Ashdoc's movie reviews

ashdoc

Member
Dec 7, 2017
80
95
Mumbai
Buddha in a traffic jam

Arunoday Singh plays a dynamic young man who has come to Hyderabad to study in a university . He is talkative and can make speeches inspiring his peers . He has all the makings of a yuppie ; he is liberal and cool and as sophisticated as they come . His and his friends' lifestyle is as cool as it can be in India ; they dance and sing to the beat of rock music , they ( including the females ) drink and smoke and party . His female friend ( played by Akanksha Dwivedi ) is free enough to dance almost topless on the bartender's table in a lounge . So free that she act attracts the unwanted attention of the moral police , who violently interrupt the act .

But at not too long a distance from Hyderabad in the district of Bastar lives another India . The tribals living there are being crushed by both sides---by the naxalites who beat them up regularly for co operating with government authorities and the government authorities who humiliate them for being in cahoots with the naxals . They have no hope of progress or development . Their only source of pride is their 5000 year old way of life that has not been change for 5 millenia . It is they who are focus of the film , even though it is played out mainly in the big city .

Back in the big city , Arunoday Singh takes part in a campaign called pink bracampaign against the moral police and he comes into the limelight due this . His articulate speeches against the moral policing win him admirers and he becomes a popular figure in the university . During this time he comes to the attention of a professor in the university ( played by Anupam Kher ) and his wife played by Pallavi Joshi . They run an NGO which sells pottery made by the tribals from Bastar and the sales of the pottery are used to help raise money for the tribals' development....a worthy cause , no doubt . Along with them is Mahie Gill , who openly says to Arunoday that she is a believer in the tribals' cause. A naxalite sympathiser who grows close to Arunoday soon .

But the NGO runs on government grants , and the government has recently decided to cut the flow of funds to such NGOs because the money is being fuelled to the naxalites . So Anupam Kher approaches Arunoday to create a way of raising money for his NGO . Arunoday takes up the task with full gusto and soon comes up with a master plan to sell the tribals' pottery online and cut out all the middlemen , so that the money is directly transferred to the tribals for whose benefit the whole enterprise is supposed to be . But Anupam Kher develops acute discomfort at this idea , and he says that he is a professor not a businessman and his prestige as a professor will be affected if he goes into online business .

But the real reason for his refusal is different ; he is the typical JNU type of professor , in cahoots with the naxalites and their brutal leader who is played by Gopal K Singh . Anupam goes to meet them in their hideouts , and this time when he goes there he is told that Arunoday must be killed immediately . For Arunoday's plan for helping the tribals' is too good ; it will bypass all the middlemen controlled by naxalites and even the government agents who are all revealed to be part of the money siphoning mafia . Arunoday has unwittingly got mixed up in all this and has brought about his own doom...or has he ? For Anupam Kher's aide Mahie Gill is not a corrupt person but a real passionate naxalite who genuinely cares for the tribals' cause and is appalled by this planned murder , and her personal reason for this is that she is in love with Arunoday too . Also Anupam's wife Pallavi Joshi is shocked by her husband's involvement with the naxalites and is prepared to help Arunoday . Together they and Arunoday hatch a plan to bring the situation to justice....

Straightway I must say that it takes courage to make such a film ; the JNU type of anti nationals whom the movie villainizes have a tremendous hold on our media and culture . All reviewers panned the movie after it was released under pressure from the liberal/anti national mafia which controls our press . And the director's courage must be applauded by watching the film . For it brings out the true colours of the universities like JNU and their professors . They are clearly funding the maoists and in cahoots with them .

I could see myself in Arunoday---a real person , a buddha like figure who believes in peace and wants to lead a liberal westernized free life . But he has peoples' good at heart and being liberal does not mean he wants to be anti national . But in this movie Buddha has been caught in a traffic jam created by elements inimical to our nation....

