Friday, March 27, 2009

Heaven on Earth and Dinner

Tonite, I went over to Vince and Meryl's for dinner cos we had decided last minute to grab dinner but we couldn't decide where to go and they had a huge pot of leftover spaghetti sauce in the fridge. I would never turn down a home cooked meal esp by V & M! So yummy! Funny thing is that I had a craving for spaghetti but when I looked in my freezer I realized I had no ground meat :( I didn't feel like driving or walking (in the rain) to pick up ground meat so I figured if I have to go out, I might as well head out for dinner instead. If Kay was home for dinner, I would have ordered take out but she had plans and would be home after 10pm. Since V & M usually have a later dinner than I, 7ish, I decided to have a salad served with nuts around 6pm which is a good thing cos we didn't end up eating until past 730! I was to bring the parmasean cheese and a movie while they provided spaghetti and red wine ( What a great way to end a long work week! Dinner, movie and a glass or two of red wine! Since I can get free hollywood movies d/l into my ipod, I couldn't justify or decide on which movie to rent so I decided to go with an artsy film, Heaven on Earth by Deepa Mehta and that was a great choice cos Meryl had wanted to rent and watch this one! Dinner was fabulous and the movie is pretty interesting altho at first I didn't really understand the story about the "husband/cobra" but in the end, I finally understood it. It is an interesting movie about Chand, a young Indian Punjabi woman who finds herself in an absuive arranged marriage with an Indo-Canadian man. Such a poweful story about a woman on her own to find her strength and courage. It was a great nite and I was happy to end the week with such good food, movie and great company! Oh yes, mustn't forget V & M picked up something for me at the Steveston Village from a little pottery or art shop, a Japanese tea cup - how beautiful and I love collecting anything with the kanji character "love". Thank you!!!

Plot (Heave On Earth)
Opening with an ecstatic, vibrantly coloured celebration marking the impending nuptials of Chand (Bollywood star Preity Zinta, who delivers one of the year's finest and most courageous performances), Deepa Mehta's powerful and visceral Heaven on Earth quickly shifts gears. The minute its heroine gets off a plane in Toronto to meet her new husband, Rocky (Vansh Bhardwaj, who's impossibly good in his first film role), the colour scheme greys, and virtually all scenes (even outdoor ones) appear to be lit by fluorescent lights. This twilight world is fitting, because there's something off-putting about Rocky's family.
Deepa Mehta has always had a particular gift for portraying unique families and their subtle power dynamics. Still, Heaven on Earth may be her strongest work to date because of her insistence on the collective liability for the acts of a lone individual. Rocky's coldness and horrific temper may be the primary causes of Chand's unhappiness, but he has numerous – albeit often passive – accomplices, most importantly his domineering mother.
Desperate and unable to contact her family, Chand turns to a fellow factory worker, Rosa, who gives her a magical potion that will make whomever drinks it fall in love with Chand immediately. With this elixir, Mehta injects an element of magic realism, and the film morphs into a portrait of Chand's deeply divided mental state. It is an inspired and audacious strategy. Mehta and her collaborators further exacerbate the sense of unease by invoking the elements of domestic comedy: the precocious kids, the ineffectual, aging patron, and the nosy, pushy mother. But while the recipe for conventional, chaotic marital happiness is present, everything is off-kilter. Pranks aren't funny, they're malicious, and ineffectiveness turns into tacit approval.
Simply put, this is a brilliant work by one of our most daring filmmakers, humanist and empathetic even toward its villains, yet at the same time a universal indictment, refusing to let any of us off the hook.

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