Talat's Cinema Notes: "Brooklyn" and "Rajni Gandha"
(with allusions to "Manhattan" and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore")
Description of Indian Parallel Cinema Movie Rajni Gandha from Wikipedia:Rajni Gandha (Translation: Tuberose) is a Hindi movie directed by Basu Chatterjee and released in 1974. It is based on story "Yehi Sach Hai" by noted Hindi writer Manu Bhandari.
The movie stars Amol Palekar, Vidya Sinha and Dinesh Thakur in the lead. Rajnigandha won the Best Picture, the Popular Award and the Critics Award at the Filmfare Awards in 1975.
Rajnigandha was considered to have a realistic outlook on cinema in 1974, an era when potboilers were ruling Bollywood. The film was the first screen role of Vidya Sinha and first Hindi film of Amol Palekar, both of whom went on to work with Basu Chatterjee in many films.
A job interview call from a college in Mumbai re-acquaints her with Navin (Dinesh Thakur) whom she had split up with under acrimonious circumstances. Navin is in every way the antithesis of Sanjay: He is very punctual and looks after her during her stay in Mumbai. Navin shows her the city and helps her with the job interview. This rekindles Deepa's feelings for him, and she finds herself torn between the two men and between her past and her present. Upon her return to Delhi, she feels that her first love (Navin) is her true love. She receives a letter stating that she has got the job in Mumbai. At the same time Sanjay comes to her house and tells her that he has got a promotion. Deepa then feels that she should forget the past and get married to Sanjay.
Description of the 2015 movie Brooklyn from Wikipedia... modified by Talat Afroze:2015 Irish-British-Canadian drama directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby, based on Colm Tóibín's novel of the same name. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters. Set in 1951 and 1952, the film tells the story of a young Irish woman's immigration to Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance and the young man introduces her to his parents and eventually also shows her the plot of land in Long Island where he hopes to build a house for her. When her elder sister dies unexpectedly, she has to return to Ireland but her new found Italian-American lover pressures her to get married before she goes back. Upon arriving back in Ireland, her home town reacts differently and in a much better way to her and she receives the attentions of a young middle class Irish man whom she begins to like as well. She eventually has to choose between her young husband whom she has left behind in Brooklyn and her Irish suitor. She is confronted with a choice between two countries, two men and the lives that exist within them for her.
Brooklyn premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. It opened in limited release on 4 November 2015 in the United States and the UK on 6 November 2015. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Description of the 1974 movie "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" from Wikipedia:
Their financial situation forces them to take temporary lodgings in Phoenix, Arizona, where she finds work as a lounge singer in a seedy bar. There she meets the considerably younger and seemingly available Ben, who uses his charm to lure her into a sexual relationship that comes to a sudden end when his wife Rita confronts Alice. Ben breaks into Alice's apartment while Rita is there and physically assaults her for interfering with his extramarital affair. When Alice tells Ben to calm down, he threatens her also and further smashes up the apartment. Fearing for their safety, Alice and Tommy quickly leave town.
Having spent most of the little money she earned on a new wardrobe, Alice is forced to delay their journey to the West Coast and accept a job as a waitress in Tucson so she can accumulate more cash. At the local diner owned by Mel, she eventually bonds with her fellow servers—independent, no-nonsense, outspoken Flo and quiet, timid, incompetent Vera—and meets divorced local rancher David, who soon realizes the way to Alice's heart is through Tommy.
Still emotionally wounded from the difficult relationship she had with her uncommunicative husband and the frightening encounter she had with Ben, Alice is hesitant to get involved with another man so quickly. However, she finds out that David is a good influence on Tommy, who has befriended wisecracking, shoplifting, wine-guzzling Audrey, a slightly older girl forced to fend for herself while her mother makes a living as a prostitute.
Alice and David warily fall in love, but their relationship is threatened when Alice objects to his discipline of the perpetually bratty Tommy. The two reconcile, and David offers to sell his ranch and move to Monterey so Alice can try to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming another Alice Faye. In the end, Alice decides to stay in Tucson, coming to the conclusion that she can become a singer anywhere.
Description of American movie "Manhattan" from Wikipedia:
The film was met with widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress for Hemingway and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Allen and Brickman. Its North American box office receipts of $39.9 million made it Allen's second biggest box office hit (after adjusting for inflation). Often considered one of Allen's best films, it ranks 46th on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list and number 63 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies". In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
When Isaac meets Mary, her cultural snobbery rubs him the wrong way. Isaac runs into her again at an Equal Rights Amendment fund-raising event at the Museum of Modern Art hosted by Bella Abzug (who is played by herself) and accompanies her on a cab ride home. They chat until sunrise in a sequence that culminates in the iconic shot of the Queensboro Bridge. In spite of a growing attraction to Mary, Isaac continues his relationship with Tracy but emphasizes that theirs cannot be a serious relationship and encourages her to go to London to study acting. In another iconic scene, at Tracy's request, they go on a carriage ride through Central Park.
After Yale breaks up with Mary, he suggests that Isaac ask her out. Isaac does, always having felt that Tracy was too young for him. Isaac breaks up with Tracy, much to her dismay, and before long, Mary has virtually moved into his apartment. Emily is curious about Isaac's new girlfriend, and after several meetings between the two couples, including one where Emily reads out portions of Jill's new book about her marriage with Isaac, Yale leaves Emily to resume his relationship with Mary. A betrayed Isaac confronts Yale at the college where he teaches, and Yale argues that he found Mary first. Isaac responds by discussing Yale's extramarital affairs with Emily, but Yale told her that Isaac introduced Mary to him. In the denouement, Isaac lies on his sofa, musing into a tape recorder about the things that make "life worth living". When he finds himself saying "Tracy's face", he sets down the microphone.
He leaves his apartment and sets out on foot for Tracy's. He arrives at the lobby of her family's apartment just as she is leaving for London. He says that she does not have to go and that he does not want "that thing about [her] that [he] like[s]" to change. She replies that the plans have already been made and reassures him that "not everybody gets corrupted" before saying "you have to have a little faith in people." He gives her a slight smile with a final coy look to the camera then segueing into final shots of the skyline with some bars of Rhapsody in Blue playing again. An instrumental version of "Embraceable You" plays over the credits.