The movie scores on photography and colours and has decent music and songs . Acting by Arunoday is top class and Anupam Kher too excels , especially excelling in his last speech when he spells out his mad dream of communist revolution in the classroom . For anybody interested in politics and wanting to be in touch with contemporary issues , the film is a must see !!

Verdict---Highly Recommended .

Four stars out of five.
 

ashdoc

Member
Dec 7, 2017
80
95
Mumbai
-Kundun
This film tells the story of his holiness the Dalai lama , the spiritual and the political leader of Tibet who is affectionately called 'Kundun' by his people . Regarded as the living manifestation of the Lord Buddha , the Dalai lama is regarded as God himself in Tibet . The film was made by Martin Scorsese with co operation of the Dalai lama and his family along with other Tibetans . It tells the story of the Dalai lama while he lived upto his youth in Tibet , but ends at his self imposed exile into India . It does not tell how the Dalai lama spent and continues to spend the rest of his life trying to work out some solution to the brutal Chinese occupation of Tibet .

The film begins with monks coming to the Dalai lama's birth place , first in disguise and then openly to identify him in childhood . He is just a toddler when he is given things to pick , and when he picks out things which were property of the previous Dalai lama then he is identified as the next Dalai lama . He is taken to the Potala palace in Tibetan capital city Lhasa , where his education begins .

Frankly , this first part of the movie was somewhat boring , for it showed us the wonder that the young child felt at the new things around him ; the story simply didn't seem to get a start . Of course , real care has been taken to show tibetan traditions and customs , but to westernized persons these must look like a morass of superstitions and otherworldly traditions . And who cares for the customs of some godforsaken place that is inaccessible across the mighty Himalayas....

What held me however was the enthralling music in true and rich Tibetan style , something that was present throughout the movie . The blow of the Tibetan horns somehow seemed to convey a sense of impending doom , and the doom arrived in due course in the form of the invading Chinese . This was the reason why I was watching the movie anyway , and the reason why it was made ; had Tibet remained an independent country , no one would have made or seen any movie on it---it was the Chinese invasion and rape of that land that made it such a cause celebre.....

From being immersed in some ancient rituals and hanging out among animals like peacocks in his palace , the Dalai lama is rudely awakened to the fact that his country is under foreign occupation and that he can do nothing about it . At first the officers of the Chinese army are respectful to him but as the movie progresses they become more and more rude . Chairman Mao , whom the Dalai lama goes to visit in Peking / Beijing , is outwardly friendly but to him religion and any person practising it is poison .

As his own people tell him of horror stories of Chinese persecution and he comes to know of them being killed by the Chinese , the Dalai lama feels himself in danger . One night he and his entourage flee across the mountains towards India . The last shot of the Dalai lama in Tibet is truly heartrending . He turns to say goodbye to the soldiers who escorted him to the Indian border and has a vision of them bloodspattered and shot dead by the Chinese , for that is exactly what is going to happen to them as also the the rest of the Tibetan people . There is little hope of him ever being able to return to his homeland again....

Of course , given the immense human tragedy of the destruction wrought by the Chinese in Tibet , the necessity of making such a movie is obvious . This is especially true because the Tibetans are a gentle people , wedded to the arts of peace rather than war---one of the few peoples on earth to be so .

As an Indian whose country has given refuge to the Dalai lama and hundreds of thousands of Tibetan refugees , my sympathies invariably lay with the Tibetans....and as the movie progressed I could not help but be moved by what was unfolding on the screen . This despite the fact that I had waited shamelessly for the Chinese to emerge on screen to get the story really moving .

Photography and picturization of Tibet is really perfect , and you get a authentic glimpse into Tibetan culture if you are interested in it---though actually I wasn't to be honest . Every cloth , every frame has been carefully constructed , and is rich with colour . But in the end all the colours are swept away by the hand of fate....for as predicted in the movie , he and his entourage are reduced from kings to wandering people who are saved only because the Indians agree to give refuge to them at terrible price to themselves ; the Indians have to incur the unending enemity of the Chinese for that act ( the last part of the sentence is not shown in the movie , but as an Indian I have to say it ) .

