Land Gold Women Hindi Movie Review
Time and again there are many a diasporic filmmakers who try to either evoke the colours of India as they vision it from miles afar or raise issues about the Indians living abroad.
Debutant filmmaker Avantika Hari takes up similar route giving it an art house twist and comes up with an award winning film Land Gold Women. After doing the rounds of many film festivals in India, the film finally hits the theaters. Whether it appeals to the commoners or not remains to be seen.
Based on an Asian family living in Britain, LGW is the story of Nasir Ali Khan (Narinder Samra) a 45 year old professor living in Birmingham with his family. He is a doting father and and indulges their love for all things English. His 17 year old daughter Saira (Neelam Parmar) wants to study further. However, a visit from his brother from Lucknow changes everything. Saira is asked to get married to a stranger back in India. Little does Nasir know that Saira is already in a relationship with a White man David (Chris Villiers). Bound by the religious code of Land Gold Women, Nasir is suddenly reduced to make a choice between his daughter and the reputation of his family.
The film starts with a prison scene where Nasir is explaining his case to the lawyers and then goes into flash filled intermittently with intercuts of past and present. Debutant filmmaker Avantika Hari right from scene one makes the climax obvious and then tries weaving the story around it making for a predictable watch.
Never for once in the entire film, does the story denounce or reproach honour killing and ends up justifying it unintentionally in the process of depicting the story. It does try to put across Saira's point of view as well as a meek retaliation from her mother, but the opposition is too subliminal and the film ends up being just an act of honour killing.
The plot of honour killing is filled intermittently with racial attacks on Asians which again has been over abused in Hindi cinema. Even the twist in the climax is very predictable and seen once before in the first story of Love Sex Aur Dhokha.
However, what's praiseworthy about the film is a lilting background music that perfectly blends well with the bleak happening. Even the portrayal of an Asian family living in England is very realistic. The narrative with intercuts of past and present is decently executed.
Over all, Land Gold Woman is definitely blemished and might work only in the festival circuit that looks at Asians as oriental or exotic.