Koi Mil Gaya

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In Hindi, and probably about 15 other languages because dicipherable English phrases occur frequently throughout. Koi Mil Gaya is India's answer to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET. Rohit's father is a scientist who is obssessed with communicating with space aliens. He sets up his computer to do so, but dies in an accident. His son, Rohit, is born brain-damaged and Forrest Gump-like, but in the best Hindi-film tradition capable of lapsing into song for any reason or none whatsoever. Jadoo, the alien, whose name means, (I think) magic, comes down from space and during a routine mission is left behind to afect the life of this young man and his friends. Really, take the plot from ET, dump it in the foothills of the Himalaya or some other extremely scenic mountain range in probably Northern India (I think the name of the town is Kuesali) and voila Koi Mil Gaya.

Somewhere along the line in the movie, there is a song that has the title in its lyrics, but I wasn't paying enough attention at the time, so I didn't capture a translation for you. But suffice to say that the film has an innocent, charming presence with enthusiastic, interesting actors and all of the trappings one has come to expect from Bollywood. I think Bollywood films are rapidly becoming a prime contenders for my favorite brand of foreign film--although the Japanese with their alarming disconnects from Western reality will probably remain ascendant. Indian films also show a sharp disconnect from Western Reality, but there is something joyful and ultimately appealing about them.

It's odd, but I've noted the same strain of "fatedness" without resignation in much of the literature that comes out of India. Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance could have been a real downer, but the sheer force of life and joy of the people who have been horribly treated by life makes it a wonderful celebration of life for me. The same is true of any number of other books and stories I have read of recent date. This form of disconnect from Western cynicism and angst, I find very easy to embrace.

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Yes, "Jadu" means magic. "Koi mil gaya" loosely means "I found someone."

Dear Sir,

Thanks so much for the clarification!





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 23, 2005 9:07 AM.

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