Sunday, April 6, 2008

Umrao Jaan

I appear to be still deeply immersed in Indian culture after my trip to Rajasthan earlier this year. Two or three years ago I purchased an Indian movie poster from 1981 online from a very nice woman in New Delhi. Truth be told, I bought it because of the beautiful actress Rekha depicted in it with her deep kohl-rimmed eyes, and jewelled hands inviting me in to another world. It turned out Umrao Jaan is a fairly well-known movie based on a well-known Urdu novel and so I decided to rent the movie from Netflix and watch it myself. The movie is not your normal Bollywood extravaganza as you can see a bit of it for yourself below, but it is a musical based on a form of poetry known as the "ghazal" that often centers around themes of "illicit unobtainable love". Being that is a universal theme, the movie has a classical, timeless quality to it. Unfortunately the 2006 remake is terrible, even if it does star the beautiful Aishwarya Rai who was Miss World 1994.

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