Relationships in Mississippi Masala and Bombay

The relationship aspects in Mississippi Masala and Bombay are both transnationalistic.  In Mississippi Masala we see Meena and her family and their experiences moving to Mississippi. After moving this displaced family tries their best to accommodate their new living quarters.  During the film Mina falls in love with Demetrius who was a black man.  Her father in particular does not approve of their relations and even blames for happenings saying “you’ve cause enough trouble”.  Another aspect I found interesting in this film was Meena being mistaken occasionally for being Mexican.  Characters seemed almost surprised in the film when discovering that Meena was Indian.  At one point she was even asked how she ended up in Mississippi.  Bombay also had a similar theme throughout.  In this film Shekar and Shaila are in a relationship, but their parents also do not approve.  While the thrilling ending in Bombay was much different than Mississippi Masala the struggles on the parents part was similar.  At the end of Bombay we see the parents who disapproved of their kids’ relationships work together to save the ones they care about.  The transnationalism in Bombay seemed to me to be much greater.  While the parents did not approve of their relationship, and it took a tragic event to pull them together, I believe they ended up realizing that even though Shekar is Hindu and Shaila is Muslim that their love for one another was more important.  These coming together style films are made to represent a broad and cliche message that even though people may not be the same ethnicity, religion, etc.  That we are all still people and no matter how different we believe we are from others, the differences may not be that sizable.

Divisions in Slumdog Millionaire

In the movie Slumdog Millionaire we see the character Jamal as he is on his journey to winning a great deal of money on a game show.  As we see throughout the film he comes from a very poverty stricken background, yet is able to answer multiple questions correctly that no one would have previously thought he could.  In the broadest of explanations we see people who are higher up in the ranks that are convinced that Jamal is cheating.  To them it is impossible that this young underprivileged character would know the answers to the questions given.  This film contrasted the nationalist principles that we have seen in other films.  Take Lagaan for example.  In this film we see Indian versus British factions.  It is country vs country in a played out game which represented aspects of events that transpired.  One thing that happened in Lagaan is when Bhuvan is getting scolded for “speaking for all the villages”.  Then we see Bhuvan’s people stand up and defend him.  Eventually they come together and beat the British and the tax is expunged for a few years.  The division in this film is very nationalistic while the division in Slumdog Millionaire is much more split by class systems and ranks.  One part of the the film that shows this is when we see others who are less fortunate just like Jamal cheering him on.  Even though they will gain nothing from him doing great and making a good deal of money, they root for him.  They are aware of how divisions work in their society because they are living it.  They know that the higher ups do not care much about what happens to them and Jamal’s success can give them hope in a way and show them that anything is possible.

Gangs of Wasseypur

Gangs of Wasseypur was unlike any of the other films we have studied in this course.  From the language to the violence, nothing was familiar to what we are accustomed to.  With that being said, I think that the violence and cruelty is necessary to convey the message that the director had hoped for.  There was one aspect of the film that stood out to me the most.  This is when the character who stood up for the workers rights, along with what he had believed in was killed.  This character was willing to risk everything for what he believed in and he ended up paying a major price.  After this man is killed for standing up for what was right, his son Sardar wants to avenge his death.  He does many bad things in order to reach his goal, and does not realize that what he is doing is just a bad as what his father was standing up for.  After doing all these things he ends up becoming very feared in the story.  The way this movie is set up and the aesthetics that the director uses helps show the audience the depiction of the struggles of these crime affiliated groups in India.

“Feminism” in Bhumika

Knowing almost nothing about feminism it seems to be at its most basic form the advocacy for the equality of women.  Feminist want women to feel empowered and have the ability to stand up for what they believe in, even if that means opposing how others feel.  This is something that is accomplished in the film Bhumika.  When talking about feminism in this film we see several ways in which women are not equal to men, e.g. they’re inability to pursue acting without it being considered an immoral profession, etc.  So the films instances of women discrimination is noticeable and the main character is one who will not be persuaded by anyone.  Usha has confrontations with her mother and Keshav throughout.  The conflict that Usha is having with her mother is because of the notions that come with her profession.  Usha’s mother believes that she should not be an actress and does not approve of what she does at all.  Another thing she believes is that Keshav is not right for her daughter.  To be fair while watching the film I would have to agree with her, that is also Usha’s decision.  She decides who she will be with no matter how her mother feels about it.  Another time in the film when she decides what she will do with her life is after her daughter has been born.  At this time in the film she was the main provider for her family and Keshav wants this to remain.  After Usha’s daughter is born she no longer wants to be a part of this indecent profession.  The main point that I am trying to reach is that no matter what situation our main character finds herself in it is unlikely for her to be  coerced into doing, or not doing something that she does or does not want to do.  She is is independent in the sense that she will not be passive in the choices that affect her life, and she will stand up for herself.  She is a strong female character and the film portrays that largely.

