European cinemas are smoking a lot

Recently I have been watching a number of European films (Spanish, French & others) like Corniche Kennedy (2016),  The Girl with a Bracelet (2019), The Commune (2016) and more. Irrespective of the genre, I noticed that most of the main characters were shown smoking. Needless to say, outside India (and few other Asian countries) smoking is not exclusive to the Male gender. I was wondering whether European films were exaggerating real-world behaviour? In India, thanks to stricter laws and censorship, the number of smoking scenes seems to have reduced in…

My failed visit to Paris in 2016 and Schengen VISA

Today I started re-reading Ms Pallavi Aiyer’s book on Europe “Punjabi Parmesan”. She starts by sharing her anxiety and feeling of being treated second-class as she waits with a blue passport (Indian) in the queue at immigration in Brussels while her Spanish husband and baby boy sailing through the area with their maroon (Spain) passports. This reminded me of one of the many incidents I have had with applying for VISA or the experiences I have faced at the immigration counters in a foreign airport. The below incident happened to…

The Man Without Gravity (2019)

The Man Without Gravity (2019) is an Italian fictional drama about a boy born with the ability to float away if not weighed down. What should’ve been a perfect entertainer gets bogged down by covering familiar issues. The film gets a Mangoidiots rating of ‘Raw’ and is available on Netflix. Born to a single mother in a village in Italy, Oscar has the supernatural ability to defy gravity and float. To hide his secret from the villagers who might then outcast them, his mother and grandmother keep him mostly indoors…

Carmina or Blow Up (2012)

Carmina o revienta (2012) is a Spanish comedy film that is narrated in largely a monologue format yet feels interesting. It is about Carmina who runs a bar with an eatery that has run into tough times with frequent robberies and the insurance company rejected her claims on flimsy grounds. How she gets back at them is the story. Carmina is a self-made woman, who dominates over her alcoholic husband and maintains her daughter, a single mother and the grand-daughter. After covering the problems with the eatery due to the…

So My Grandma’s a Lesbian! (2019)

So My Grandma’s a Lesbian! (Salir del ropero) is a Spanish comedy that is available on Netflix. It takes the familiar story of a young lady getting engaged to a person not suited for her and narrating it with a new idea of a grandma getting married to her long time girlfriend. I liked the film for the beautiful scenic locations of the community it is pictured – breathtaking were the mountain terrain, the ocean and the cobblestone streets – and for these reasons, the film gets a higher rating…