Thursday, December 12, 2019

"The Sky is Pink" My top movie for 2019

If you are human  "The Sky is Pink" will definitely make you cry although you might try to hide it.  You will also laugh a lot.  You might even feel you understand the meaning of life a little bit better.  This movie crossed my radar a few months ago and I read as much as I could.  I was shocked that it seemed to have an ordinary IMDB rating and when I checked closer I noticed the vast majority of reviewers gave it a 10/10 with a few 9's--I will be a 9 on principle.

One criticism was that it was too long, but I didn't feel that way at all.  It held attention as it jumped back and forth in time.  Stay tuned for the very end.  The frame was different in that it started after the death of Aisha, the lead character who announced she would be narrating the story which focused as much on her parents.

Don't want to spoil the story, but you already know she dies.  She talks about her parent's sex life and their tensions.  Because of medical histories at one point it appears that the father was not the father of one of their three children.  Turned out to be a bureaucratic screw-up, but caused stress.  We learned of stresses before the birth of Aisha and she herself predicts the parents will argue after her death.  In the meantime there are a lot of the ups and downs (traveling between London and Delhi) of the family with a dying daughter.

At the end credits we are shown the real Chaudhary family and a speech by Ayesha that is very impactful (reportedly that Priyanka's husband, Nick Jonas cried).

For those worried about sub-titles, yes there are lots, but there is also a lot of English--they spend several years in London and as upper middle class people there is English in many of the scenes in India.

A key person in bringing this beautiful movie is Shonali Bose as director and writer.  At the end she left a note in the credits regarding her own son's tragic death.  Before she died Ayesha (changed to Aisha for the script) had seen the trailer of a movie, "Margarita with a Straw" (more of that in the link) a few dozen times, but the movie was not released before she died.  Her mother and father did see the movie and were very moved and chased down Shonali living in Los Angeles at the time and said they wanted her to do the movie version of the story.  Shonali had her own son die and it contributed to her divorce.  An earlier blog gives more details about Shonali's movie career:

The co-writer was Nilash Maniyar who had also co-written "Margarita with a Straw," but has been involved as a casting director and producer (including "The Sky is Pink").

Music was by Pritam Chakraborty.  He wrote music for "Jab We Met" (with one of the all time best romantic songs), "Barfi" "Dangal," "Ae Dil Hai Muskil," and "Life in a Metro" where you could see him actually performing.  My favorite male singer, Arijit Singh sings in two songs. The real son composed a song for his sister which is played during the credits.
Andrew Alderslade, the cinematographer has mostly done American films.  For this he traveled between London and Mumbai.  The viewer will see a variety of scenes, some quit impressive.

Minas Mittal, the editor  had worked on "Detective Byomkesh Bakshy."

Priyanka Chopra played the mother Aditi and was also an executive producer.  In the year 2000 she won the titles of "Miss India" and "Miss World" and I would say maturity has added to her beauty.  She was the lead in an American tv series, "Quantico."  She married an American, Nick Jonas, but still combines Bollywood movies with American films.   Some of her standout movies include "Dil Dhadakne Do," "Barfi" "Don," "Don 2" and "Mary Kom."  She has also produced regional movies in Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi and "Bhojpuri.  She has also been involved as a volunteer for literacy and polio.

Farhan Akhtar played the father Nirvan and has a long history starting as a producer/director for "Dil Chatha Hai," with Aamir Khan, followed by "Lakshya" with Hrithik Roshan and "Don," another big budget film with Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra.  This past year produced "Gully Boy," a top movie.  He has been an actor in a number of good movies,  "Rock On,"(as a lead, singer), "Karthik Calling Karthik," "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag," and "Zindagi na Milegi Dobara" (directed by his sister Zoya).   He has also written scripts and dialogue and does most of his own singing.

Zara Wasim played Aisa and had been in two previous movies with Aamir Khan, "Dangal" and "Secret Superstar" where she played the lead.  Her spunkiness as actress and narrator developed the audience's buying into the story.

Rohat Sarat played Ishaan, the son.  He has been in a few notable films, "Dear Zindagi," "Hichki," and "What Will People Say" (in my subtitled best films for 2019).

My second favorite movie of the year is also from India, but not a Bollywood movie.  It is quite different but very engaging from the very beginning.

The bolded movie titles are just to indicate some familiarity of that particular movie.

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