Nationalism in “Lagaan”

The film Lagaan shows the happenings of an Indian society that is being forced to pay a lagaan to the British empire in India.  We see one brave or what some would call senseless character stand up to one of the British officials.  After this occurs and the bet is made to play a game of cricket for the amount of lagaan owed this year.  When the character Bhuvan accepts the bets his peers become furious.  They yell and scream at him, and they say that it was not right for him to speak for them all.  They believe it was wrong of him to accept this bet without consulting anyone else and they are not happy to say the least.  Once neighboring colonies hear of this and realize the game will also affect their lagaan cost they become enraged as well.  During one scene of the film we see a group of folks come looking for Bhuvan and wish to cause trouble.  When Bhuvan’s own people realize what is going on they quickly intervene and stop the upset group from doing anything.  This showed the audience that even though they are mad at Bhuvan for doing such a thing they will not allow others to harm him.  This scene made me think of nationals in a smaller sense of the word.  While his own community was bothered with his actions they would not allow anything bad happen to him.  This incident could be applied to the entire word or understanding of nationalism.  While the community did not completely agree with what he had done that does not mean they are going to abandon him.  They will stay by his side through thick and thin because they know the importance of unity.  If they would have allowed the neighboring group to beat up one of their own where would that have gotten them?  They would be torn apart from the inside out and the British empire would have won.  When they all come together as a nation and pull resources together they have a much greater chance of not only surviving, but thriving in this system that does its best to defeat them.  They have pride and stand up for what they believe in, and their nation and it shows.  They eventually defeat the British and the nation celebrates and grows stronger as a whole.

East vs. West in Gandhi

Early in the film Gandhi the audience watches a scene on which takes place on a train in South Africa about eight minutes or so into the film.  Here we see Gandhi himself dressed well and in a manor which I was not expecting.  Going into this movie I knew close to nothing about Gandhi and his practices and have previously only seen him in pictures.  I have not studied his work or anything about him.  This right off the start opened my mind and forced me to realize how ignorant my understanding of him and what he stood for was.  The dialogue in this scene particularly made me recollect what Professor Jani had discussed in our lecture about east vs. west.  We see a variety of characters in this short scene, but the contrasts of them were obvious.  First, we see Gandhi who is well dress and reading a book.  Then, we see a black man who is working, but becomes perturbed when he realizes Gandhi is sitting first class and is not white.  Finally, we see the two white gentlemen who confront Gandhi about sitting where he is.  Without the dialogue we see a clear rift or separation in the arrangement, but the dialogue definitely adds to the clear divisions.  When Gandhi attempts to explain why he is sitting there he states that he is “an attorney” and he has a “first-class ticket”.  Then, one of the white men claims that “there are no colored attorneys in South Africa.”  In this short two minute or so scene we as an audience are shown the disunity and separation that will proceed throughout the entirety of the film.  While watching this scene i was interested to see the three different types of thought process that occurred.  The first was from Gandhi, he thought since he had a ticket he should be able to sit where he was, he has sat his whole life in first class he even exclaims.  Then there was the black servant.  To me it seemed as though his role was more important than many would think.  When he realized that the man sitting in the first class section was not white he looked astounded and confused.  When the white men confronted Gandhi this black man was ready to move his bags before he was even told too.  This shows the audience how accustomed to the normal maltreatment he was aware was going to occur.  Finally, there was the white men.  These men certainly thought they were better than Gandhi or the worker and this is just how it was.  While the worker accepted the fact Gandhi was willing to speak up and try his best to make the situation impartial.  At the conclusion of the scene we see Gandhi being thrown from the train and this wraps up the first time we as an audience witness the east vs. west, them vs. us aspect of the film.