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Global India


The movie Dil Chahta Hai has been deliberately westernized so as to introduce the image of a “Global Indian” on an international scale. In his debut film, the film’s young director has endeavored to produce three characters, all of whom represent their own version of modernist beliefs, incorporated into an age old theme of love, friendship and bonds. The deliberate and bold use of colors, the ultra modern interiors, so differently used for each three protagonist offer glimpses into the mindset of three young individuals of India. The extra attention to each detail such as the colloidal weighing scale in the background when Akash is weighing his options about going to meet Sid at the beginning of the movie, the hushed, sterile environment of the hospital devoid of any chaos expected from any such place inviting confessions, the neatly arranged alcohol bottles at Tara Jaiswal-a former alcoholic’s house. Going clubbing to celebrate graduation, a thoroughly westernized idea, the heavy and noticeable use of English, previously unseen in this scale, a premise in Sydney, even strangely, the change in color of Akash’s eyes. Aamir Khan, the actor who plays Akash in the movie has black eyes in real life. Even though Asians have always had colored eyes, the idea of colored eyes is distinctly related to the idea of “foreign” in the Indian subcontinent. The change in Akash’s eye color in particular is interesting, because he is given in the movie the most amount of foreign exposure, the most radically modernist thinking, even the most starkly modern interiors. Everything in this movie is convoluted to form the basis of a new avatar(form) of the quintessential young Indian man. The age old idea of love, bonds of friendship and emotional attachments is at first mocked and at the very end embraced by all three protagonists, in a fashion that is befitting of three very international individuals, on the process of immaturity to dawning maturity as the movie gets on. It is a movie that celebrates the modern take of age old emotions in the quintessential young Indian man, now recognized as worldly, international, successful while also retaining an intrinsic hold over traditional values and customs.

Zara I.

Filed by zarawi at April 3rd, 2013 under Uncategorized

This post makes me reflect a bit on the way that Slumdog Millionaire portrayed India so differently from the way Dil Chahta Hai did. For many people in this country, Slumdog Millionaire is their only cinematic glimpse into India. They assume that, because much of the production crew was from India, the movie must somehow represent Indianness. Slumdog Millionaire was certainly the most “Indian” film I had seen before taking this course (kind of sad in retrospect, because there are so many amazing ones out there!). I now know that many Urban Indians are severely offended that Slumdog Millionaire is the so-called ‘single story’ that much of America knows about India. The way that globalized cinema simultaneously embraces and evades Hollywood influence is something that I’ve really enjoyed watching out for this semester, and I think you made many great points about how Dil Chahta Hai framed “India” and “Indianness” in a global context that we rarely saw throughout the semester.

Comment by lime — May 15, 2013 @ 1:45 am

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