Sunday, November 05, 2006


I went to see the Bollywood film Umrao Jaan at the Des Plaines Cinema last night, after learning Friday night that I can review it for the Backwards R if I can get it in first thing Monday. I drove to the hinderlands instead of cycling downtown to 600 N. Mich because it was windy and freezing and late and I'd just had a veryintense massage and couldn't deal with the wind and cold.

I was famished when I arrived at the rundown suburban theatre. I'd just ordered popcorn from the handsome (Abishek Bachchan-meets-my-ex, Devdutt) counter-guy-cum-projectionist when I noticed a pile of warm samosas sitting near my right elbow. I ordered some of those instead and took a seat front and center.

But there were technical problems that peaked twenty minutes into the period epic -- a remake of a 1981 film that takes place in 19th century Lucknow. Just as the 12-year-old girl who grows up to be Aishwarya Rai was bedding down for her first night at the brothel, the audio got very loud and disappeared -- and then so did the image. Wow , I thought, What an understated rape scene.

But the picture never came back; apparantly the projector was hungry too, and had eaten the film. After some time the lights came up and everyone made for the doors. Entire families were there, including infants with black spots on their cheeks to ward off the evil eye and western-dressing Indian hipster tweens. I was the lone Windian. About a third of the crowd went over to see Don but having seen it I opted for the refund and drove back home.

An hour round-trip for nothing, and money lost on top of it. But at least I'd gotten to eat those samosas.

1 comment:

  1. dreyfuss' movie adviser5:58 PM

    Too bad fer ya. I saw Borat Friday at a giant (and new) 18 screen megaplex in the super boonies.

    Borat Sagdiyev quotes:

    That singer before me. Who was it? It was very courageous of MTV to start the show with a genuine transvestite, he was very convincing. It was only his hands and his testi satchels that gave it away.

    — Following Madonna at the MTV EMAs.

    In U.S. and A. they treat horses like we in Kazakhstan treat our women. They feed them two times a day. They have them sleep on straw in a small box. And for entertainment, they make them jump over fences while being whipped.