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LA's fine with Rahul Bose
Subhash K Jha | May 21, 2003 17:17 IST
Rahul Bose's Everybody Says I'm Fine is going places. Two days before it opened in Los Angeles, LA Weekly wrote, "Everybody Says I'm Fine presents the face of a young, urban, Westernised Mumbai... where all traces of exoticism have been consciously removed. The film's night-time palate of cool neons and its quirky characters could be straight out of a 1980s' film like Diva... shows a real empathy for the complex lives of India's modern middle class. And Bose deserves credit for his highly original, if over-the-top, storytelling."
The film is on LA Weekly's 'recommended' list, alongside Hollywood films like Adaptation, Better Luck Tomorrow and Tango. It opened in three of LA's finest theatres on May 17, including the posh Arclight, where an Indian film is being screened for the first time.
Speaking from LA, Bose told rediff.com, "The film opened decently, with about 70 per cent collections. For a Friday, that's quite something. The collections will definitely improve. The LA Weekly critic had obviously seen my earlier work. That was extremely gratifying. Imagine being called 'highly original' in the world's cinema capital."
The Los Angeles Times has been no less complimentary; it called Bose's film 'beguiling and venturesome' and 'an idiosyncratic charmer', comparing it with the French film Venus Beauty Institute and calling it a musical without music.
Incidentally, Everybody Says I'm Fine has got better reviews in the US than Gurinder Chadha's Bend It Like Beckham, which has been called an 'enjoyably shameless British confection'. Beckham is screening in 563 theatres and has grossed $15.1 million, overtaking the $14 million grossed by Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding.
Bose explained, "My film got more serious reviews than Beckham because it's a more serious film. But Beckham is doing phenomenal business. It will make $30 million at the US box office, which is more than twice the profits of Monsoon Wedding. I'm sure Gurinder Chadha's success will only help my film."
Bose also met filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in LA. "He was at Arclight, watching another movie. I went up to greet him. He had heard of my movie and wanted to see it. We spent the evening together."
He added, "Everybody Says... has got unbelievable attention in the US. I'm pleased with the way the film is doing here. I sat with the audience at Arclight and answered their questions. People seemed extremely surprised by my film. The first question I was asked was: is there a sequel? The second question was: what am I doing next? I told them I was doing an English-language film about two people who never meet, never talk or touch, but are in love. I was asked if my hard work paid off. I said I just got lucky."
Bose will soon leave for New York to discuss a role he's been offered. He returns to Mumbai on June 5. But, at 3am LA time on May 17, Bose was at peace with himself. "I've had a long, exciting day. I think we've made a bit of history over here."