Sunday, September 05, 2004

UN appreciates Bollywood film

I am a big fan of Bollywood movies, although I criticize most of them! However, I have to admit that since last summer, new producers & directors have come up with fresh story ideas. Last night, I went to watch Phir Milenge (loosely based on Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks)with friends - I have to say, it is the most sensible movie I have watched in my entire life. It deals with Shilpa Shetty (the main actress) being infected with HIV & trying to prove to her society that she still should be respected & not ostracized. She does a superb job of confronting her illness & conveying her pain. I am so glad she has finally got a role to prove herself as a good actress rather than a song-item or "blonde-like" roles. Abishek Bachan (the son of the Living Legend, Amitabh Bachan) does a great job as her lawyer.

I admire the producer to take on such a sensitive issue to teach the Indian audience about the infection, the misconceptions on how it spreads and discrimination in such a subtle non-preachy way. It is a must-watch movie. Although I wish there were fewer scenes in English, since many Indian viewers may not speak the language. Unfortunately, it had a poor opening in India, but I am interested to see how well it will be received by Bollywood fans. Here is a detailed review from The Times of India. Here's another article from the newspaper on UN's appreciation of the film maker's use of film to educate people about HIV and AIDS.