Imtiaz Ali is happy with the mixed response because it means people are engaging.
Sounding nonchalant, the director said: "I have no problem with it. It's good that there are mixed reactions. At least there are opinions. It is actually dangerous when people just say, 'It's good'," he added.
I've got more to say about Highway but I'll save it for another post. Like Imtiaz, I do find the mixed reactions interesting, though. I mean, how often do Mihir Fadnavis and I agree on a film?
Reviews have come in a few different flavors--though Mihir's haranguing praise stands alone--but I have to admit that I'm disturbed by all the 'romance' and 'Stockholm Syndrome' talk. I don't think either tag accurately reflects what went on between the two main characters. Why must we automatically read a relationship between a man and woman as romantic love? Highway is remarkably chaste and, for my money, more closely resembles one of those Shirley Temple films where a beaten down but good hearted girl melts a cold man's heart.
Let's see what else the news holds today!
Oh, maaaaannnnnn… get ready for a tiffin full of face-palming as the American media discovers The Lunchbox and takes all of Irrfan Khan's pontificating as gospel truth.
"Mumbai is one of cinema’s great divas."
Irrfan Khan, the film’s star, said in an interview that “The Lunchbox” is the most important film to emerge from Bollywood in decades, because it is the first by an Indian director to win international acclaim.
Are we forgetting Oscar-nominated Lagaan? The incredible East Asian success of 3 Idiots? Or do those not count because Irrfan wasn't in them? (BINGO!)
The reaction to Gunday in Bangladesh, meanwhile, has inspired the most passive-aggressive letter ever from Yash Raj.
However, this was and is meant to be a fictional work and does not in any way project or disrespect any particular segment of society or persons or a nation.
AKA We're not sorry and if we actually cared we would have either set the film in a fictional place and/or done some research.
Kabir Arafat at the Wall Street Journal spells it out for us.
Bangladesh was born because Bangladeshi fighters had been battling the larger and better equipped Pakistani military for months. India’s participation only quickened the war’s end. It is the people of Bangladesh who liberated themselves from Pakistan.
Unfortunately, “Gunday” did not stop there in offending countless Bangladeshis. The film suggests that swaths of Bangladeshis represented themselves as Indians who spoke Hindi. The truth is nowhere near this.
A plethora of anecdotes stand testament to the reality that Pakistan’s army did not hesitate to kill defiant Imams who refused to speak Urdu and stuck instead to their native Bangla. To suggest some Bangladeshis chose to speak Hindi during the war is enough to provoke a strong reaction to the contrary.
Well, then. Yash "We sorry you're offended" Raj?
IIFA will shine a spotlight on the growing Indian community of Tampa.
If you're in Birmingham, you can sign up for a Bollywood acting class!
Blah, blah, blah… Shahrukh and Farhan win awards. Seriously, no wonder Aamir stopped attending these things.
And there are Gulaab Gang promotions flying around but I'm still very torn on this film. Madhuri says it's not a biopic but the pink saris… like the Gunday controversy, it would have been nice to see them commit to the 'fiction' aspect completely instead of trying to have it both ways--tying to real life events (to buy legitimacy from chattering classes?) but then claiming 'fiction' when people affected by/involved with those real life events take offense at the portrayal.