A Thousand Dreams Such As These

A Thousand Dreams Such As These


Reviewed by: Trinity

It is 1969. Three university friends - idealistic Siddarth, a Hindu-Bengali Muslim, selfish Vikram, a rich kid who wants to have an easy life, and beautiful Geeta, a middle-class South Indian who has to balance love with family - are faced with the traditional student quandaries of politics and relationships. Vikram loves Geeta but doesn't know how to tell her. Geeta loves Siddarth, but Siddarth only wants to "fundamentally change the system."

Over the next decade, Vikram's attitude to life enables him to build up his wealth. Geeta drifts into marriage and responsibility and Siddarth follows his ideals to become an activist. As the political situation in India declines, Vikram is forced to make decisions, which drag him back into the dangerous world inhabited by Siddarth and Geeta.

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A Thousand Dreams Such As These is an oddity for those of us used to the Bollywood product that reaches the West. There is still the same emphasis on the importance of family and friends and the character stereotypes are eerily familiar: the playboy, the passionate believer and the beautiful, intelligent woman. But here it is set against a vivid backdrop of seven years of political turmoil - an Indian take on Our Friends In The North, perhaps, or, given the levels of melodrama and emphasis on class difference, a reinterpretation of Look Back In Anger.

It is good to see the differences, not just in class, but religious background and political allegiance explored - a particular issue in the melting pot of India. However, it is a shame that this is not done better. In trying to balance the relationship with the political drama, as well as moving the story through almost a decade in just over two hours, director Sudhir Mishra has taken on more than he can chew. He is not helped by pale characterisation and poor acting. Only Roshan Ahuja, as Vikram, evokes much interest. Overall, this will appeal to those interested in the politics of the time, but will drag for everyone else.

Reviewed on: 27 Aug 2004
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Three friends live through a decade of political turmoil in India.

Director: Sudhir Mishra

Writer: Sudhir Mishra, Shiv Kumar Subramanium, Ruchi Narain

Starring: Kay Kay Menon, Roshan Ahuja, Chitrangda Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Anupam Shyam, Arif Zakaria, Ram Kapoor, Aditya Bhattacharya, Yashpal Sharma, Sohrab Ardeshir

Year: 2003

Runtime: 130 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: India


EIFF 2004

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If you like this, try:

Look Back In Anger