The movie will be liked only by the art film lovers , and also by those interested in history---I am both . But those interested in commercial fare can go for 'Seven years in Tibet ' which tells the story of a German's quest for reaching Tibet and his friendship with the Dalai lama . But 'Kundun' is the more authentic movie , if you are really interested in authenticity .

Verdict--decent .

Three stars out of five.
 

ashdoc

Member
Dec 7, 2017
80
95
Mumbai
Monsoon shootout ( December 2017 )

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A newly recruited cop full of idealistic ideas is introduced to the ruthless game of chor police when his boss Khan ( Neeraj Kabi ) kills two criminals extra judicially in what is commonly called an 'encounter killing' in Mumbai/Bombay . The new cop Adi ( Vijay Verma ) is the son of a late cop and his mother has told him of three choices in life---the idealistic path of righteousness , the practical path of compromising with your principles for gaining success , and the third middle path .

And he is rapidly called to take a decision on taking one of the three paths on his next assignment , where he chases a criminal called Shiva ( Nawazuddin Siddiqui ) to a wall beyond which lies a railway track . As Shiva is about to climb the wall and try to escape , Adi is positioned some distance behind him but in a position to shoot him . This killing too is going to be another 'encounter killing' unapproved by the courts but deemed necessary by the police in order to rid the system of criminals . The monsoon showers have opened up rather heavily drenching the situation in rain and making the potential shootout a monsoon shootout .

But at this point and position the idealist inside Adi crops up and he hesitates to kill Shiva . Instead he ponders the three paths in front of him and wonders how each path will lead to . Each scenario unfolds in front of him one by one and after each scenario the film returns to that moment in time where Adi is positioned to shoot at Shiva . The completion of the three scenarios takes up almost the entire film .

In the first idealistic scenario Adi does not shoot Shiva and is demoted to a desk job as punishment . And Shiva who is an axe welding murderer unleashes such violence that Adi has to take up a gun again to handle him . In the second practical scenario Adi shoots Shiva , but Shiva turns out to be innocent and Adi has to suffer brickbats and curses of Shiva's wife ( Tannishtha Chatterjee ) . In the third middle path Adi does not kill but injures Shiva and takes him to the court disregarding his boss Khan's orders , but Shiva tricks the courts into letting him out on bail . Shiva then kills Khan and Adi has to take bloody revenge for his boss's murder .

During the playing of the three scenarios we are introduced to other characters like Shiva's underworld boss , his girlfriend ( played by Sreejita De ) who shows off her lovely body by removing her scanty clothes and heating up our vitals on several occasions , Shiva's son who spits fire from his eyes , Khan's sleazy subordinate who lays his lecherous hands on Shiva's wife partially undressing her , Khan's and Adi's female superior in the force who is in league with politicians to get herself a promotion , and the corrupt politician himself who is in league with Shiva's gangster boss .

And in showing these characters , the dark side of Mumbai/Bombay is shown as never before . Indeed this is a decidedly unglamorous film that does not glorify the confrontations between cops and criminals but shows them in all their dirt and grime . An art film in fact . It shows a Mumbai/Bombay we don't enjoy seeing , full of seedy and disreputable characters .

In all three scenarios , Adi ultimately returns wounded to his girlfriend Anu played by Geetanjali Thapa , who is a doctor and tends to his wounds bandaging them . Both love each other and in each scenario Anu accepts Adi inspite of his wrong decisions . She is the soothing balm in the troubled mind of Adi , troubled by his indecision .

But at end of this series of events as the film has taken firm grip of our minds , the director pours cold shower on our expectations that have steadily and surely grown about the film . For taking advantage of Adi's indecision and hesitation , Shiva shoots him dead in the manner of the true dreaded murderer that he is . The director's message is that we should be clear cut about our decisions whether right or wrong and too much pondering about them may lead to disaster....

