Jan 16, 2008

Work, Sex and the Urban Gen X and Gen Y Indian

Recently after we replaced our defunct DVD player, we've been catching up on quite a few movies that we missed.

In this post, however, I'd like to talk about two movies in particular. Delhii Heights starring Jimmy Shergill and Neha Dhupia, and Mumbai Salsa starring stand up comedian Vir Das along with a bunch of relative unknown actors.

The movies give us a bunch of insights into the urban Generations X and Y in the Indian metros.

  • Note that both of the movies have the name of the cities in them. Pointing out that the stories are of the urban Indian as opposed to being for a pan-Indian audience.
  • Delhii Heights is about life in a high rise apartment complex where DINKs like corporate executives Jimmy and Neha live, while Mumbai Salsa is the name of the discotheque and bar where Mumbai's hotshots gather, the increasing prevalence of The Third Place being brought out in the movie.
  • The family, usually such an integral part of the Indian movie, plays no role in both the movies. There is no "Ma" or "Pitaji" to take the attention away from the main roles.
  • While the female leads in both the movies are driven career women, and the male leads look like they will support them. However when push comes to shove, it is still expected by supposedly enlightened men that the woman will sacrifice their career (check video embedded below). However, both movies end in happly ever after tidings.
  • The rocking dudes and dudettes are the ones with corporate careers. Advertising and Marketing seems to be the one that movie makers seem to identify most with. Vir Das even earns a Rs. 30 lakh salary in an advertising firm! His girlfriend seems to be a HR person, but it's never stated. However, Mumbai Salsa also shows characters pursuing 'alternative careers' like a tattoo artist, salsa dance teacher and gym instructor.
  • While in Mumbai Salsa sex is the starting point that lead to long term relationships, Delhii Heights shows how couples even after knowing each other for 5-6 years may not actually 'really' know each other.