orphan, lives with his uncle (Alok Nath). Perfect traditional girl kind, obedient, intelligent and clear skin is not it, she constantly suffered the wrath of his jealous aunt because his cousin is its opposite perky, chatty and less clear to skin of course. One day the uncle decides to look for Poonam ideal suitor. It is found in the person of Prem (Shahid Kapoor), an equally nice guy who admits he liked a girl in college (oh scandal), and smoking (oh scandal). Nice girl and good boy turn around for nearly an hour and a half, until finally something happens.

What if it was not we expected Sooraj R. Barjatya (already director of Maine Pyar Kiya , his first film, and Hum Saath Saath Hain-: United We Stand ), perhaps not the revolution, but the least some evolution. Past expert in the making of "wedding video home" on the big screen (without stuffed uncle, which is still less funny), he had the courage despite the financial difficulties of his production company, released a movie to the antipodes of the new trends of Bollywood cinema.

The belief that permeates his work commands respect because he never makes fun of himself or deviates from its course of action. So much so that it is difficult to criticize his film on its intrinsic values. Vivah is a film genre that meets certain codes within the limits of this concept, Sooraj R. Barjatya reaches into a work less ridiculous than you think. It is also assisted by a refreshing cast and charming who was able recreate aspirations.

But must still love the genre! Most films of Sooraj R. Barjatya are built the same way. Soap opera syrupy not recommended for diabetics, Vivah is a concentrate of good feelings in the first three quarters of the film. This is an opportunity to see the life of an Indian family of the middle class. Indeed, the characters are all stereotypes of the ideal woman, the ideal father (loving and nurturing), the ideal son (handsome and rich), the stepmother or aunt (who rarely receives good heart girl that is not her own in her house). For some it is enjoyable. For others (not necessarily cynical manic), just tiring.

The other problem of the film is the lack of perspective of the director from the values ​​it defends. He proves it first through the aesthetics of the film. It is difficult to guess the story is set in 2006, except when Shahid Kapoor appears on the screen in denim and trendy t-shirt. The most striking detail is probably the phone with Poonam, a huge antique that completes the most skeptical viewer. Not to mention the outdated music ... where are we located? 20 years apart separated Main Pyar Kiya of Vivah and yet India seems to have changed. The staging is outdated to the extreme, the dominant color is an aged yellow paper. The slow tracking shots to the sound of violins reminiscent of the most beautiful stretches of the films of the 50s.

Ah ... but beware! Poonam has a computer ... and she is a student! Besides, when they first met, when Prem asked the title of his favorite book, they cite some works like Parineeta . But as he says she has read them in Hindi, she adds that the English versions are not bad either just to show that she is a young educated girl.

This is the only time Poonam shown "boldness." The rest of the time to be told sweet words or asked a glass of water, she looks down like a shy virgin. Minor Eternal passing of his father's house to that of her husband, her character knows no change, unlike the Prem. It no longer seems to have plans for the future, while he climbed the ladder in the family business. At first, young man unsure of himself, Prem gradually becomes a man to achieve in the face of adversity, hero status.

This situation reminds a tirade of Jaya Bachchan in the Indian family her character explains that her husband was a god for her before her disappointment no evidence that it actually was he a "mere husband." This deification of the male figure to the detriment of women can disturb many. It materializes in Vivah at the end of the film in a symbolic image for the wedding night where at the time of going to bed, face personality. Poonam disappears behind the body of Prem above of it.

However, this opinion is what can feel Western audiences. In India, Vivah is a blockbuster! Certainly the film works best in small towns or in the countryside than in multiplexes. But the public who appreciated very different socially. He charmed an audience that, whatever its medium, wants to think that it's not so bad to believe still in its traditions.
Village of Charkhi, Pakistan, 1979: The widow Ayesha (Kirron Kher) lives with her 18 year old son, Salim. The latter is in love with Zubaydah, both being promised a beautiful union. But now Islamic fundamentalists coming to town, preaching a strict Muslim state. Fascinated by their faith, Salim became friends with them, what worries much his mother, who hides a dark secret from 1947, the time of Partition.

It is difficult to talk about Khamosh Pani without revealing some of the revelations, yet the surprise reserve is quite recent chilling to stay. Copyright kills Pakistani Film co-produced by France and Germany, this feature film is nothing that the detour for its leading actress, Kirron Kher's moving (Main Hoon Na, Veer-Zaara), which carries the film on his shoulders.

Intimate, this sensitive period film addresses a subject rarely treated: relations between Indian and Pakistani Muslims Sikhs. Created in the historical region of Punjab, the state of Pakistan was home indeed holy places for Sikhs, and those who had come to India after the Partition felt the need to make a pilgrimage. The film presents just one of them, granted by Pakistan and the frictions that occur between Sikhs and Muslims, with finesse and without ever taking sides with one of the two "camps", among whom our aging hero finds himself torn for reasons that remain to be discovered ...

Incidentally, the film is more than a naturalistic chronicle of an event at a particular time, it has a real scenario that plays within the limits of course psychological realism, flashbacks and revelations blazing to keep the viewer's attention and to discover the shocking truth, the film can only be, at least indirectly, based on real facts.

Khamosh Pani is a beautiful and small arthouse film that plays on the economy; in light years of the great Bollywood original frescoes, yet it is an authentic history lesson on a very interesting subject, admittedly minimalist, with a slow introduction and too brief final sequence, but reserve painful surprises and several poignant scenes thanks to the overwhelming Kiron Kher.

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