Barring the disappointment of the ending , the film is an engaging and decidedly different film . The music in the background is okay and the two songs in the film are actually good . Photography is decent and realistic and colours are authentic . Acting is decent by everyone except the main villain Nawazuddin Siddiqui whose talents are not used properly .

Verdict---decent .

Three stars out of five .
 
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ashdoc

Member
Dec 7, 2017
80
95
Mumbai
Hare Krishna



'Hare Krishna' is an English language movie on the story of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada , the guru who started ISKCON ( International society for Krishna consciousness ) and was responsible for introducing his unique brand of Hinduism in the west . His brand of Hinduism consisted of worship of Lord Krishna , an avtar of the Hindu God Vishnu .

The movie shows his early life in short , and he was born in Calcutta in British ruled India . His father wanted him to devote himself to spiritual pursuits rather than materialistic pursuits and he got his own idols of Krishna and Krishna's platonic friend Radha since childhood for prayer . Yet he spent much of his life as a successful pharmacist who had a wife and children . During the Indian independence struggle , he was a follower of Gandhi .

His own guru Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati however advised him to follow the spiritual path rather than political path and asked him to follow the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , a guru who had lived and taught in the fifteenth century . These teachings asked followers to spread the message of Krishna by chanting the Lord's name and dancing on streets singing verses praising the Lord . Above all Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati asked him to spread Hinduism in the west rather than India .

It was in 1965 at the ripe old age of 70 that Prabhupada decided to renounce the world and become as ascetic spreading the name of Krishna in the west . He decided to forsake his ties with his wife and children who had grown up by now and could take care of themselves . Above all , he took the incredible decision to go to America and spread his brand of Hinduism there . This , even though he had no contacts there and no means of survival except his own stupendous faith in his own beliefs .

On arrival in USA , he distinguished himself by not being a hypocrite like other Indian gurus who had come to US to live in posh houses and travel by luxury cars . Instead he lived in nondescript housing in New York and his first targets were drug addicts . In fact it was these drug addicts who took pity on this old friendless lonely man and offered their help . But it was they who got helped instead .

Prabhupada asked them to spend their time in singing the name of Lord Krishna as a way of reaching out to God . As the drug addicts began to do so , their entire time was spent in this and their entire attention was focused on reaching out to God in this manner . And a miracle happened ; the hippies were soon off the drugs . They had found a way of channelizing their energy and time and stopped using drugs . Indeed soon they were off meat and alcohol and began living the life of orthodox hindus .

Soon the august guru Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada decided that his disciples should now dance on the streets chanting the name of Krishna and singing hymns in the Lord's name just like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's followers did in the fifteenth century . And the western world awoke to the phenomenon of westerners dancing chanting the name of a hindu God from the east on the streets of American cities .

Some of the more enterprising American converts decided to rope in American music stars to spread the message of the swami , and various bands like the Grateful dead and others began to chant the mantra given by the swami to his followers in their concerts . The mantra was ''hare Krishna hare Krishna , Krishna Krishna hare hare , hare Rama hare Rama , Rama Rama hare hare''---Rama being another avtar of Vishnu .

To contact the Beatles and bring them in their fold , the members of the newly registered ISKCON went to London . To stand out among the Londoners , the devotees shaved their heads and went bald and began to wear yellow robes of hindu ascetics . George Harrison was so impressed that he cut an album in honour of the Hare Krishna movement .

The heart as well as leader of the movement was Prabhupada , who at the age of seventy plus still danced tirelessly and sang the name of God for hours on end . He worked till late night , writing commentaries on the holy book of Hinduism ( Bhagwat Gita ) . In the age where young people were disillusioned by America's defeat in the Vietnam war , he gave them a spiritual path to lead their time and not waste their lives as hippies doing drugs and free sex .

