A number of my male friends still suspect one of my newest loves is due to the beauty of the Indian film industries actresses, however, I would like to point out that I see more Christ likeness in a number of the last decade’s Bollywood films than I do with many attempts by modern Christian filmmakers to create “christian films.” For my “weaker Brothers”(Rom 14:1-15:7), I do have to point out that some Hindi films do start out with an “offering” to an ancestor or an Indian god. I tend to discount this with what I know is true and move on. Anyway, a few films I would like to point out Christlike characteristics that are central to the plot follow: Vivah, Namastey London, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, and Bachna Ae Haseeno. Warning!! Spoilers follow.
Vivah is the story of an arranged marriage in which two shy young adults, one rich the other poor, are pledged to be married. A tragedy occurs prior to the wedding and rather than choose to abandon his fiance, the young man takes financial responsibility for her injuries and insists on continuing in his commitment to marry her. The film shows a sympathetic image of family that is almost absent from most modern hollywood films.
Namastey London‘s DVD cover description gives a significant hint towards Native Indians long standing prejudice towards Non-Resident Indian(NRI’s):” A British brat meets a Funjabi boy”. The story, holding that prejudice as a truth, presents a young British-raised NRI who wants a modern love-marriage to her rich British boyfriend. She is tricked by her parents into traveling to India to “tour” the country and ends up having to endure her father trying to arrange her marriage. She pretends to agree, on the condition that her family and new husband immediately return to Britain. On returning to Britain, she disavows the traditional wedding and declares it null as they did not file for marriage in India. Her “husband” however declares that as far as he is concerned he is married to her and no matter what she does, he will always consider their marriage his only marriage. Events work out to show that it is the Punjabi married in India, not the rich Britisher, who most cares for her and her heritage.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (meaning ” a match made in heaven”, also one of my top ten favorite movies) is masterpiece of a comedy/drama. A young bride’s love-marriage groom is killed on the way to the wedding and her father suffers a fatal heart attack on hearing the news. Before dying, her father asks his best student to marry his daughter, although the student is much older(mid thirties) than the young (19ish) bride (this is an enormous age difference in Indian culture, where the bride and groom are normally within a year or two apart). After the father’s death, the student takes his new bride home and tries to woo her. As I cannot do justice in describing the ending of this film, all I will say is that it has one of the most touching ( and probably unlikely) endings in cinema.
Bachna Ae Haseeno presents the story of a selfish young man who brings sorrow to two young women by abandoning them before finally meeting the woman of his dreams and being abandoned by her. He then realizes his wrongs and truly repents- he actually goes to the women he wronged, apologizes, and tries to make what amends he can to their damaged lives.( warning, the song after the airplane flight immediately following the song Jodi Mahi should probably be avoided, it is raunchy, although accurate in the Ariel Levi Female Chauvinist Pigs –like description of what one of the women has become).
After being disappointed by a number of the Christian movies I watched this summer, returning to watch these films was unfortunately much more of a blessing.