Saturday, March 27, 2010

'Laskar Pelangi' a simple and touching film

Is it possible to tell an absorbing story about a small village school in the backwaters of Indonesia with just 10 students and two teachers? And that too when the school is called Muhammadiya Elementary School and the older teacher emphasises that it is important to give rather than to take through simple Islamic stories? At the same time the students revel in discovering the world around them. Director Riri Reza shows it can be done. One of the boys goes into a state of ecstasy when he sees the hands of the girl who passes on the chalk box through the counter at the shop. They get to meet at a friend's house. But soon she leaves for Jakarta and leaves a box for him with the picture of Paris on it. The boy is inconsolably sad and there is a lovely song with all the boys joining in.
There is Litang, the boy from the coast, who is a genius at numbers and keeps the school going when the older teacher dies, his niece does not turn up for five days. But Litang keeps the fold together. Then it starts all over again.

Critics misread Alankrita Shrivastava's "Lipstick Under My Burkha" . It is not about feminism's liberation theology

I was reminded of Paul Haggis' 2004 film, "Crash" when I watched Alankrita Shrivastava's "Lipstick Under My Burkha&qu...