Monday, 12 February, 2007


Last year i saw so many Bollywood-Blockbuster, which were starring the usual staff, that i was growing a little tired of them. Especially the women. I am a overdozed with Preity, Rani, Aishwarya and Kajol. And actually i am preety much disturbed by some female role-models which seem to appear all over again in Bollywood-movies. I yearned for strong women in indian movies. Finally- here they are. The movie is called "Dor" (from Nagesh Kukunoor, 2006). Actually i don't have a clue what the title means. If you know it please share it with me.

Story: Zeenat (Gul Panag), a strong self-assured muslim woman, lives in pittoresque Himachal Pradesh and found true love up there. But her Husband Aamir has to leave India to work in Saudi Arabia. Sadly we will not see much of him again- which is awfull because they have such a fine chemistry.

Aamir meets Shakir in Saudi Arabia and somehow they become roommates. Shakir is the beloved husband from Meera(Ayesha Takia) and used to live with her in Rajhasthan. He was forced by his parents to make money in Saudi Arabia. An unfortunate accident takes place. Shakir dies. Aamir is charged to take the guilt. He should be executed within two months- unless Meera, the wife of Shakir, signs a paper which frees Aamir from capital punishment. So Zeenat starts her journey to Rajhasthan and searches for Meera - who meanwhile had become an opressed widow and suffers under the terrible treatment of her heartless in-laws.

With the help of the trickster-character Behroopiya (Shreyas Talpade), Zeenat finds Meera. And this is the very precise point where we should stop talking about the plot. Immediately.

Review: "Dor" is not a classical Hindi-Movie (but at least it has one wonderful dance-sequence). I would say it is a romantic but very realistic high-quality Drama, with great cast, strong feelings and great visuals and aestetics all´a "Himalaya meets desert". And the protagonists are speaking such a nice and slow hindi, that you really can use this movie for hindi-learning.

Like Deepa Mehta's"Water" (which is Kanadas Oscar-nominee 2007) "Dor" shows the oppression of widows in India. But the story of "Water" is settled in the 1930s, while "Dor" plays right now. In both movies we are reminded about human compassion and the importance of sisterhood and emancipation. Hopefully many konservative people will watch "Dor". And hopefully the (incredible-very-decent- and-beautyful) kissing scene in the beginning is not scaring them.


babasko said...

which one did you like more? water or dor? which movie would be more suitable for a western audience?

platzhirsch said...

tough question. long anwser to come:

i have a little problem because "dor" is somehow copying "water"- respectivley it is following deepas success. i loved "water" and all of deepas movies very much. i never talked to a widow in india, and i have no idea how the situation must be actually. therfore i am thankful to movies like "dor", which are reflecting todays india- and also to movies like "water"- which are giving me a clue how discriminating systems could develop. but you know what: i think i prefer "Dor" simply because of Zeenats character. Think women have the power to make the world a better place and we dont necessary need men, like john abraham and gandhiji, for telling us (saying that with all respect). And, no, i dont see a contradiction in Zeenats love to Aamir-- love is a great engine. By the way i liked drunken Behroopiya telling Zeenat he loves her. I can perfectly see why this had to happen.

I have no idea which movie is more suitable for western audiences. But if i would be a distributor i would grab me "Dor" as fast as i can.

i showed you mine, now show me yours, chalo, whats your opinion? ;-)

babasko said...

hmm, judging from what i read about water (i have not seen it yet. shame on me) i think the movie i prefer to see a western audience is Dor. i think water might be more the oh so zivilized western audience expects.

and contrary to dor it does not offer approach of the modern indian woman. an educated one that is able to break old-fashioned cruel social rules.

i know the situation of widows in the indian society was terrible and still in many parts in india is, but i fear that the picture that water paints has the potential to have a western audience to sit back savely in their modern tolerant lives and point a finger at the unzivilized indians.

but maybe i´m wrong and only because i know more about indian culture then the average european audience, i assume that since i know about the terrible fate of indian widows i am already past the state of needing to get educated through a movie like water and want the solutions that a movie like dor offers..

platzhirsch said...

i sympathize with that sentence a lot: "has the potential to have a western audience to sit back savely in their modern tolerant lives and point a finger at the unzivilized indians".

point is that we somehow also live in a discriminating "cast system", but its just not that obvious to us.