5 Bollywood movies Zac Goldsmith can cheer himself up with
Running an entire dog whistle campaign can be draining, especially one that went down in flames so spectacularly.
Since #NastyZac (despite his love for Bollywood) couldn’t take time out from racist scaremongering to actually watch some Bollywood films, here’s a wee list of some cheerful films from the ’80s that can soothe the massive burn that London just delivered and give him some timely life lessons.
1) Mr India
A beloved sci-fi extravaganza where good triumphs over evil, with some help from a watch that turns the wearer invisible. Zac will undoubtedly find an empathetic character in Mogambo, the megalomaniac who exploits class divisions to take over society. Granted, Zac didn’t have the pool of sulphuric acid, the fabulous jacket or an immortal catch phrase. On second thought, it’s probably the invisibility watch that Zac really wants at the moment.
Zac doesn’t just care about the people who like those funny Bollywood films he can’t name, he cares about their jewellery too! So, while Zac ponders where his strategy of protecting people’s family jewels went wrong, he can always take solace in this film based on a 2nd Century BC Sanskrit play that celebrates the beautiful Rekha. It it gorgeously shot, sensual and features lots of beautiful jewellery. Might help you take your mind off that mandate, Zac.
3) Amar, Akbar, Anthony
Reunited brothers, religious harmony and Amitabh Bachchan popping out of an Easter egg in a three-piece suit – what’s not to love? In case Zac is planning grief-stricken drunken monologues with himself in front of the mirror, Bachchan delivers a masterclass. Also not to miss, the scene where the three brothers raised in different faiths simultaneously donate blood to their mother. As an unsophisticated rhetorician intoxicated by the exuberance of own verbosity, take some notes Mr Goldsmith.
Two sisters end up getting separated at birth. One was appointed Shadow Minister for London and went on to win the mayoral elections, the other patronised his voters with an embarrassingly misjudged campaign. Oh, wait, wrong story. This film is another 80s favourite featuring Sridevi in a delightful double role, South Indian superstar Rajnikanth and Sunny Deol’s famous two left feet. Perhaps you could go around constituencies claiming that it was an evil doppelgänger behind your campaign?
5) Ardh Satya
Written by noted playwright Vijaya Tendulkar and directed by Govind Nihalani, Ardh Satya is the tale of an honest policeman struggling with the evils around him and the failures of the system he is forced to function in. In depicting systemic corruption, violence and exploitation this film has all the “colour, atmosphere and excitement” that Zac loves…Oh wait.
As any fan of Bollywood can tell Zac, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of Bollywood or of Indian cinema. Indian cinema is made of several distinct cinemas, each with their own cultural meaning and milieu, with Bollywood being just one facet of a cinema tradition that is more than a 100 years old.
In fact, if Zac had done any research before going to the Asian Awards to profess his love for Bollywood, he would have known that Hindi cinema has much to offer beyond song, dance and colour. He could start with ‘English Vinglish’, or ‘Margarita with a Straw’, or ‘Masaan’, or simply walk into a London cinema to find out.
Perhaps he could take Prince William along, president of the BAFTA and person who has spent all his life living in the UK who recently revealed – at an event in India, surrounded by people from the contemporary Hindi film industry, no less – that he has never seen a single Bollywood film.
After all, Zac now has all the time in the world.