Mr and Mrs Iyer

{FILM DIARY}

Mr And Mrs Iyer (India, 2002)

Seen: Sunday, 6th December 2008 (cinema, special screening)
Runtime: 120′
Polish Distributor: Blink (I think the DVD release will be sometime next year)
Director: Aparna Sen
Cast: Rahul Bose, Konkona Sen Sharma
Plot: Hindu-Muslim riots bring an orthodox Hindu Brahmin woman and a (not so orthodox) Muslim man together during a bus trip to Calcutta. They pose as a married couple to avoid Hindu extremists.

Opening Credits

Impressions In Short
The best thing about this film is the interplay between Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma. They really work well together on screen and I feel it’s what makes the film. In fact I felt the beginning of the film where there’s less interaction between them was weaker than the rest of it.

Some Details
I went to see this with my parents. My dad felt it took too long to finish and that the beginning was better. Me and my mum felt it took too long to start and that the ending was better ;) But then my dad fell in love with the opening sequence (which you can see above - sorry, but I couldn’t find a trailer or anything that would give a better idea of what the film is like). The sarcastic part of me thinks it’s because the style of the shots and music in that sequence is quite 50s-60s like and that he’s just being sentimental ;-P (although yes, I do think it’s a nice opening sequence ;) ).
It’s a pretty quiet, restrained and slightly naturalistic sort of film. Not Bollywoodish at all, as it’s a Bengali film (but it did remind me of Satyajit Rai, who is probably the most famous Bengali director ever). It sort of tries to dissect Hindu-Muslim relations and how Indian society is built, but it uses a lot of clich├ęs, so it doesn’t really reveal anything that new. The relationship between the two main characters is really beautifully done though and there are generally quite a few powerful scenes (both comic and dramatic). There’s one amazing one involving a Jewish character, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I won’t say more :]
Oh, and I’ve got a new Indian actor to gush over *grin* I really loved Rahul Bose in this and want to see more of him :) I think he might give Akshaye Khanna a run for his money as my no. 2 favourite Indian actor after Shahrukh ;) We’ll see…
Konkona was brilliant as well :) I’ve not yet seen a film in which I didn’t like her in, but this one was particularly good ;) My dad totally fell in love with her :]

Recommended?
I think yes :) I mean maybe it’s better if you’re at least mildly interested in the subject matter or in Indian films, but I don’t think it’s a film that many people would be turned off by. Perhaps some would because of the slow tempo.

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