Monday, 20 October 2008

Movie Reviews: Taxi Driver, Himalaya

Saturday – left home at 3.00 - went to Raghuleela – explored the place – discovered they have a Gold’s Gym and multiple banquet halls on the 4th floor. Visited e-Zone as well. Left just as the crowds were trooping in. Walked to Vijay sales and inquired about a new DVD player. Then went to CCD next door and had a Mochachilla – not as good as my usual Choco Frappe.

Watched Taxi Driver at MD's place – both my computer and DVD player are out of order. A 1976 film written by Paul Schrader and directed by Martin Scorcese. A good movie about loneliness, though the ending seemed a bit too convenient.

Sunday – left home at 12.00. Went to Zenzi at Bandra to see Himalaya at 1.30 (part of the NDTV Lumiere festival). Met friends there. The movie was awesome.

It's a 1999 Nepalese movie directed by Eric Valli, and seems to showcase the beauty of the Himalayas. The story is set in Tibet, among a mountain tribe that trades salt for grain. When the chief Yak herder dies, his best friend (and the village elder’s main rival) takes over the caravan. The village elder, keen on seeing his own grandson take over, starts a caravan of his own.

The movie is a collection of contrasting perspectives – the clash between old and young, traditional and modern, aggressive and patient. The characters seem to feed off each other, balancing each others view points. We see similarities between the two main conflicting characters. The old chief and the new chief both emerge as extremely stubborn, though one is traditional and the other modern, they both share a common desire to lead their people to the best of their ability. The young boy is inquisitive, his monk-uncle thoughtful and calming. Add to this the way that the different characters develop over the course of their journey.

An interesting observation was the Tibetan practise of Sky or Celestial burial towards the start of the movie. A possible inspiration for the Necromancer’s story in Neil Gaiman’s World’s End?

Split up later and went to the Columbian Cafe, the new coffee place on Hill road. 


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