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an interesting story that was well written, shot interestingly, and acted very well.
Review: movie: Bollywood Queen
Date: 23 Oct 03
venue: Odeon, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
===========================> Recently I saw the debut of Preeya Kalidas as leading lady in a general-release motion picture, and she carried her part off very well. This was not just a piece of fluff, but a theme that Preeya has worked on previously - East meets West in London, not with ease, but with a good ending. She is saying this to us, that we have to move into the modern world, all of us, white and asian. She is speaking articulately, and making the lesson easy to take, by sugar-coating the pill. And she is quite the sweetie herself - emoting and portraying, singing and dancing, and giving her characterisation a good range of expression.
The story was about Geena, an ethnic Indian young woman, who breaks away from her family and its expectations when she falls in love with a white boy called Jay. Not to mention that she's from East London and he's from the West Country, so there's every division and dichotomy in modern English life on display here.
But it's not a simple re-telling of Romeo and Juliette, this is an original story, written by the director/producer Jeremy Wooding and Neil Spencer, that gets to the modern situations and dynamics. But there is some interfamily conflict, as Jay's brother gets him involved in a night-time raid on Geena's family's clothing factory, and there is a knife fight in the dark between a brother of Geena's and Jay's brother.
This is also quite a Bollywood styled production, with key moments of the story punctuated by a song - often sung by Preeya - and a large-company Indian dance routine to go with it. These usually work very well, but there was a portion of one number that featured Geena, where for a long portion of the number she was given neither lines nor clear portrayal to put across, and the effect is awkward. Aside from that, Preeya keeps the action flowing very nicely, and keeps her character portrayal very full and multifaceted.
The filming was atmospheric and moody at times, showing us the heaviness of London's East End. There were also times of brightness and dazzle, and some cinematography that was startling and beautiful. Yet still, there was countryside shot in soft focus, and that made it contrast with the harsh, drab city all the more.
At the end of the movie, I walked out feeling satisfied that I had been shown an interesting story that was well written, shot interestingly, and acted very well.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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