Thursday, June 2, 2005

My brother Nikhil & Jia

We watched Jia today, with Angeline Jolie in the role of famous American super-model Jia Maria Carungi, who died of drug addiction and AIDS at the age of 26 years in the eighties.

Very obviously My Brother Nikhil is inspired from Jia (in the way it is structured). Compared to MBN, Jia is much more layered film and characters are more gray. Jia perhaps loves Tom Junior and he probably loves her. But the real love of Jis's life is Linda, the make-up woman. In terms of sexuality, the film tackles it head-on with a long scenes of love-making between Jia and Linda. MBN also copies the way story unfolds in the film through a series of flashbacks of people involved in Jia's life, so that some scenes are seen through different persons' point of views. Thus while some of the men in Jia's life see her as a sex kitten, almost nymphomaniac, women are more understanding about it, they see it as craving for affection and stable relationships.

Film has long sequences of Angeline Jolie in the nude and some scenes are very explicit. Watching them, I was thinking about all the big ho-ha Indian actors and actresses make about nudity and kissing. Why are we so shy about our bodies? and about sex? Perhaps it is not so much about being shy as about our image of being a good boy or a good girl? And if you expose, you are not respected any more. But perhaps even in India, times are changing. Persons like Pooja Bhatt could get away with it 15 years ago and persons like Mallika Sherawat are extending the boundaries today.

It is a national holiday today in Italy, the republic day. People just needed one day leave tomorrow, Friday 3 June, to make a four days long weekend and it seems 75% of the country has decided to do that. Bologna seems empty as happens usually in August when every body goes on summer vacation. So roads have very little traffic, buses are empty, finding a parking place is not a problem.

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