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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tribute to Lage Raho Munna Bhai

Lage Raho Munna Bhai is the second part of what seems to be a bit of a "Munna Bhai" series. Rumor has it that there's a third movie on the way, but before we pay everything we hear any particular heed, let me tell you why you should watch this movie.

Much like Munna Bhai MBBS this movie finds the members of the cast engaging in more doling out of hilarious slang and being up to their usual antics. Munna Bhai's love interest in the movie is Jahnavi, played by the delightfuly lovely Vidya Balan. I think she did a good job as the bubbly radio jockey, and so what if I have a thing for her? ;-)

The main difference and therefore the main story revolves around the term "Gandhigiri". In a sort of comical reference to the Mahatma, the concept of "Gandhigiri" -- "-giri" being the Hindi equivalent of "-ism" -- refers to living life in a straightforward, honest and non-violent manner as espoused under ideas like ahimsa ("doing no harm" as introduced to the world by the Buddha), and others that Gandhi made his life's mission. Perhaps, this is why I'm drawn to this movie because I believe I understand these ideas in a way in which only I can, not to mention the fact that reading The Story of My Experiments With Truth really changed the way I see lots of things today.

Coming back to the movie, Sanjay Dutt's character, Munna Bhai, starts a voracious reading binge on all things Gandhi until he begins to see Gandhi around. This leads to several hilarious escapades where he often ends up making a whole lot of sense. Eventually, as the love story between Munna and Jahnavi develops, he co-hosts her radio show with her and ends up giving the Mumbai public a real dose of truly useful advice. There's a bit of a twist in the love story based on his somewhat dubious past, which ends up hurting Jahnavi and her family directly. But, true to form, especially the form of this kind of movie, things end exactly as they should -- Happily Ever After.

I loved the way they dealt with the ideas of truth and non-violence so effortlessly in the movie, and how it managed to maintain the sort of serious impact in terms of the integrity of the idea, while the delivery was often in jest. Truly a remarkable piece of fun-loving story-telling that is a treat to watch. Not bad for a non-Hindi movie fan, eh? Oh, and I like the use of the clouds in this image to show Gandhi -- the profile of the right-side of his head as he's turning away -- with his trademark spectacles.
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