A rare departure for me these days – i.e., posting from a contemporary movie, such as this one, which was made in 2007. Where contemporary Indian movies are concerned, I am even more drawn to the movies made in Kerala/Mollywood (I’ve been watching a few others on YouTube). This film looks like a very good one, actually (so don’t be misled by some of the strange subtitles in this dream sequence – which I think is also a lighter and more comic moment compared to the rest of the film). And it is available online but, alas, no subtitles.
Wikipedia has a very interesting description:
Arabikatha (Arabian Tales) is a 2007 Indian Malayalam film directed by Lal Jose. It was a success with the critics and at the box office in India and the United Arab Emirates. It deals with differences within the Communist movement, and was produced against a background of real-life splits in the ruling Communist Party in Kerala.
The film narrates the story of Cuba Mukundan (Sreenivasan) who can be called an “impractical idealist. ” He is a staunch leftist who lives for the movement. Circumstances force him to take up a job in Dubai. But he finds himself a misfit in a highly materialistic world. He also realizes that the Malayalis working in this region, whom he had earlier mocked for leaving the country for monetary gains, actually perform menial jobs and physical labor in order to support their families back home. He has always had a soft corner for China as a result of his leftist leanings and when he meets a Chinese girl, she quickly finds a special place in his heart as she symbolizes China to him. Through her, he also learns of the Communist failings in other parts of the world.
The movie depicts Mukundan, who lives in this present society where sticking to any ideology without any compromises is perceived as something of an anachronism. Mukundan often fails to change with the changing times. The film also reflects the inadequacies of modern Communists in Kerala, who are neither ready to handle physical labor nor capable of using computers to perform simple tasks.
This seems like a sensitive and intelligent film. Moreover, I like that there are still movies made in the present decade that are willing to discuss such ideas and ideals in a thoughtful manner. (I think you’re more likely to find them in Kerala than elsewhere.)
There’s a rather touching (I thought) song that I also might post, before the end of the coming week (I’m thinking, mabye, Friday). Otherwise, though, it will probably be back to the golden oldies (which, of course, also happen to have enough socialist content themselves much of the time).