Friday, October 12, 2012

Vanity Fair - And my new interest in 19th century England

Last week, I watched Vanity Fair when I was back home for my week off. And somehow this film has increased my interest in learning about 19th century England.  I was reading Kenfollet's  "A dangerous fortune" which also had a story line in the same age as that of the film.Perhaps the interest in the book also cascaded into the movie as I watched it. So what is the reason behind the sudden interest?

Ken follet's book seemed to be a boredom in the beginning,may be because the context of the story was completely referring to the previous century. But as the story progressed, I came through many references of places such as Soho and MayFair which in the modern-day are very famous for a number of reasons and somehow I was well aware of those places. So does this mean that knowledge about a certain thing would make a boring story into an interesting one? I cannot say - perhaps this is human tendency. (Other reasons would be how Britain portrays these places in various programs like  "The apprentince" and the lot).

While we always have to imagine how things would be like if a story only had to be real, my experience must be a coincidence. Watching the movie made me to get back to the book and finish it for good. Mira Nair's  adaption of the original Novel was fantastic.Every single shot in the movie looked so authentic.I could hardly believe that it was directed by someone from India. But again it's Mira Nair! The Costumes,the music and the screenplay would want me to go back in time. And to my amusement -  there was an essence of  India in one form or the other - occasionally throughout the film.

Becksharp shaking  her hips on an  Arabic number in a british film seemed un fitting ,the ending with a traditional "aadab" was a cliche .Watching it for the first time - I did not understand the underlying plot but after reading wikipedia, I watched it again and thoroughly enjoyed it.

     Reese Witherspoon giving an aadaab

Interest in western civilizations is not something new to Indians,since our grand fathers and great grand fathers have lived most of their lives under the british Raj,they keep sharing about the freedom moment and to a greater extent how things were running back then. My Grandmother once told me how they were told to sing a song which should praise  queen Vicotria while she was on a visit to India. And as with the Elizabeth Trilogy where shekhar kapoor has made Indians proud,Meera Nair has left no stone unturned. The rajasthani folk song in the end was a pleasant surprise but again it truly made sense to the situation where BeckySharp had undergone so many difficulties and succeeded in her life at last.Next one on my list - Pride and Prejudice!