What You Need To Know:
(NA, L, V, S, NN, FR) Secular paganism; 9 obscenities & profanities; spouse abuse, abortion discussed; fornication implied; male strip-tease dancing; and, discussion with Indian god.
The R-rated BHAJI ON THE BEACH is a story that revolves around a day-trip to Blackpool, England, for three generations of Indian women. The trip itself is a way for a few of the passengers to escape the harsh realities of their lives. Intended for adults, it attempts to tackle life issues but does not produce any answers.
Director Gurinder Chadha has a wonderful visual style of storytelling. She integrates the colorful and tacky surroundings of Blackpool into the story and conflicts. The film-maker does not endorse the Indian god worldview but instead wants to liberate her characters from it. The result is that there are no simple, easy answers. While the film-maker does not endorse the traditional views of the Indian culture, neither does she endorse the popular culture of England. One of the main characters, Hashida, says, “I never know what’s right.” She doesn’t, and neither does the film-maker, but she at least poses the questions. While containing some objectionable elements and presenting many issues in a secular light, BHAJI ON THE BEACH is a charming film that portrays the clash between traditional Indian values and England’s popular culture in a comic way.