Friday, July 27, 2007
‘Bow Barracks Forever’ is real. It is about a community of impoverished Anglo-Indians in Kolkata but they are a far cry from the stock Bobby-Julie characters Bollywood is replete with. In his review of the film in HT today, Khalid Mohamed complains about the ‘middle-aged and old folks sauntering about in their undergarments’ in the film. He also cribs about the ‘toothpick thin’ protagonist who is having ‘a sex-vex thing with a battered housewife who’s having the worst hair day since Medusa’. Literally and metaphorically I found the portrayal of ‘real’ bodies – and hair, for that matter - such a relief after the overdose of gym tortured, steroid pumped ‘bods’ cinema bombards us with. When the toothpick-thin guy wearing a red polo-neck sweater breaks out into a vigorous dance with the pop-band playing a version of Beatles, it is really time to give the Director Anjan Dutt a standing ovation. The emotions that flicker on his hero’s sensitive face, interspersed with the rather neat twists and twirls of the toothpick, spoof all the Hrithik Roshans and Salman Khans. It is a film about reality – and the need to accept it.