4-Jun-05 (Created: 4-Jun-05) | More in 'Movies'

Rain Coat

Once in a while you get surprised. Especially lately such a thing has become rare with films. I see films and I forget them the very next instance.

My two year old, around 11:30 last night (Friday), ofcourse out of pure sprite, decided to watch an "indee moviee" (Hindi Movie). He picks one at random from what we had brought back from India recently but never had the time to open it. Insists that he open it with his teeth, which he proceeds to do with out an event. Subsequently, while he wakes up his Sister and plays with her in the middle of the night, I settle down to watch what he put on. You may have doubts whether a two year old knows how to put a DVD on. Trust me, these days, they know.

The story is apparently inspired by O'Henry's Maggie. Well I didn't know that until I saw the credits (Well it is only when your children are asleep you tend to feel the reality with out interruption). I also apologize as I most certainly would have ruined your surprise, as you wouldn't have known until the last minute these stories are related.

Rain Coat is a sadly beautiful film. It is the antithesis of Maggie. I would imagine the setting of Maggie to take place in Heaven, and of Rain Coat in hell. Nevertheless it is beautiful. It is poetic. It reminds me of Tagore, and it reminds me of Paru, and it reminds me the best of Bengal.

The art of making Cinema is wonderfully alive throughout the film. The heart rendering rainy background song, the lonely rainy midnight streets of Calcutta with a shrouded Riksha. The vividly contrasting very Indian colorful clothes of the characters are quite a treat.

Eishawarya Rai is beautiful, and brilliant as the counterpart of Maggie's female character. Like the Audrey of Pygmalion, I can't think of a "mard" (Male in Hindi) that wouldn't want to rescue her with great expediency.

Nevertheless the film has a touch of darker side to it. So called realism. This has been very typical of Indian art films where they accentuate (unnecessarily in my mind) the hardships of human condition and soul. Although done to a lesser extent it is there in the film.

If the film is inspired by Maggie, the story teller of the film had done a brilliant job extending the film to a film length and yet keeping you on your seat throughout the length. This is an intelligent man's or woman's soap opera.

The film also has a reminder for the hope of searching for love in the midst of ruins, despair, and total impending darkness.

If you have a chance see the film, don't miss it. It springs hope for the art of films, especially the Indian films.