Sunday, June 10, 2007

Once upon a time in Hind

As the side bar attests, Wo hu cang long (aka Crouching tiger, hidden dragon) is one of our favourite movies. Quite a few great historical epics like this have come out of East Asia in recent years. And Hollywood has a rich tradition of historical epics (everyone has seen Charleton Heston trying to play a Hebrew in a couple of movies, but the real aficionados won’t settle for anything other than the silent version). Bollywood, in contrast, seems to have lagged behind. Yes there is the Grand Mughal, but that was in 1960. More recently, Bollywood has given us turkeys like this.

Brothers A-A-A often wondered about a Desi period epic, set some time in the post-Islam era to give all three of us a chance to appear. The Mughal Empire is a natural candidate for the setting. Brothers and sisters over at the adda also had similar ideas.

So what would our movie include?

1. A fortress would change hands, and someone would escape with their life.
2. Dushmans would chase someone across Desh.
3. A royal scandal would involve a famous diamond.
4. Complicated amorous entanglements would test the characters.
5. A Sufi saint would lead his followers in search of a golden land beyond the rivers.
6. Ideas would be tested in philosophical debates and battles involving imperial forces promising order and stability, free people resisting the empire and villains.
7. There would be nautch girls, elephants, snakes, jadu-tona, tantriks and tigers.
8. Someone would be switched at birth.
9. There would be a murder mystery.
10. It would be over three hours long.

Dear reader, watch these pages for more details (as they develop) about this grandest epic of them all.