Home > Bhopal, racism / white privilege, Things that make me happy, travel > Dhoom 3 – fun and great twist on white James Bond using non white countries as exotic playground

Dhoom 3 – fun and great twist on white James Bond using non white countries as exotic playground

Dhoom 3 was amazing! Such a good movie. Really high production values and lots of fun. I think as my first Bollywood film it may have set future expectations unrealistically high. And the big baddie was a white corporate exec called Warren Anderson! Surely it can’t be a coincidence that this is exactly shared with Union Carbide’s chief exec, himself responsible for the corporate manslaughter of thousands here in Bhopal?!

USA was used as the exotic backdrop and the white cops were kinda dumb and useless and needing the assistance of the smart (in all senses of the word) Indian cops. It was the Indians who had the fancy moves during the chase scenes and the white cops who had the big smash ups. In fact apart from one white character (and she could speak Hindi) the white guys were either dumb or evil. But after decades of the reverse (eg this year’s “Captain Phillips”) this seemed just!

In particular a river chase scene invoked all those James Bonds where river boats are ripped through – but this time its brown guys using a white city as a playground. Somehow I enjoyed that. And I really like that unapologetic self-confidence rather than the internalised-racism self-cringe.

I thought my initial 2 days of travel plus jet lag had intensified and clouded my emotions and so biased my love-at-first-sight reaction to even Mumbai airport, but no, its getting deeper every day. I became unmotivated to learn any more Hindi last week as it won’t be useful after I travel south next month, but I’ve picked it up again this week (today I learned to (sort of / badly) count to 100) because I think I will come back here, to Bhopal. And so much of the north to see I will have to make at least one more trip to this gorgeous country.

Also on the way home and still feeling invigorated from the movie, I got my hair cut right back – I’d let it grow to about an inch so it would be less shocking out here. But after a fortnight I realised that the best thing I can do is wear Indian clothes, which anyway are gorgeous. I am white and that is enough to get stared at off the beaten track. I can’t fade into comfortable background however long my hair gets, so I might as well have the hairstyle I want! India is very diverse so can probably handle this weird chick with shaved head. So I went into a barber’s, showed him a photo of me with a shorn head (I long ago learned that I will otherwise get disbelief that I understand what I am asking for) and now am again bald. :)

Endnote : the gender politics in D3 were pretty standard – female characters pretty and used for love interest and eye candy. Please don’t go see this movie thinking its particularly progressive. I just enjoyed it that’s all.

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  1. October 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm

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