The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, November 4, 2001

Gripping tale of culturally-hyphenated Indians

SOME years ago, Yash Chopra brought the Indian NRI into the picture frame with DDLJ. Since then, the story lines have never been the same. From Pardesi to KNPH and Yaadien the scripts have told the tales of the Indian diaspora and portrayed the hopes and desires of a generation caught between western and Indian cultures.

A scene from Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand...
A scene from Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand...

One doesn’t have to be genius to guess that Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand too is a soap in that direction. Airing every Monday at 9 p.m. on Star Plus, it mirrors the dilemmas of England-born Indians — young people who think western and their parents who think Indian.

The serial shot in UK and India and produced and directed by Aruna Irani, centres around the emotions and sentiments of Pritam Singh and his family who have left Punjab and are settled in London for the last 50 years. The nostalgia and memories of their homeland, its people, soil and life in India, constantly pull them to Punjab.

The soap has some good photography and an engaging storyline. Despite its somewhat agonising length, it has its relevant moments — at least for those who have close relatives living abroad.


Harking back to the past!

A scene from Kundali..: Hackneyed saas-bahu stuff
A scene from Kundali..: Hackneyed saas-bahu stuff

Rewind back to the Bollywood of the sixties with its archetypal moms-in-law, scheming aunts and sati savitri daughters-in-law. If you were too young to remember that potent saas-bahu stuff, don’t panic. Here’s your chance to see it all over again. Kundali every Thursday on Star Plus at 8 p.m. is the story of two sisters who get married to two brothers in the same household. They enter their new home full of dreams, aspirations and happiness of sharing lives together.

For some curious reason their mom-in-law and a scheming dai ma, have different ideas and decide to make life tough for the two young brides. Even as the two women plot to break their strong bond, the sisters come together and decide on a defense strategy.

Will the household get divided? Will the two sisters accomplish the dreams they shared of a life and future together. Considering it is yet another Ekta Kapoor creation — if you didn’t realise it and missed the ‘K’ in Kundali — do not expect many surprises. Things follow the straight and narrow around here.

A degree in humour

Bhatti and Savita in Professor Money Plant...
Bhatti and Savita in Professor Money Plant...

What can you expect from a star cast of Jaspal Bhatti and wife Savita? A heady cocktail of original comedy. And that’s what precisely Professor Money Plant is. Aired every Tuesday at 8.15 p.m. on Alpha Punjabi, it revolves around the life and times of a principal of a college (Bhatti) in Punjab.

Set in a typically Punjabi backdrop, the serial is an out and out spoof on the education system. It touches all the aspects system like illogical syllabus, unrest among students, disrespect to teachers, diminishing values, unemployment, private tuition and impractical transfers.

Satire and acidic remarks are an essential part of the Bhatti routine Here the humour is derived from ordinary situations. And the serial has no exaggerated situations. It merely speaks the truth. But the way it is presented will have you in splits. So, don’t miss this hilarious show produced ad directed by Bhatti himself.

Legends of war

At $ 120 million, this is one of the most expensive mini-series ever made by HBO. Based on Stephen Ambrose’s non-fiction bestseller, Band of Brothers is about a World War II army unit that has become an American legend.

Band of Brothers: Story of American folk heroes
Band of Brothers: Story of American folk heroes

The series is the story of Easy Company, the 506th regiment of the 101st airborne division of the American Army. It opens with the rigorous training that the unit received in Georgia in 1942 when the soldiers were trained not just to fight but to fight with their minds.

The series recounts the achievements of the elite rifle company, which parachuted into France early on D-Day morning, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and captured Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.

Drawn from hours of interview with survivors, as well as soldiers’ journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles a unit that like the Light Brigade which suffered severe casualties and became true heroes. A stirring wartime story of people who laughed in the face of death and brought glory to their country.

Sindbad returns

After it had its stint in Doordarshan, Alif Laila is now making waves on SABe TV. Mercifully, these are not repeats but new episodes of the adventures of Sindbad being aired from Monday to Friday at 7.30 pm.

Alif Laila...Adventure series
Alif Laila...Adventure series

The new stories have evolved after a lot of research and the series promises to be even more stirring, thanks to spectacular special effects that add to its magic.

It chronicles the story of the prodigious Sindbad, who after his long adventure trips decides to retire. However, at the behest of the Sultan he ventures on another voyage that is fraught with danger. He does this because he loves the Sultan’s daughter and has vowed to fight all villains who have an evil eye on her. An absorbing series that keeps you glued.

Father of all movies

Marlon Brando in The Godfather: A lifetime’s performance.
Marlon Brando in The Godfather: A lifetime’s performance.

Okay, okay, you’ve seen it before. We all have. But this is a movie you will never mind repeating. It’s a classic on the lines of Gone With The Wind, Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago.

The Godfather November 6 at 9.30 p.m. on HBO is about the New York-New Jersey underworld. A world where emotional ties are strong, loyalties are flexible at times and tempers are short. One of the ruling clans is the Corleons headed by Don Vito (Marlon Brando). Al Pacino plays the Don’s youngest son, Michael, who though previously uninterested in the family business, reluctantly takes over when his father is critically wounded in an assassination attempt by a rival gang.

Besides Brando, The film stars James Caan, Robert Duvall as the Corleone’s attorney and Diane Keaton as Michael’s sweetheart.

Based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel, The Godfather has been hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Mimicked, parodied and revered, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 sprawling masterpiece picked up three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor (for Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay, all of which makes it definitely worth seeing it one more time.

— Mukesh Khosla

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