Bollywood is evolving, and how! Every season, trends come and trends go, but what stays constant is the degree of innovation our filmmakers are injecting into our films. The true hero of the film has finally been given his place in the sun: Script is King!
Small is big, and is beautiful now, in Bollywood. Small budget films, with smaller stars and relatively unknown faces are proving to be BIG hits at the Box Office. Talented young filmmakers are pushing the boundaries of filmmaking; to give us films like ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, ‘Oye Lucky Lucky Oye!’, ‘Shaitan’, ‘Udaan’; the list is quite exhaustive and impressive.
Previously regarded as niche market films, these experiments are now getting mainstream coverage. Filmmakers are exploring new and unique subjects, to give us absolutely 100% original films, previously unheard of in B’town.
The recent spate of films at the Box Office has bowled us over with their simplicity and charm.
And food has come to be regarded as an acceptable metaphor for storytelling. Food has become, so to speak, the ‘meat’ of many recent films. From the fringes of cinema, straight onto the dinner table; served fresh and piping hot!
Films like ‘Barfi’, ‘English Vinglish’ and ‘Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana’ are case in point. These three films, seemingly so different on the surface, have one very main ingredient in common: food!
‘Barfi’ was a sweet film about a deaf and mute young boy, Barfi, played charmingly by Ranbir Kapoor. Set in the 1970’s, the film was a touching tale about the life and times of this young lad, who encapsulates the quintessential joie de vivre of life. He lives each moment to its fullest, and learns to laugh in the face of great tragedy. His two great loves were played beautifully by Priyanka Chopra; the autistic girl whom Barfi develops a bond with, and newcomer Ileana D’Cruz; his first love.
The simple narrative was shot so poignantly that one could almost feel Barfi’s innocent first kiss himself; one could almost taste the sweetmeats Priyanka learns to dish out for her man; one can almost smell the rush of the cold Darjeeling air, sitting in that quiet and darkened theatre.
Barfi was a sweet film, with bittersweet notes that did not jar. In fact, the bittersweet moments in the cinematic journey really made this film. The title of your everyday dessert item, ‘Barfi’ was a metaphor for life itself, with all its inherent varied flavours and textures.
The dish itself was never present in the film, but the narrative was constantly evocative of this delicious sweetmeat.
‘English Vinglish’ was a diametrically opposite film. The return of yesteryear screen legend, Sridevi, was a touching story about a middle-class woman’s quest to regain her self respect.
The medium director Gauri Shinde used was that of learning a foreign language. English was the tool of empowerment for Sridevi’s ‘Shashi’. The amateur cook, who used to supply laddoos from home, learned that she is indeed an ‘entrepreneur’.
She learnt to love herself, by learning to converse in a new and difficult language; one that had previously caused her much embarrassment and ridicule within her family and friends’ circle. Sridevi’s character rediscovered her own self-worth, and learnt to pride her cooking skills, the ones her husband so shamelessly dismisses early on in the film.
The last film in our holy trinity of food is ‘Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana’.
The film is a uniquely positioned take on our age-old love for butter chicken, repackaged as the modern chicken dish, ‘chicken Khurana’. Large helpings of comedy, romance, wit and humour, drama and the all too familiar Punjabi quirkiness ensue, to make this a cracker of a dish! This is one dish that is going to be readily and whole-heartedly lapped up by the audiences.
With such a buffet of films on offer, movie goers are truly spoiled for choice.
There is something to suit every palate this season, and these films are whetting the seasoned cinema buff’s appetite.
This season, the way to a fan’s heart, well and truly seems to be through his tummy!