I Broadway Bound ( 15) Playwright Neil Simon‘s trilogy. which began with Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues continues in post-war America. More stagey and


Five years after refusing to join his family on a flight to India that was to explode in mid-air, troubled rebel Krishna (Srinivas Krishna) decides to come to terms with the past by turning to the lap of his family, but his plea for help from wealthy sari magnate Lallu Bhai (Saeed Jaffrey) proves the catalyst for all manner of eccentric behaviour from his various relatives. Lallu, for instance, appears to be negotiating with a Sikh terrorist group, while his cousin Mr Tikko’s (Saeed Jaffrey again) reluctance to hand over a priceless item from his stamp collection and save himself from

magical forest. a fairy saves a human from certain death by shrinking him. Only then does he realise the environmental impact of what his race is doing to the world‘s

Masala: 'a treat for the jaded cinematic palate‘

any multi-ethnic metropolitan area

talk-based than its predecessors. it is saved

environment. Technically impressive, this animated

penury has left Grandma (Zhora Segal) with no recourse but to summon up the

sub-plots, jaunty musical numbers and

across the world. Juggling a myriad of j l

a very tongue-in-cheek portrayal of

relationship with horses helps a self-made millionaire with his stud farm. ‘A story about a loving. stable relationship‘ says the press blurb. Considering it‘s ‘jockeyed‘ by ex-Spandau Ballet member Martin Kemp. The List forecast is for a fall at the first fence.

I FemGully: The Last Balnforest (U) In a

returns with a flick that consists of five simultaneous taxi rides in five cities around the world. Ill-matched meetings and clashes of opposites in their most obvious setting. played by a fine cast. inciuding Beatrice Dalle. Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl. Gina Rowlands and Roberto Benigni. See feature.

by moments (“Sharp feature has more 80mg for Lord Krishna (Saeed Jaffrey once dia'oguc 3“" some W‘mhy i‘ “‘8” 3" cc"'°gica"y more) through her TV remote control character portrayals. sound conscience.

I Daydream Believer ( 15) I flight On Earth (15) Cult :nid geek a heavgrflhhandl'tmdnas r

A girl with a special director Jim Jarmusch r s "3 copes m e s“ w a e" “ms

the day...

Mississippi Masala,

of Rita Tikkoo (Sakina Jaffrey), Lallu’s son Anil (Herj Johal) becomes further aware of how his family’s strict values have suppressed his sexuality as his sensual fantasies grow more vivid by

Not to be mistaken for Mira Nair’s

writer/director/star Srinivas Krishna's debut feature is an effervescent satire on clashing generations and culture differences, set in Toronto’s 'Litfle India‘ but sharply relevant to virtually

(Trevor Johnston)

mischief-making Lord Krishna, it perfectly lives up to the culinary definition of its title as ‘a spicy combination of elements’. Sure, it's a serious look at hypocrisy in many guises, but as Saeed Jaffrey’s hugely enjoyable triple comic bow suggests, there’s a genuine affection for its characters and a sense of fun in the filmmaking that hipper-than-thou would-be gurus like Hanif Kureishi would do well to note. Hot stuff, and a treat for the jaded cinematic palate.

Masala (15) (Srinivas Krishna, Canada, 1991) Srinivas Krishna, Saeed Jaffrey, Zhora Segal. 110 mins

Happy Krishna

Trevor Johnston finds the new Asian—Canadian director, Srinivas Krishna as fascinated by Busby Berkley and MTV as by the god who shares his name.

‘Of course. people obviously draw comparisons with Hanif Kureishi. but I don‘t think my film is so different from. say. Martin Scorsese‘s Good/ellas.‘ claims Canadian-Asian Srinivas Krishna with all the confidence of a man who‘s just written, directed and starred in his first feature, the enterprising satirical extravaganza Masala. ‘Scorsese's film looks at the Italians and the Irish in New York. but nobody really speaks of it as an ethnic film. What I’m trying to say is that Masala isn’t just about the Indian community, isn't just about those people. It’s about people we all know and they don‘t have to be Indians. It sounds funny to even mention it but those people live amongst us.‘

Having spent the past year or so on the international festival circuit. 28-year-old Krishna has grown wary of the instant pigeonholing that can befall a movie like his own. and while the appearance of Saeed Jaffrey‘s Lord Krishna in an ice—hockey kit is specific to the Toronto Can-Asian milieu. previous drafts of the script before Ontario arts funds buoyed up the financing had located the action in London (where Krishna pitched up as a cricketer) and in New York (where he became a quarterback surrounded by groupies). ‘It would have been a different film had it

z ( a: ' i I / .‘v I

happened in those cities.‘ he reckons. ‘but instead of addressing what makes people distinct. I‘d rather look at what makes them the same.‘

With these words in mind. what will surprise a lot of J udaeo-Christian Westerners about Masala, especially in the light of the Satanic Verses affair, is the freedom with which Krishna makes fun of his godly namesake. but the filmmaker maintains that he couldn‘t set a story among the Hindu community without the gods coming into it. ‘I grew up with these tales and there's a


whole genre of Indian cinema devoted to the mythologicals. so it just seemed natural that Krishna would be part of this Rebel Without A Cause sort of story. What does Krishna have to do with James Dean? Quite a lot. actually. Here's a Hindu god dragged into a Christian society so that he's really pretty unsure of his jurisdiction. That's the irony and delight of the world we live in.‘

To the untutored eye. Masala‘s musical set-pieces and mythological interludes seem to indicate the determined influence ofthe Hindi movie industry. except that Krishna sees the film as ‘conducting a negotiation with popular cinema in general'. Thus. the cheery song-and-dance numbers are not only ‘Brechtian devices showing the inner life of the characters'. but they're also alluding to Indian film. Busby Berkeley and MTV. ‘I grew up with Indian movies and Hollywood movies. and to my mind you can feel oppressed by that language of popular cinema or you can individualise it: make it do things that it hasn’t done before. That’s why we need an independent cinema in the first place.‘

It‘s fighting talk indeed from the man who‘ll spend the summer in London working on a new screenplay to be set on these shores. In the meantime. though. his place in the history books seems assured by being the proud possessor of the first Asian penis to pop up. as it were. in a mainstream movie. ‘And yes.‘ he beams. ‘my mother is proud.’ (Trevor Johnston)

18'l‘he List 3| July— l3 August 1992