He also went to the Soviet union to spread his message in the time when it was controlled by communists and the godless marxists created numerous difficulties for him . But he gained followers who spread the message by underground means in Russia and translated the swami's works into Russian . Back in America however all this was creating a backlash . The swami was accused of propagating a cult and using mind control techniques to enchant America's youth . Young people who had joined his movement were kidnapped by people hired by their parents who did not want their children singing and dancing to the name of a strange eastern God wearing outlandish saffron coloured attire . A court case was launched against the movement .

But the courts declared that the movement was based on spiritual beliefs that had been practised in the ancient land of India for 5000 years and that there was nothing wrong with them---a triumph for the swami . And he decided to take his movement where it had all began , to India . When they landed in India , the Indians were simply astonished at the sight of westerners practising their religion of Hinduism more fervently than themselves . Indians could not bring themselves to believe this and tried to rub off the white colour of the skin of the devotees in the hope that rubbing it off would expose brown skin .

By the time the swami died , his movement had become firmly established in America and numerous beautiful temples had been built in the new world . After his death the movement had further expanded with new temples being built . This whole story is brought out by numerous interviews of the western disciples of the swami , who speak emotionally about the holy man in the movie which is more like a documentary . One disciple goes on to say that when Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada spoke , it was as if it was the Prime minister of an entire galaxy speaking . A touch hagiographic perhaps....

The movie has good music and good photography with clips of the swami speaking . A fine effort by ISKCON to advertise themselves . Critics would find flaws but the movie will energise the faith of believers . That's what it has been made for .

Verdict---good .

Three stars out of five .
 
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ashdoc

Member
Dec 7, 2017
80
95
Mumbai
Operation daybreak ( 1975 )

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1942---the heyday of nazi occupation of Europe . Hitler's right hand man Reinhard Heydrich is appointed as the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia ( modern day Czech republic ) and he quickly unleashes a reign of terror there , giving orders for murder of countless innocents . To stop him , the British parachute three Czechoslavs with orders to assassinate Heydrich . The Royal air force drops two of them in the wrong position 200 km away from their intended target .

The two are questioned by a german patrol and have to kill the germans . But they are helped by czechs who bribe a german driver to take the two to a doctor because one of them is wounded slightly . To the surprise of the two , the doctor first questions them and then unites them with the third member of the group . The mission is on and they prepare plans to kill Heydrich while hiding in a church along with the Czech underground resistance .

The members of the Czech resistance do not agree with the idea of killing Heydrich because the nazis would take terrible revenge by killing scores of innocent Czechs . But for the three sent from Britain , orders are orders . However the first chance to kill Heydrich is lost as another oncoming train blocks their sight just when they are going to shoot him from afar while he is travelling in a train to Berlin .

But they use the resistance members to track Heydrich's movements and find out that he regularly uses a route for reconnoitering the countryside and slows down at a particular turning point . Two members of the group plan to kill him there . They are Sergeant Jan Kubiš ( played by Timothy Bottoms ) and Sergeant Jozef Gabčík ( played by Anthony Andrews ) . The third ( Sergeant Karel Curda---played by Martin Shaw ) goes to meet his wife and child and stays there .

As Heydrich's car slows down one of the two tries to kill him upfront by sten gun but his gun jams . As he flees , Heydrich's bodyguard chases him and leaves his master unprotected . The other lobs a grenade from the other direction fatally wounding Heydrich . The two then meet in the church and members of the resistance then ask them to flee as the avenging germans are after their blood . The two decide to wait for the third member ( Curda ) to come back .

But Curda who is living with his wife gets terrified after he hears about the german massacre and destruction of the village of Lidice as revenge for Heydrich's murder . He fears for his wife and child and thinks that they would get killed too in the german orgy of revenge . He actually goes to the germans and rats out on his comrades in return for safety of his family !!

As the germans surround the church and begin to kill , the extended climax is full of pathos . Of the twosome realising to their chagrin that the comrade they waited for has actually betrayed them . Of the resistance group putting a fierce fight to the death killing many germans . At last gas is pumped into the hiding room of the two and still they hold out . Finally they are attempted to be drowned by pumping water until they are forced to shoot themselves .

