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Earth

Producer : Delip Mehta, Anne Masson, & Deepa Mehta
Director:
Deepa Mehta
*ing
:
Aamir Khan, Nandita Das, Rahul Khanna, Maia Sethna, Kitu Gidwani, Raghuvir Yadav, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and Gulshan Grover
Music: A.R. Rahman

WARNING : This film contains profanity and scenes of sexual nature.  Planet Bollywood strongly recommends that the film should not be seen by children under the age of 18.


Reviewed by: Aniket Joshi
aniket@indolink.com


out of 
Earth is the second part of Deepa Mehta's trilogy. The first film, Fire, won some notable international accolades. The third, Water, is to go on the floors soon. Unlike Fire, which dealt with a controversial subject (well at least according to filmgoers in India), Earth is based on a real event. Which I guess will be actually accepted by the hindi audience.

The story is set in Lahore, British India, 1947. The central character is a little Parsi girl, Lenny (Maia Sethna). Lenny is from a respected middle class family. She spends most of her time in the care of her ayah (babysitter), Shanta (Nandita Das). Shanta is a poor hindu girl. Shanta is in a small group of friends which has people from almost every major ethnicity that exists in Lahore. Two of them, Muslims, are very close to her. One is Hassan (Rahul Khanna), a masseuse. The other is Dil Navaz (Aamir Khan), an ice candy man. Both Hassan and Dil Navaz love Shanta, but neither is able to tell her.

Word spreads that Lahore is now going to be part of Pakistan due to partition. Violent communal riots among the Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs take place in Lahore. Population exchange begins to occur. Muslims living in India are trying to go to Pakistan and Hindus living in Pakistan are trying to go to India. How this event, partition, effects the lives of Shanta, Dil Navaz, and Hassan is witnessed by Lenny.

Deepa Mehta is extremely successful in weaving the love story into the main underlying theme of partition. Some of the scenes are very hard hitting. The most memorable one, at least for me, was the scene where Dil Navaz goes in the train that was carrying his sisters to Lahore from Gurdaspur. Technically, the film is also very good. The sets, costumes, and the cinematography are excellent. Rahman's soft melodious score (which is mostly used in the background) is very good.

In the acting department it's Nandita Das and Aamir Khan who make an impact. Aamir is remarkable in the last scene. Rahul Khanna (Akshaye's older brother) gives a very restrained performance. Other well known hindi film actors such as Gulshan Grover, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, and Raghuvir Yadav (Dil Se..) are casted in cameo roles.

Earth is strongly recommended to those who want to see a different type of hindi film and who are tired of the usual boy meets girl stories and revenge dramas.

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