New Film: Saas Bahu Aur Sensex – the most telling account of modern India amid the money and masala
‘Saas, Bahu Aur Sensex’, will release across the UK on 19th September 2008. A spicy dose of drama, comedy and emotion, the film is set against the backdrop of the money markets, the masala and the kitty parties of modern day Mumbai. Directed by Canadian born filmmaker, Shona Urvashi, ‘Saas, Bahu and Sensex’provides a kaleidoscopicview of modern India, a country that, whilst emerging as one of the world’s leading superpowers, is also caught between modernity and conservatism; materialism and simple living; and progress and traditionalism.
It is these dichotomies that make for life stories that are at once engaging, humorous and touching. Woven together with the intricacy and perfection of a sumptuous silk saree, ‘Saas, Bahu Aur Sensex’ unfolds around its central character, ‘Nitya Sen’ (played by rising star of Indian cinema Tanushree Dutta).
Nitya is a young woman who has to abandon her ambition of studying an MBA in the United States when she is uprooted by her mother from the family home in Kolkata and relocated to the alien environs of Navi (new) Mumbai, following her parents’ divorce. Keen to start a new life for her daughter and herself, Nitya’s mother, ‘Vinita’ (veteran actress Kiron Kher) embraces the high life of kitty parties and coffee mornings with the local ladies, whilst also jumping head first into the volatile world of stock markets and shares.
The mother / daughter relationship sinks to a low point so Nitya seeks solace in the company of ‘Ritesh’ (Anjur Khanna). Ritesh, a colleague at the call centre where they both work, is among a dying breed of kind-hearted, principled young men in the city.
He has a strong sense of integrity, despite dating ‘Kirti’ (Masumeh Makhija) – a middle class girl with delusions of grandeur and dreams of marrying into money. Cont/d…Serving coffee at Costa, Kirti has no qualms about spending a month’s salary on a Gucci bag, and harbours the dream of marrying billionaire by birth, ‘Yash Modi’ (Sudanshu Pande), the heir to a large share of the financial call centre, ‘M & M’, where Nitya and Ritesh work. Paradoxically, Kirti’s sister has had an arranged marriage to a traditional husband, and her role in life is now confined to housewife status and keeper of the private space of their home. ‘Saas, Bahu Aur Sensex’ offers an insightful and engaging view into a world caught between polarities, and how its inhabitants cope with the complexities that face them in their everyday lives, told through a story that seamlessly combines humour, pathos and drama. It is a perfect example of parallel Indian cinema at its very best, revealing multiple layers of the human condition and the ongoing dilemmas we face – a sense of belonging versus individual identity; and comfortable familiarity of the past versus the inescapable future.
‘Saas, Bahu Aur Sensex’ also reflects the changing face of society as the inevitable onslaught global consumerism and the mass market is full-heartedly embraced by some, while defiantly resisted by others. ‘Saas, Bahu Aur Sensex’ is released in the UK by Warner Bros Pictureson 19th September 2008.