The movie has decent photography , but it is the musical score that excels . The background music truly is scintillating and is rich with emotion . The nazi era is properly recreated complete with nazi salutes and uniforms and brutality . Acting and action is good but it is in emotion that the film really scores . The men find time to form dalliances with women and the grief of the women on their death is hard to watch , especially because it is a true story . Yes the movie is based on real events and what happened to each character during or after the war is told at the end . As expected , the war takes the lives of most . But the destroyed village of Lidice was rebuilt after the war , a testament to the triumph of justice .

Verdict---Good .

Four stars out of five .
 

Proud_Indian

Abhay
Dec 2, 2017
165
212
@ashdoc I know you are a movie buff and I also consider that myself as well. I'd like to share some of my favourite movies with you.
Maybe you have seen them already but if not then I'd suggest you to watch them and give your opinion.
I'd start with some of my all-time favourites

The man from earth
The Station Agent


Maybe you can suggest me some of your favorite movies as well.

regards
 
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Guynextdoor

Senior member
Dec 19, 2017
3,867
1,035
India
Buddha in a traffic jam

Arunoday Singh plays a dynamic young man who has come to Hyderabad to study in a university . He is talkative and can make speeches inspiring his peers . He has all the makings of a yuppie ; he is liberal and cool and as sophisticated as they come . His and his friends' lifestyle is as cool as it can be in India ; they dance and sing to the beat of rock music , they ( including the females ) drink and smoke and party . His female friend ( played by Akanksha Dwivedi ) is free enough to dance almost topless on the bartender's table in a lounge . So free that she act attracts the unwanted attention of the moral police , who violently interrupt the act .

But at not too long a distance from Hyderabad in the district of Bastar lives another India . The tribals living there are being crushed by both sides---by the naxalites who beat them up regularly for co operating with government authorities and the government authorities who humiliate them for being in cahoots with the naxals . They have no hope of progress or development . Their only source of pride is their 5000 year old way of life that has not been change for 5 millenia . It is they who are focus of the film , even though it is played out mainly in the big city .

Back in the big city , Arunoday Singh takes part in a campaign called pink bracampaign against the moral police and he comes into the limelight due this . His articulate speeches against the moral policing win him admirers and he becomes a popular figure in the university . During this time he comes to the attention of a professor in the university ( played by Anupam Kher ) and his wife played by Pallavi Joshi . They run an NGO which sells pottery made by the tribals from Bastar and the sales of the pottery are used to help raise money for the tribals' development....a worthy cause , no doubt . Along with them is Mahie Gill , who openly says to Arunoday that she is a believer in the tribals' cause. A naxalite sympathiser who grows close to Arunoday soon .

But the NGO runs on government grants , and the government has recently decided to cut the flow of funds to such NGOs because the money is being fuelled to the naxalites . So Anupam Kher approaches Arunoday to create a way of raising money for his NGO . Arunoday takes up the task with full gusto and soon comes up with a master plan to sell the tribals' pottery online and cut out all the middlemen , so that the money is directly transferred to the tribals for whose benefit the whole enterprise is supposed to be . But Anupam Kher develops acute discomfort at this idea , and he says that he is a professor not a businessman and his prestige as a professor will be affected if he goes into online business .

But the real reason for his refusal is different ; he is the typical JNU type of professor , in cahoots with the naxalites and their brutal leader who is played by Gopal K Singh . Anupam goes to meet them in their hideouts , and this time when he goes there he is told that Arunoday must be killed immediately . For Arunoday's plan for helping the tribals' is too good ; it will bypass all the middlemen controlled by naxalites and even the government agents who are all revealed to be part of the money siphoning mafia . Arunoday has unwittingly got mixed up in all this and has brought about his own doom...or has he ? For Anupam Kher's aide Mahie Gill is not a corrupt person but a real passionate naxalite who genuinely cares for the tribals' cause and is appalled by this planned murder , and her personal reason for this is that she is in love with Arunoday too . Also Anupam's wife Pallavi Joshi is shocked by her husband's involvement with the naxalites and is prepared to help Arunoday . Together they and Arunoday hatch a plan to bring the situation to justice....

