February 20, 2008

"Rice Plate" from Dus kahaniyaan

I missed Dus kahaniyaan in the theaters, but when I noticed recently that someone had snuck parts of it up on YouTube, I couldn't resist taking a look at Rice Plate, Rohit Roy's segment starring Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah.

It was worth it.

Rice Plate is a fantastic piece of Shabaniana that every reader of this blog should take 10 minutes to watch. (What I've linked up there lacks subtitles, but I think you'll be able to follow what's going on even if you have no Hindi at all.) It's ten minutes of Shabana Azmi doing what she does best - a vibrant, physical performance in which she just transforms into an entirely different human being. In Rice Plate Shabana wears the skin of a cranky, bitter Tamilian grandma having a very, very bad day. Even though her character is dour, bigoted, and mean, I smiled through the whole thing, because her performance was a total delight. Do watch it.


Anonymous said...

Hey Carla,

thanks for the tip on watching Rice Plate on YouTube. I saw Dus Kuhaniyaan in the theatre (you didn't miss much) but watched it with subtitles. Unfortunately, you miss things when you are concentrating on the subtitles, so it was fun to watch it without them!


Anonymous said...

Shabana is awfully loud and brings a UPwala stamp in every peformance. Now, why is it that Mayawati is more entertaining than the nautankiyas from her state?

Filmi Geek said...

Anonymous, thanks for your comment. Criticism of Shabana Azmi's politics is not too hard to come by but criticism of her acting is rare indeed, and of great interest to me.

I was hoping you could unpack your comment a bit, since I (along with many of SLP's readers) am not Indian, and not fully aware of UP culture and politics. Can you please explain what you mean by the "UPwala stamp" in Shabana's performances? I'm especially curious because as far as I know Shabana is not from UP.