Saturday 9 October 2010

Movie Review: Bollywood / Hollywood (2002)

Boy meets girl. Boy loves girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back, and they have illusions of living happily ever after. She's a whore, but hey, Richard Gere didn't care about that detail in Pretty Woman, and Lisa Ray is willing to have a go at the Julia Roberts role.

Bollywood / Hollywood labours under the misconception that it has an ace up its sleeve by setting a classic Hollywood story against an Indian cultural back-drop and inserting Bollywood movie touches, but this trick only goes so far.

The intentionally cheesy musical song-and-dance interludes that break out at random points in the movie, while cute, serve to only hide the emptiness of the rest of the material, and the old/modern cultural divide that our lovers need to traverse is even more tired than the cliched romance.

We are left with Lisa Ray, who gives the movie a spark and is several notches better than her co-star Rahul Khanna and the rest of the cast. She battles vainly against a sterile script but gets as smothered as the audience by the oozing warmed-over pap.

Director Deepa Mehta seems uncomfortable in both the Hollywood and Bollywood scenes, maybe because all the scenes were filmed in Toronto, which is neither.

Bollywood / Hollywood may have seemed like a good idea on paper, but that's where it should have stayed.

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