I hadn’t seen a Bollywood film all the way through before – sure Slum Dog Millionaire, and snippets of vast song and dance routines, but not real Bollywood, not classic cult-following style Bollywood. So this pop-up film night, with an aim to introduce the genre to the masses in an accessible way, was aimed at me.
The film chosen was Deewaar – the film Slumdog was based on, but told from the ‘bad’ brothers perspective, with all the thrills and spills one could want. The warehouse space became an extension of the film, with a slum-style make-over. But this was a luxurious slum indeed – with a stream-lined silver caravan selling fresh lychee cocktails from beneath its awning, a hula flower adorned truck for coffee and classic Bollywood posters hung on every wall.
So we settled in our seats with our paper wrapped Jhalmuri – a bengali street food (this particular variation was conjured up by the talented family and friends catering the event). A fresh vegetarian mix of chick peas, cucumber and green chills, authentically eye-wateringly spicy, paired well with the elegant cooling lychee martinis from across the slum.
They really had gone the whole hog – between the four parts of the film we had live fighting action sequences, multiple dance troupe performances and a beginner’s lesson in Bollywood dancing which had everyone up and joining in.
The huge amount of effort and attention to detail, mixed with a relaxed atmosphere (partly due to friends and family all pitching in on favours and good will) made for a wholly entertaining evening. On leaving, we were even given individual sweet coconut favours, hand wrapped in paper and ribbon to keep us occupied on the bus ride home. Can’t wait for the next Bitesize event.