Be a better person. Go see Amal

August 8, 2008

We don’t like to do this, but, well, we’re just going to do it anyway.

Today, a little film called Amalopens in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Amal is the debut feature of Mississauga-born director Richie Mehta, a prodigious talent who worked from his brother’s short story. Yes, we know Richie. And yes, Paul has worked with the editor of Amal, Stuart McIntyre. But that ultimately means nothing.

You remember that scene in The Grinch Stole Christmas when the Grinche’s hear grew three sizes and burst its frame? Amal is the kind of movie where that happens. It’s about goodness. When was the last time you could say that about something you were going to see in a theatre?

The story: An autorickshaw driver named Amal (Rupinder Nagra) works his butt off on the streets of Delhi among the hucksters and crooks. But he’s a good man. He doesn’t rip people off. He lives by a strict moral code. One day a curmudgeonly millionaire is so overwhelmed by his goodness that he goes home and changes his will, making Amal his primary beneficiary. As you can imagine, this pisses off the man’s children. Further, Amal has no idea, going about his life, trying to help out a beggar girl.

There. That’s the set-up. You want more? Read Jason Anderson’s three-star review in today’s Globe and Mail. Or just go see it yourself.

As we say, it’s a little film, made on the fly, when Richie and his skeleton crew went to Delhi and had to navigate its chaotic streets. Richie and his producers had to fight for this one – it’s a testament to their endurance and the power of Amal‘s fable-like story.

Here’s the trailer

Canadian films that don’t find an audience in their opening weekend vanish. That’s a fact. A sad one, but a fact. You’re not going to be able to see this film on a big screen unless enough people go out and see it in now.

So why not? You’ve seen the Dark Knight twice. It’s gonna be a rainy weekend. Why not take a flight to India without paying the hefty fare and fretting about your carbon footprint.

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One Response to “Be a better person. Go see Amal”

  1. […] is touching in its poignancy, believable in its intimacy and endearing in its home-made style. My co-author Paul could go on at length about how important it is to support local films in their first few days: if […]

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