Film Review: Beeba Boys

BEEBA BOYS

Initial impressions of Beeba Boys suggest a stylish veneer. Under this flimsy surface however, there is not much to satisfy viewers.

Jeet Johar is tired of the old guard in the Vancouver’s drugs and arms trade, and wishes to be top dog. Aided by a new recruit, Jeet and his band of Beeba Boys take on the established crime lord…

The problems with writer-director Deepa Mehta’s Beeba Boys is manifold. The narrative is unoriginal and does not stand up to scrutiny. The dialogue is poor, and the characters are one-dimensional. Furthermore, the attempts at style in direction come across as hackneyed.

Beeba Boys takes cues from other gangster movies. However, it is neither a homage to nor a pastiche of previous films of this genre. The cartoonish style could have worked if it had been carried through. Instead, Beeba Boys attempts a more serious slant which seems grating with the gratuitous violence.

There seems to be a lack of thought as to how the narrative would progress, with earlier exclamations tripping up later scenes. Beeba Boys is not a boring film, however some of the dialogue, situations and acting is likely to have viewers cringing. The twist in the climax of the film comes across as ill thought out, and the climax itself lacks the tension it should.

The message of the perils of the gang lifestyle is lost due to the lack of well-rounded characters. It is difficult to care about the outcomes of the main characters when they have been drawn with a lack of authenticity. Moreover, some of the gang members are given caricature traits. Despite being called Manny the Joker, the character is simply not funny. Katya is given short shrift, with her descend depicted in a rushed and uneven fashion.

Costumes in Beeba Boys are great. It is a shame that the quality of these are not replicated in the film as a whole.

Beeba Boys is being screened at the London Film Festival in October 2015.

Film Review: Midnight’s Children

Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s successful novel Midnight’s Children is rich and interesting. With Rushdie writing the screenplay, producing and narrating, the film certainly has the author’s seal of approval.

Saleem Sinai is born within moments of India’s independence in 1947. So is another child, Shiva. One of these children grows up in a family of wealth, the other of poverty. Both, however, grow up with the backdrop of independence, and the aftermath of this…

Midnight’s Children is a historical tale with strong elements of fantasy. Overall, the film gets the balance right between a story rooted in history and one with a undeniably mystic edge. Midnight’s Children functions as a lesson in history that informs the fictional tale and interacts with it. The story is an allegory, but one that is sufficiently engaging in its own right.

Rushdie’s screenplay works well, and exhibits the author’s flair for words. His narration acts as glue that binds the period of time which is covered. Spanning fifty years, Midnight’s Children depicts the tumultuous change in India from British rule to the separation of Pakistan and Bangladesh and beyond. At times this depiction appears too rose tinted, shying away from real violence for the most part. However, the story is fictional so an accurate portrayal is not essential.

Satya Bhaba is great as the grown up Saleem. Good support is provided by Seema Biswas as Mary. There is a vibrancy throughout the film, thanks to the use of strong colour and light.

For those that have not read Rushdie’s novel, the film adaptation of Midnight’s Children is an authentic enough substitute.

Midnight’s Children is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in Ocotber 2012.