|‘New York’a pleasure to watch|
|Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00|
Cast: Ali Merchant, Debashish Mishra, Aditya Choprah, Yash Chopra, Sham Karechal, Suraj Panda, Raashid Kahn, Ahmed Khan, Vijay Kumar, Jim Satya.
Director: Kabir Khan
Cinema: Rainbow Town
Type of film: International terrorism
Running time: 153 minutes
Age restriction: Adults only
Reviewed by Prof Joel White
For as long as cinema continues to be made, and for as long as movie-goers continue to rate films and debate the question: Best Film?, this year’s India-made film “New York” will rank highly on everyone’s list.
Easily among the top five of all films written about in the 40 years I have been in Harare, it is with deep chagrin that I have learned that it has had virtually no viewers in the eight days of its current run.
At the 2pm Thursday performance at which I sat mesmerised by its quality, there was only one other viewer. Immediately run for its second showing that day, there was only one person in the audience.
In every area where it is custom for today’s films to go over the top, this film shows the most severe and winning restraint, albeit it is dealing with a subject of such importance and pathos, that I would forgive it if it had played for the emotions of its audience.
I was born and raised in New York, and for that alone it can be expected that I would be the film’s fan. But it gives us so much yet shows restraint when other films, handling this theme, have gone overboard.
New York University is one of the four universities from which I received degrees, and it is the setting at which three students of Asian origin meet, setting the stage for the entirely unpredictable and tragic events, which take hold of their futures.
Samir and Maya have settled comfortably into their American way of life in the same way they are at ease with each other, not dwelling on the clear probability that their lives will become even more intertwined when formal education is behind them.
Omar, a new arrival at the school, as he is a new arrival in America from India, fits smoothly into their lives, albeit his love for Maya is clearly the precursor for the tragedy, which ensues.
With the destruction of the World Trade Centre in 2001, the easy acceptance of Asian students into America now comes into question, in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the activities of the threesome, we are given a film of the year.