Eye candy premier feature from celebrity chef about the friendship of two untouchables: an orphan girl and a widow living in an ashram, and the political change it brought
I IS FOR INDIA
Even though I found some parts of the film to be a bit of a stretch, I none the less immensely enjoyed the feast of colors and emotions that Vikas Khanna, the chef at New York’s Junoon at the Rubin museum and host of MasterChef India created as his first narrative feature film. It’s based on his novel of the same name and was the closing feature at the New York Indian Film Festival.
At the center is a young female lawyer who had just won a supreme court case that will allow widows to participate in the colorful festival of Holi, from which they had been forbidden. We get a glimpse into the lawyer’s childhood, when she was an orphan in the streets of Banares nicknamed Chhoti (small) for her diminutive stature and befriended the newly widowed woman Noor. A touching, warm story shedding light on a real issue, and a beautiful statement on the injustices of the caste system.
I saw the film at the closing of New York Indian Film Festival, in the beautiful auditorium that remains from the venue’s Yiddish theatre heyday, and it was sold out, with people sitting in the aisles. The 1200+ people all breathing along with the film, its joys and tragedies.
The Last Color, 2019
Director: Vikas Kanna