Straightway I must say that it takes courage to make such a film ; the JNU type of anti nationals whom the movie villainizes have a tremendous hold on our media and culture . All reviewers panned the movie after it was released under pressure from the liberal/anti national mafia which controls our press . And the director's courage must be applauded by watching the film . For it brings out the true colours of the universities like JNU and their professors . They are clearly funding the maoists and in cahoots with them .

I could see myself in Arunoday---a real person , a buddha like figure who believes in peace and wants to lead a liberal westernized free life . But he has peoples' good at heart and being liberal does not mean he wants to be anti national . But in this movie Buddha has been caught in a traffic jam created by elements inimical to our nation....

The movie scores on photography and colours and has decent music and songs . Acting by Arunoday is top class and Anupam Kher too excels , especially excelling in his last speech when he spells out his mad dream of communist revolution in the classroom . For anybody interested in politics and wanting to be in touch with contemporary issues , the film is a must see !!

Verdict---Highly Recommended .

Four stars out of five.

Screw you
 
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Aravind

Wolfpack
Dec 5, 2017
1,153
1,247
Badacow7
Hare Krishna



'Hare Krishna' is an English language movie on the story of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada , the guru who started ISKCON ( International society for Krishna consciousness ) and was responsible for introducing his unique brand of Hinduism in the west . His brand of Hinduism consisted of worship of Lord Krishna , an avtar of the Hindu God Vishnu .

The movie shows his early life in short , and he was born in Calcutta in British ruled India . His father wanted him to devote himself to spiritual pursuits rather than materialistic pursuits and he got his own idols of Krishna and Krishna's platonic friend Radha since childhood for prayer . Yet he spent much of his life as a successful pharmacist who had a wife and children . During the Indian independence struggle , he was a follower of Gandhi .

His own guru Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati however advised him to follow the spiritual path rather than political path and asked him to follow the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , a guru who had lived and taught in the fifteenth century . These teachings asked followers to spread the message of Krishna by chanting the Lord's name and dancing on streets singing verses praising the Lord . Above all Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati asked him to spread Hinduism in the west rather than India .

It was in 1965 at the ripe old age of 70 that Prabhupada decided to renounce the world and become as ascetic spreading the name of Krishna in the west . He decided to forsake his ties with his wife and children who had grown up by now and could take care of themselves . Above all , he took the incredible decision to go to America and spread his brand of Hinduism there . This , even though he had no contacts there and no means of survival except his own stupendous faith in his own beliefs .

On arrival in USA , he distinguished himself by not being a hypocrite like other Indian gurus who had come to US to live in posh houses and travel by luxury cars . Instead he lived in nondescript housing in New York and his first targets were drug addicts . In fact it was these drug addicts who took pity on this old friendless lonely man and offered their help . But it was they who got helped instead .

Prabhupada asked them to spend their time in singing the name of Lord Krishna as a way of reaching out to God . As the drug addicts began to do so , their entire time was spent in this and their entire attention was focused on reaching out to God in this manner . And a miracle happened ; the hippies were soon off the drugs . They had found a way of channelizing their energy and time and stopped using drugs . Indeed soon they were off meat and alcohol and began living the life of orthodox hindus .

Soon the august guru Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada decided that his disciples should now dance on the streets chanting the name of Krishna and singing hymns in the Lord's name just like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's followers did in the fifteenth century . And the western world awoke to the phenomenon of westerners dancing chanting the name of a hindu God from the east on the streets of American cities .

