Showing posts with label Freida Pinto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freida Pinto. Show all posts

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Six of the Best... Most Beautiful Actresses

Seven weeks. That's all it took for this feature to get onto the topic of sexy ladies. If I'm honest, I'm surprised that I managed to hold out for as long as I did. This week's topic has been the most fun to research but the most difficult to decide on so far. Even up to a couple of minutes before I started writing there was a last minute change (sorry Oona) and I've decided to break the rules slightly because of my indecisiveness/perviness. Instead of the usual six I've chosen twelve and in a vain attempt to quantify the decision besides greediness, I've decided to feature six current and six former actresses. I brand myself on reviewing one hundred years of film so it would only be right. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. For fear of losing my female readers who may think (rightly) that I'm just using this feature as an excuse to look at pretty ladies, next week's list will redress the balance and feature Six of the Best... Actors my Girlfriend Wishes I Was. Her six currently also stands at twelve and there are lots of 'ooh' 'ahh' and 'yummy' noises coming from her direction whenever I bring up the topic. So make sure you come back next week for the actors but now, here are Six (Twelve) of the Best... Most Beautiful Actresses, beginning with those still working.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Slumdog Millionaire

In early 2009 I was stunned by a cinematic experience so bright, colourful, exciting and interesting that I saw the movie twice within a week. The film was Slumdog Millionaire and a month later it won seven BAFTAS and eight Oscars including the big one, Best Picture. The film is a somewhat fantastical but highly engaging story of love, hardship and fortune told from the point of view of young Mumbai tea boy Jamal Malik (Dev Patel). Through his eyes we are told the story of his eighteen years and of his continuing search for his lost love Latika (Freida Pinto). In the hope that she sees him, Jamal becomes a contestant on India’s highest rated game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire but when he fortuitously answers several difficult questions correctly the host (Anil Kapoor) and Police (Irrfan Khan) want their own answers, most pressingly how he knows what he knows.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that I love this movie. I love everything about it from the direction, the soundtrack and the story to the cute child actors and cute adult actors (Pinto). After my initial double viewing I didn’t see the film again until today, over four years later. As soon as the titles rolled I got the little tingle that I got on my first viewing and by the end I was sure that my affection for the film hadn’t diminished at all.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Trisha is a modern take on Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbevilles set in India and starring Riz Ahmed (Four Lions) and Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Trishna (Pinto) is the eldest daughter in a large rural family who has to work in order to help support her family. Jay (Ahmed) is the son of a rich businessman who was bought up in England and is on a tour of India with friends. At a chance meeting there is chemistry between the couple but their different backgrounds and social taboos make a romance impossible. After Trishna’s father is severely injured in an accident, Trishna is forced to take on more work and is offered a well paid job at Jay’s father’s hotel in Jaipur. After taking up the job a romance begins which is played out in Jiapur and Mumbai. The relationship is strained by Trishna’s feelings of being torn by her duty and traditions of her family and the opportunities her meeting with Jay has provided for her. Jay meanwhile increasingly exploits Trishna for his own gratification and their relationship is further strained with dramatic consequences.

The film’s setting is truly beautiful. This is the second film I’ve watched this week set in a Jiapur hotel (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and I’d happily watch another two. The scenery and cityscape is that beautiful. The film also features beautiful music and dancing and in my mind the worlds most beautiful actress, Freida Pinto. The film successfully transports the social themes that are present in Hardy’s novel to modern day Rajasthan as many of the themes of class, sexual taboo, exploitation and a deep gap between rich and poor are still common place in 21st Century India. The film has a good stab and at least looking at some of those themes and its two characters’ are well written to deal with them.

Riz Ahmed, perhaps most famous for his role in Four Lions but who I first discovered as a rapper (Video Here) is excellent. He is believable as the rich English-Indian in the first two acts but his gradual transformation to something more sinister is even more successful. He does it very subtly while the audience are still rooting for him. Freida Pinto is even better. This is definitely her film. She is thoroughly convincing as a poor Indian villager who is wowed by the trappings of Western riches and manages to maintain her shy victim like persona even when she isn’t. The hurt she shows towards the end of the film is felt by the whole audience and her last few scenes are shocking but she pulls it off well. Her only downfall unfortunately is her looks. When sat in a peasant house is rural Rajasthan she does stick out a bit, but you can’t really hold that against her.


The film is a successful translation of a popular and frequently adapted literary source. Both actors are great and you feel like their relationship is real and not just on screen. The film looks beautiful and manages to get across both modern and traditional India’s successes and failures. I really enjoyed it.