27 September 2004 | apuri112
Great Indian romantic Comedy
I have watched my fair bit of Bollywood films when growing up - you know the typical plot boy meets girl, girl rejects boys, dakus (bad guys) take away girl, boy rescues girl by killing hundreds of dhakus and they happily get married (of course I've omitted an hour of musical style numbers).. Well going into watch Hari Om, I was expecting another typical Bollywood style movie; however, to my delight it turned out to be atypical and indeed quite comical. Bharatbala's Hari Om is what could be labeled as one of those 'off beat' Indian films such as the ever popular South Asian hits as Monsoon Wedding, East is East or Bend it Like Beckham.
Being of South Asian decent and having watched various classic Bollywood films, there was much humour and sub-dialogs which could be picked up that reminded me of the fun and charming side of Indian culture (e.g., the various Indo-pop numbers which were actually remade by Nitin Soni or the witty Indian slangs that were used). Hari Om can be enjoyed by all South Asians, and is also entertaining for those not accustom to the Indian humor as the characters and plot caters to all audiences.
In a cocunutshell, the movie is of auto-rickshaw driver (aka 'four-wheeler' for those of you who have traveled to India know) played by Vija Raaz (from Monsoon Wedding) who gets himself involved with a crook and ends up owing him quite a bit of money. To avoid selling his four-wheeler, 'Madhuri', he escapes serendipitously with 'Madhuri' and a very charismatic and lovely woman from France, Isa (Camille Natta), who herself is escaping the boredom of her boyfriend Benoit (Jean Marie Lamour who was in Swimming Pool). The movie is of their journey traveling across the beautiful landscape of Rajasthan the land of love stories; through the humour you see the two main actors trying to find out who they are really are.
What made the night most memorable was having the director, executive producer, main editor and even the mother of Ms. Natta present at the screening. After speaking with Bharatbala (who actually has a Zoology background) many interesting tidbits of the film were uncovered including: having the film finished only 10 days prior to the Toronto International Film Festival and taking only 45 days to shoot, and having only five actors in the play (the rest were all first time real actors). Arriving home I realized two things from the movie - that there is always a human connection between any one of us despite our differences and secondly, as the director had put it 'Everybody has a love story'.
Its a Must SEE for everyone!