HOLLYWOOD, CA – SUNDAY APRIL 14 2013: Indian Film Festival Closing Night Gala: Deepa Mehta’s ‘Midnight Children’ at ArcLight Theater
Yesterday was the closing night of LA’s 2013 Indian Film Fest. So naturally, I went to catch their closing film, ‘Midnight’s Children‘, based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Salman Rushdie and directed by Academy Award Nom Deepa Mehta.
The event was filled with industry folks from all over the world (well, mainly India — but you get the idea) and it’s the only film event during the year I get to pull out my beautiful saris and Indian baubles. Not gonna lie. Many were confused by my traditional outfit and Asian face, but hey — keeps things interesting.
The Gala took place at La Vida, a tucked away lounge that Yelp reviewers call ” a place is filled with old, coked out reality tv rejects.”
Pretty rough crowd there. I’m personally a fan of the place. Granted, every time I’ve ever set foot in there, it’s been for an industry event — I still like the ambience and the feeling of being transported into the streets of Barcelona. Compared to all the other ‘Hollywood’ joints, I do think La Vida is a breath of fresh air in the middle of nonsense.
I can’t speak for the shiteous reviews it has on Yelp – BUT, I do agree that the spot is definitely a ‘scene’. It’s a fun place and not nearly as pretentious as some make it out to be. Just depends on what you go for and who you go with. I was spoiled by good food, drinks, company and conversation. No complaints here.
As for Deepa Mehta‘s film – it’s a poetic journey through the history of India and Pakistan during times of war and struggle for independence. The audience is swept up in a world of turmoil as they follow the story of a young boy, Saleem Sinai, the bastard child of a beggar woman, and Shiva, the only son of a wealthy couple. Switched at birth and destined to live out eachother’s fate, the boys plunge into a three decades worth of political chaos, romance, war and rivalry.
For someone like me, who is unfamiliar with the storied history of the region between 1940 to 1970, the film is a great depiction of India’s evolution, and the unsung stories of its children.
The lead actor, Satya Bahba, delivers a heart-warming performance. His character’s success or demise was deeply linked to the region’s instability and yearn for freedom. Saleem was agnostic to the political affairs of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh — but bled the heartaches of all three. Through him, you see the pain and struggle of those affected by the war for power.
Synopsis (from their website): At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of a wealthy couple, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India’s whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters.
Overall, it was a great closing night to the 11th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles — celebrating Indian cinema, culture and giving emerging film makers a platform to showcase their projects. Gotta love Bollywood. ;)