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Bollywood, Meet Sydney: Mystical India

I have to buck the crowd here and say that I’m just not much of a Slumdog Millionaire fan. Cue cries: “Who is this freak?”; “What’s not to love?”; “You suck!” I get that everyone really enjoyed it, I really do. I just didn’t think it was the best movie I saw all year. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a little Bollywood from time to time, and the joy one feels at a hundred people spontaneously breaking into boogy. Hey, I watch So You Think You Can Dance. I’m a total aficionado.
Also, I’m a big fan of Butter Chicken. Clearly, I’ve established my Bollywood credentials.

Over on the grown up side of The Bridge (Harbour, obviously), they have this little summer film festival called Starlight Cinema. Not content to just play some movies in a park, they are ramping it up to eleven this weekend with dance lessons, jewellery workshops, yoga, astrology, talks, saris, food, music and Indian performers. The best part? Bhangra musicians will fuse their sitars with guitars, which is really just my corny way of saying that there will be performers who have created their own blend of Bhangra and rock. Requisite henna tattooists will be in situ, for all your henna needs. A must for every henna enthusiast! And frankly, who isn’t a henna nut? I know I’m bang up for impermanent brown ink in pretty patterns.


It won’t all be frivolous entertainment of course; for those with a bit of spiritual or intellectual curiosity, there will be talks on the Art of Happiness, yoga, Understanding Hare Krishna, the Curiosities of Indian Culture and traditional storytelling. You don’t even have to know what they’re talking about! All welcome.

The day will finish with the ever-fun Bollywood movie, a story of love (aren’t they all?), Love Aaj Kal. The film begins with a couple breaking-up. Being all civil and grown up about the whole thing, they decide to have a break-up party to celebrate their renewed singledome. Cue the hilarity, the dancing and the parade of everyone’s favourite four-letter-word.


Tickets to Starlight Cinema’s “Mystical India” are $22 online or $26 at the gate (there is a concession discount available too). For more details and the full program, have a look at the Starlight Cinema website.


words: Kristen Hodges

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