Some of the more enterprising American converts decided to rope in American music stars to spread the message of the swami , and various bands like the Grateful dead and others began to chant the mantra given by the swami to his followers in their concerts . The mantra was ''hare Krishna hare Krishna , Krishna Krishna hare hare , hare Rama hare Rama , Rama Rama hare hare''---Rama being another avtar of Vishnu .

To contact the Beatles and bring them in their fold , the members of the newly registered ISKCON went to London . To stand out among the Londoners , the devotees shaved their heads and went bald and began to wear yellow robes of hindu ascetics . George Harrison was so impressed that he cut an album in honour of the Hare Krishna movement .

The heart as well as leader of the movement was Prabhupada , who at the age of seventy plus still danced tirelessly and sang the name of God for hours on end . He worked till late night , writing commentaries on the holy book of Hinduism ( Bhagwat Gita ) . In the age where young people were disillusioned by America's defeat in the Vietnam war , he gave them a spiritual path to lead their time and not waste their lives as hippies doing drugs and free sex .

He also went to the Soviet union to spread his message in the time when it was controlled by communists and the godless marxists created numerous difficulties for him . But he gained followers who spread the message by underground means in Russia and translated the swami's works into Russian . Back in America however all this was creating a backlash . The swami was accused of propagating a cult and using mind control techniques to enchant America's youth . Young people who had joined his movement were kidnapped by people hired by their parents who did not want their children singing and dancing to the name of a strange eastern God wearing outlandish saffron coloured attire . A court case was launched against the movement .

But the courts declared that the movement was based on spiritual beliefs that had been practised in the ancient land of India for 5000 years and that there was nothing wrong with them---a triumph for the swami . And he decided to take his movement where it had all began , to India . When they landed in India , the Indians were simply astonished at the sight of westerners practising their religion of Hinduism more fervently than themselves . Indians could not bring themselves to believe this and tried to rub off the white colour of the skin of the devotees in the hope that rubbing it off would expose brown skin .

By the time the swami died , his movement had become firmly established in America and numerous beautiful temples had been built in the new world . After his death the movement had further expanded with new temples being built . This whole story is brought out by numerous interviews of the western disciples of the swami , who speak emotionally about the holy man in the movie which is more like a documentary . One disciple goes on to say that when Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada spoke , it was as if it was the Prime minister of an entire galaxy speaking . A touch hagiographic perhaps....

The movie has good music and good photography with clips of the swami speaking . A fine effort by ISKCON to advertise themselves . Critics would find flaws but the movie will energise the faith of believers . That's what it has been made for .

Verdict---good .

Three stars out of five .
You do know that Srila Prabhupada was Poisoned by his closest disciples who were plants of CIA, Vatican etc. due to him converting many westerners into Sri Krishna bhaktas
 
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ashdoc

Member
Dec 7, 2017
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Mumbai
You do know that Srila Prabhupada was Poisoned by his closest disciples who were plants of CIA, Vatican etc. due to him converting many westerners into Sri Krishna bhaktas
But he was already 82 at the time of his death. He had already suffered a heart attack earlier according to the film .
 

ashdoc

Member
Dec 7, 2017
80
95
Mumbai
I don’t think iscon is the right platform for the spread of Hinduism. It is theme park hinduism and will eventually give us a bad name so I think it’s ok
Other than ISKCON what other organisations have been successful in spreading Hinduism in Europe and the west among non Hindus? It is our best bet for spreading Hinduism. Or Hinduism will remain confined to the countries where it is already practiced like India Nepal Mauritius Fiji etc.
 

Guynextdoor

Senior member
Dec 19, 2017
3,867
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India
Other than ISKCON what other organisations have been successful in spreading Hinduism in Europe and the west among non Hindus? It is our best bet for spreading Hinduism. Or Hinduism will remain confined to the countries where it is already practiced like India Nepal Mauritius Fiji etc.
An entity that charges entrance fees is not a religious organization. Isckon is no different from osho ashram. For gods sake don’t push these entities as legitimate representatives of Hinduism. They are not spiritual guides but alternatives to mall visits