We have so so much of problems across India in which the sufferers are always people from the lowest strata of the society or the indigenous tribal communities and at times the religious minorities. Still 99.99% of our movies never look at the problems of these unfortunates. Our movies are always around those 20% middle class community, whose numbers are above most large European countries, or about those rich Indians who forms just a 1% of the population or those billionaires who form less than .01% of our population. It is very rare we have movies which are seriously based on some real issue that happens in India, like Parzania. At the same time, the political troubles and the attitude of the Censor board could be one reason why our film makers dont attempt such movies. Anyways, our movies never look at the problems of our unfortunate majority. Watching T la Iluvia, I was desperately wishing for similar movies from India. But I know, this will never happen. Our country is lead by the choices of a minority rich and middle class, whose voice only echoes every where.
A film crew, shooting the arrival and subsequent events with Columbus's discovery and how they treat the natives, arrives in Bolivia and starts shooting. They had specifically chosen this location for cheap native local actors and labours. A multinational company had got the rights to trap the local water, depriving the locals of water and also making it 300% more expensive for them. The local actors are at the same time engaged in a protest movement which slowly turns violent.
I simply wish, I was a writer. For the kind of thoughts and feelings this movie had on me is really too much that I am embarrassed about my lack of writing abilities and vocabulary in bringing it out in acceptable ways. Here is a film, which is about a making a film and it is nearly like we are looking at another film, even within. Brilliant and beautiful.
The movie on Columbus actually concentrates on two priests who accompanied Columbus, who felt really bad by the treatment meted out to the natives. The movie being shot itself is projecting the cruelty and greed of the colonialists. At the same time, the movie crew themselves are doing something similar in the modern times. They have chosen this location for cheap labour and they only care to some how finish the shoot, aware about the water problems in the regions. It is just the brilliance of the story and script that they pick up a local guy Daniel to act as Hatuey, the aboriginal who lead the revolt against the Spanish empire, the same guy who is the leader for the local people fighting against the Government and multi national. This is absolutely brilliant and the characters of both Daniel and Hatuey is so prominent in both the main movie and the movie within, which makes it extremely special.
The Bolivian actor who played as Daniel and Hatuey, was brilliant. I dont think I can forget him ever. The movie was beautifully shot and well performed by everybody, but this guy stands out with his powerful eyes. To know that he is an oboriginal from the region, acting for the first time in front of camera, is unbelievable.
The pain of the native South Americans, who suffered centuries back and the pain of the present natives, both will haunt us. The looks of some of those female characters and their faces will definitely follow us. Cinematography too was brilliant, offering excellent support to the script.
Almost all of the movie is brilliant and there are incredibly touching scenes through out. It is just a pity that towards the climax, it turned a little bit predictable or pop. Even here, the end meted out to the film crew looks brilliant. It is the end for Daniel, involving the movie producer Costa, which looked like giving a popular touch. I really wish there was some kind of difference to this part, making this movie an absolutely brilliant classic. Still, for me this is a classic. For, it brings into attention so many facts, which the modern 'fortunate' world would like to ignore. It will force one to think and realise that there is not much difference in historic colonialisation and modern imperialism, and that is brilliant.
Centuries back the rich empires looted the poor nations in the name of gold and spices and killed the natives and used them. Now the same is done for oil. The movie just uses water here, which definitely is going to be the reason for future occupations. The movie makes many references about the use of the third world by the west and one of them, which is actually brought out through the character who plays Columbus, a super star actor by character, when he comments that he would really like to meet the world bank or UN or those officials who fix the BPL rate of 1 or 2 usdollars a day, to request them to demonstrate how they will live with their families for a daily expense of 2 usdollars. That was brilliant. I wish our own government, politicians and the planning board members will demonstrate to the Indian people, how to live for just Rupees 25 per day. This is the new rate fixed, to be considered under the poverty line in India. Much much less than the UN rate though.
I loved this movie, inspite of its typical pop ending, and would not mind giving a 9.5 out of 10, if I was asked to rate it.
Just sad that we do not have similar movies in India, which take up serious issues of our own poor and the aboriginals.