15 September 2004, lunch time

I watched Bombay again with Shima yesterday. I am a big fan of Mani Ratnam, and I think this is one of his better films. The movie is about a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy’s marriage, and the negative reaction to their love from their respective communities and family. The backdrop to the whole film is the communal rioting that took place when Hindu nationalists tore down the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. The film takes a good look at the effects of the rioting in India, but makes no attempt to suggest a way to solve India’s problems (beyond the simple common sense of treat each other with respect). The movie has a great score, and great music by A.R. Rahman. If you haven’t seen too many Bollywood movies, this is definitely one to watch. I think at times the movie feels a bit too preachy or cliché. I think Kamalhasan’s Hey! Ram is actually the best movie out there on the subject of communal violence in India.



  1. Yeah Mani is gold! BTW ‘Bombay’ was really part of a trilogy comprising of ‘Roja’ before and ‘Dil Se’ after. All three are awesome. ‘Roja’ dealt with terrorist kidnapping while ‘Dil Se’ was the story of a female suicide bomber.

    And yes they are all scored by the incomparable A.R. Rahman.

    ‘Hey! Ram’ was wonderfully done as well. The title track was haunting. BTW ‘Hey! Ram’ dealt with the communal uprisings during independence and partition of India and Pakistan. Things presently are not as volatile.

    I agree with you that most of these movies seem cliche but you have to realize that they cater to an audience that goes about their lives with an abandonment and lack of hope. A belief has set in that nothing can be done, all attempts are futile. But among all the escapist entertainment fare that Bollywood churns out each year, some jewels shine through.

  2. I’ve never seen Roja, though I have been told it is quite good. I own Dil Se, which I think is great. Mani Ratnam makes some great films. I think his best film to date has been Kannathil Muthamittal.

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