Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bond does india

Udaipur is my first stop in Rajasthan, and any local will tell you that it's most famous for its part in 'Octopussy,' a mediocre Bond film (Roger Moore, not even Sean Connery). after spending a good chunk of the day walking around, I was a little miffed to discover the following discrepancies between the film and reality:

1) There are gorgeous western women running around half naked and in perfect hair and makeup, everywhere. Manning the rows on the boat, at casinos in sheer tops, bellydancing for guards, all of it a veritable boobfest. First of all, those women don't exist here-- most western women here are pretty grizzled from all the travelling they've been doing, and I certainly didn't see any dirty hippies in that movie. Secondly, those women would definitely be gawked at and/or harrassed and I didn't see a single sideways glance from anyone. that sounds harsh, but it's a reality -- india is probably not the best place to play out your half-naked harem fantasies, yet here is Octopussy, leading a rogue band of hot women on a scantily-clad-women's-only island in the middle of udaipur's lake. wtf?

2) Bond escapes into a jungle, where he is pursued not only by the bad guys, but also every single type of animal you would stereotypically find in a jungle. there isn't even a jungle around here, but if there were, you certainly wouldn't find a crocodile in it. some would argue that the tiger is legit, but I think we're in the wrong part of india for it. and the big snake is reasonable, but to encounter all of these within 3 minutes? udaipur is the honeymoon capital of india because it's tame and pretty, not because it's the bush.

3) the bad guy's bodyguard is a huge indian guy wearing a turban. I really don't think any of the hollywood producers were thoughtful enough to think, hmmm, he's wearing a turban because we want him to be Sikh. nope, I bet the producer was like, OOOH, what is more indian than a turban? and come on, he has maybe one line in the movie! all he does is grunt, and bring out all sorts of exotic weapons with which to fight Bond. a totally disappointing representation of indian people.

4) no head wobble, no one spitting betel nut juice, no indian music anywhere, and only one cow the entire film? they might as well have saved their money and filmed on a set in Queens, because the only thing they got right was the crazy rickshaw driving.

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