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Amu is the story of an Indian American woman who returns to India. The film takes a dark turn as Kaju learns that a horrifying genocide that took place twenty years ago turns out to hold the key to her mysterious origins.
Konkona Sen Sharma,
***SPOILERS ALERT!!*** Laila is a teenager with cerebral palsy, studying at Delhi University. She is an aspiring writer and also composes music for an indie band at the university. Laila develops feelings for the lead singer, but is heartbroken when she is rejected. Moving on from the experience, Laila is overjoyed to receive a scholarship for a semester's study at New York University. Despite her father's reservations, she moves to Greenwich Village, Manhattan with her orthodox Maharashtrian mother Shubhangini. Laila meets an attractive young man named Jared, who is assigned to help her in the creative writing class. She also meets a young activist, Khanum (Gupta), a blind girl of Pakistani-Bangladeshi descent, with whom she falls in love. Laila is enamored by Khanum's fiercely independent personality and her positive perspective towards her own disability. The two spend most of their time together, filling in as each other's caregivers. Laila becomes confused about her sexual ...
After watching this movie, I am seriously having a hard time believing that Kalki DOES NOT HAVE cerebral palsy in real life. I need to watch some of her interviews perhaps to let reality set in after being consumed by this flick. It's been hours since I finished watching it, and I still cannot get over it.
This movie is so much and so little, both at the same time. No it is not perfect, but it is damn well near perfection.
On the surface it's your average story centered around a person with a disability. That's it.
But beneath that are so many layers.
It sends out a message not just about the lives of people with disabilities, rather about outcast people, in general. It says so much by saying so little. I love how they chose to just show the life of this one person. They didn't shove her disability down our throats. Neither did they try to shove the aspect of her sexuality down our throats. She is portrayed just like a regular person, like you, like me. She faces problems at home, in college, in another country, just like we would. I, for one, never felt like she was different from any of us. 20 minutes in, I completely forgot that I was watching a movie and not a real life portrayal of a person.
Yes, it did get a tiny bit cheesy with that music contest in the beginning, but the turnout was pretty funny and really unexpected.
All the other characters are also portrayed perfectly. I really liked the character of her mother too. She was very realistic. Not only her, but everyone, from her college friends, to her family, to her male companions, to her blind girlfriend. Everyone was extraordinary. Almost none of them came short. And none of them felt forced.
I especially loved the ending sequence. It really touched my heart.
I don't get why movies like these are like hidden gems in our country. I barely heard about this movie when it came out. Rather, I stumbled across it when I was surfing one day. Rather than advertising these masterpieces, Bollywood focuses more on the average or sometimes even below average romantic comedies and action flicks. Don't get me wrong. Even I enjoy those sometimes, but THIS is what Bollywood needs right now. And I'm glad to see more and more such movies are being made in our country. I think we are going to see a huge change in Bollywood, only a few years from now. It's already started. :)
Trust me when I say this, because I don't say this very often, but Kalki deserves an Oscar for this movie. Kudos to her, and the rest of the cast for this near perfection.
8.5/10 Don't miss this. It's a must watch for everyone.
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