Thursday, January 17, 2008

In Bollywood, Bombay to Bangkok

The big release in India this week is Nagesh Kukunoor's comedy, Bombay to Bangkok, about a bumbling guy (Shreyas Talpade) in trouble with the mob, who escapes from harm by infiltrating a team of relief doctors and jetting to Thailand.

There, he meets cute and falls in love with a comely Thai masseuse named Jasmine (SARS Wars' Lena Christensen). The relationship is a struggle, though, because Jasmine only speaks Thai, which is ironic because Lena got the part because she could speak English.

The film was shot on location in Bangkok, with the "boys in tight brown" of the Royal Thai Police more than happy to help out as noted by Planet Bollywood (click at your own peril):

The film that Nagesh describes as a "wacky comedy", has many interesting anecdotes connected with it. Not only was the movie actually shot on the tarmac of the Bangkok airport, but what is really surprising is that there are real cops from the [South]east Asian country, essaying the role of the law enforcers. As per Nagesh, he had hired the services of real policemen who used to shoot for his film after their duty hours. They were very cooperative and enthusiastic and gave the scenes an authentic look.

Among the bloggers tracking this film is Amrit Pal of Indian in Thailand, who wrote earlier this week about the film's chances of being released in Bangkok, which Amrit feels are pretty slim, even though Thai audiences, especially Indian Thais, would probably enjoy this comedy more than people in India. Says Amrit:

I really wonder if the movie title and the promos are compelling enough for people to come to the theaters to watch the movie. Only the people who are connected to Thailand in some way will find it interesting ...

The only thing which scores with people is "humor" but in this movie it will be more contextual than situational. As such, the people who have no idea of culture, traditions, behavior and language of Thais will never understand it. Even the tag line of "same same but different" would not be understood by many. Moreover, I don't expect any extraordinary treatment of this subject- only a simple one. But if it is, it will be a landmark movie and it will be a mistake not to release it here in Bangkok as even the Thais would like to watch it.

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