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Beyond the red carpet: A Bollywood film takes a critical look at modern India and Jessica Chastain stars in an unconventional story of love and loss

Elle Canada
Culture

Beyond the red carpet: A Bollywood film takes a critical look at modern India and Jessica Chastain stars in an unconventional story of love and loss

tiff-2013-films0eleanorrigbyJessica Chastain stars in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. Story by Sabrina Maddeaux.

Sabrina Maddeaux reports on the press conference for A Random Desi Romance and reviews The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, one of the festival’s most talked-about films. Films: It appears filmmakers are making a serious effort at shaking up the romance genre this year. First, Blue Is the Warmest Color blew away audiences and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and now The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby spins the traditional love story into a unique tale told from two different perspectives that can be screened in any order. The film shows the separate thoughts and experiences of both “him” and “her.” The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby follows a couple that, after struggling for some time due to a tragic incident, decides to separate. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy take the title roles and turn in two moving performances—although I found their characters to be rather unsympathetic, perhaps one of the film’s only shortfalls. Nevertheless, it’s an emotional and unconventional look at love, family, loss, and destiny. Most importantly, one very big industry power player is a fan of the film. News broke last night that Harvey Weinstein acquired the movie for an undisclosed amount in the $3-million range. Sabrina reviews A Random Desi Romance on the next page...

tiff-2013-desiromance_02Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra stars in A Random Desi Romance.

Quotables: Director Maneesh Sharma, screenwriter Jaideep Sahni, and Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra talked all things A Random Desi Romance at the film’s press conference. The movie is an unconventional love story, particularly because it breaks genre rules by featuring a promiscuous strong female lead. “The very urban issues of commitment and love are for the first time being dealt with in small town, which is very quirky, new and refreshing,” he continued. “Conservatism leads to frustration and nasty side effects and society reacts with more conservatism. We need to break the cycle that has 51 per cent of the population locked up at home.” Parineeti talked about her unusual career path (she graduated with a finance degree and started out as a PR intern who was never interested in acting). “I was a hotshot banker and I thought acting was beneath me. Only after I worked in the industry… after joining YRF… (I) developed respect for the profession … I wanted to do it,” she said. Parineet was eager to star in A Random Desi Romance because of its rather critical look at modern Indian society. “It’s easy for me to be a heroine and dance around trees and all that, but I’m not interested in that,” she said. “We are a generation of non-conformists. Youngsters don’t go by the rulebook anymore… If we are running towards each other or away from each other, is because we are not happy where we are and we are trying to find things that are making us happy.” OVER TO YOU What's your favourite love story? What was your pick for top TIFF '13 film? Who was best dressed on the TIFF '13 red carpet?  
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Beyond the red carpet: A Bollywood film takes a critical look at modern India and Jessica Chastain stars in an unconventional story of love and loss