Sunday, October 7, 2007

Loins of Awesomeness

I saw Loins of Punjab Presents last night. I wasn't expecting to find it in Hyderabad, but there it was. Late show only; they had to reserve the afternoon slots for things like Happy Days and Dhol and the (sixth?) straight week of Chak De.

The movie was awesome. Absolutely hilarious. I would recommend to anyone.

My favorite part? There's a moment, near the end of the film, when you realize exactly how the story has to play out. You realize that there is only one inevitable solution, and that the writers have been setting up for it since the very first moments of the film. And it's brilliant. I love it when stories are plotted that closely. It makes my nerd heart happy.

It's an odd film to watch as a white woman wearing a blue salwar, because so much of the story deals with the idea of "performing Indian-ness" and who has the right to perform. It's a question that is given some exploration but is never solved to anyone's satisfaction (neither the on-screen characters nor my off-screen self), Mr. Bokade's summary aside. Without spoiling the ending for anyone, if you've seen the film, what did you think? (Manish?)

The other part that made my nerd heart happy? Vikram's first date. I would have been all over that, had I been there. But then the film would have turned out differently, and not so carefully plotted. ^__^

The part that made my nerd heart sad? None of the singers ever told the band in which key to play their songs. Perhaps the band is known for its perfect and relative pitch. Who knows? ^__^


Nina Paley said...

This gori loved it too. Any "outsiders" engaging with Indian culture may recognize themselves in the film. But no matter who you are, you'll find the characters familiar. Loins of Punjab has an inspiring humanity and heart.

Manish said...

Actually everyone's Indianness is questioned-- certainly 2nd genners but also Indians in India by the wingnuts. It's a big political issue. The standard should never be essentialist, it should be quality-- are you representing with accuracy/skill, and/or are you creating something innovative and new.

Manish said...

So glad you got to enjoy it, by the way!

Blue said...

Do the old couple in the film really question the "Indianness?" Or do they just see everyone as scary brown people?

If they don't recognize the scary brown people as Indian, but see them only as "scary threats," then is it an identity issue or something else? ^__^