Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Meet Joe Black … An Indian Story

I finished seeing the re-run of movie, "Meet Joe Black" - and it is the second time I am seeing this movie. I am stuck with the 'Indian-ness' of this movie. I am intrigued - and decide to Google for more.

What Do I Find Meet Joe Black

I discover it is a remake of an old movie - the Wikipedia informs me that it is a 1998 remake of the 1934 film, Death Takes A Holiday. It was remade in 1971 under the 1934 original title. The film stars Brad Pitt (a Joe Black), Anthony Hopkins (as Bill Parish) and Claire Forlani.

Interestingly (not surprisingly), Wikipedia tells me this film did well overseas and not in the USA.

This Story Is A Lift ...

This film could have been titled Savitri and Satyavan in New York. How so?

Savitri meets Satyavan (Brad Pitt as Joe Black) in a coffee shop - and it is love at first sight. After the meeting a 'lost' Satyavan meets with an accident and dies - of which Savitri knows nothing.

Savitri (Claire Forlani) is the perfect daughter of Bill Parish (Anthony Hopkins, as a rich business tycoon) - instead of the royal father in law. Yamaraj (Brad Pitt) takes the form of Satyavan (Brad Pitt again) and comes visiting Earth, toSavitri & Yamaraj By Nandlal Bose take away Bill Parish whose time has come.

But Yamaraj, offers Bill Parish a deal, whereby Bill Parsh will get some 'extra time' in return for giving Yamaraj a guided tour of life on earth.

While the guided tour is on, Bill Parish loses his kingdom - just like the original Indian story. Yamaraj is maha-impressed by Savitri - like the original Mahabharat story. Yamaraj restores life to Satyavan - just like the original story. Yamraj also helps the father (instead of the father in law) to get back his kingdom.

The differences

Bill Parish is the father instead of the father in law. It is set in New York - instead of India. The West may find it maudlin or cloying - since, Women (Eve) are the root of all evil. But, from an Indian perspective, it was well done. The focus was more on Bill Parish and Joe Black - than on Savitri, which figures.

Rather like the Bappi Lahiri vs Dr.Dre case, I thought.

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