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Praying with Anger Discussion (for people who've watched it)

Author Topic: Praying with Anger Discussion (for people who've watched it)  (Read 2656 times)


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Praying with Anger Discussion (for people who've watched it)
« on: August 17, 2008, 12:10:02 AM »
Thanks to my desperation for the movie and the luckiness that brought me to Harmonica here on these forums, I now have a DVD copy of Praying with Anger. Thank you Harmonica! I was really hesitant to give out information like that to some stranger, but he pulled through 100%, and then some. He also lightscribed the DVD, too! ^_^

The video and audio quality is the same as that 5-minute video that's been posted here. It looks like Harmonica simply took a VHS and ripped it from there. The quality isn't top notch, but it's definitely good enough to watch.


Anyways, I don't like reviewing media at all. Media = subjective and subjective-ness = variability. I could be an opinionated %^*$ and tell you everything I liked and disliked about the movie, but then I would probably have to watch it again and rewind in some parts because every character in the movie but Shyamalan himself has a Indian accent and is sometimes hard to understand - especially the part where that Hindu monk is talking to him, but I did understand most of the movie.

It feels like a movie between his Hollywood glamor and the movies he made when he was a kid. Of course, the acting is better, and the budget was okay, but like his early movies he was the main character. Unlike his other movies, Praying with Anger has nothing to do with the supernatural. You can tell in the movie that it is semi-autobiographical, because of the way he acts in it. It's hard to describe ... a lot of the movie felt like these were "his" little adventures into his own homeland. I did not know that it was edited by the studio against his will until I read it here (I have a feeling it was edited to promote Indian values rather than a general 'coming-of-age' tale).

Between the anger and conflict he has with his university he is studying in, and the infatuation he has with a young woman, the story evolves as Shyamalan, playing as Dev Raman, become harder to deal with. As a freshman, Dev and his friend constantly get harassed by the seniors in campus. Dev tries to get an attention of the woman by slightly touching her shoulder first, which startles and alienates her from him. However, Dev's friend, Sanjay, tries his best to teach him Indian customs and tries to make him obey them, even if it seems like he's always doing the opposite of what he tells him to do.

Further tensions spark when Dev is accused of cheating simply because he has good grades. The bullies on campus do worse things to him, such as make him stupidly drunk and make him cross a busy road. Sanjay's sister loves a man that is of a lower "caste" than her family, so her parents are fighting with her about her seeing him anymore. (I think that's what it was, I was paying more attention to Dev)

Dev learns more about the Hindu gods and goddesses - and how people pray to individual ones for different things. The story turns as he learns that what he thought was his "cold father" was actually a loving, caring father, when he visits his old village and house. Dev approaches the girl he is infatuated with, and she gives him a hint on where and when to meet him in secret. Their infatuation grows, but Dev knows that he won't be in India forever. He expresses his ideas to her such as, "As a writer, I must go back to America, but I could write a story one day about a man who travels to a far away land, falls in love with a woman, but has to come back alone. When he does however, he promises he will come back for the woman he falls in love with." But by the end of the conversation both knew that, while it would be great if this could happen, it probably never will. This leaves Dev with frustration as he says that this woman is the only woman who he's felt such strong feelings for.

The leader of the bullies gets kicked out of the university, (I think) it was because of cheating. One night Sanjay's sister brings her boyfriend home, which mother reluctantly approves of eventually. It feels positive until a fight breaks out outside the house. A window in the house breaks and Dev gets pissed off and runs into the mob of fighting men. Mass confusion instills. The leader of the bullies, the one that made Dev do all the embarrassing and dangerous stuff, attacks just about every member of the mob and in return the mob gathers to kill him. Dev pushes off the attackers from the once-bully and drenches them all with gasoline, with a torch in his hand. Everybody falls back and leaves.

At the end, Dev finds out he earned good grades and the bully that once made him salute him salutes him now on what he did for him. The last scene has Dev in a Hindu temple praying. Sanjay goes up to him and tells him he is surprised to find him here. Dev at the end goes on to say that they say that Indians feel more love and more hate than any other race, and because of his experiences here in India, he fully understands that he is at home - that he can pray to these Gods now that he has no indifference, and that he is truly an Indian.

Touching, ain't it? Many will say cliche, but they are cliches because they're so good...

Now for the opinionated part.

I enjoyed it. You could tell it was his first full-length movie, but it was good. A feel-good "coming-of-age" experience, with a few jokes and tidbits that Night usually throws into his movies. I felt like the part where he talks to his infatuation about being a writer in real life was about his film-making, as they are similar in some aspects. The only thing that didn't make any sense to me is the whole, "now I'm Indian part". I felt his emotions as they were happening to him. There were a lot of injustices done and that girl that Dev liked was pretty hot. Of course anyone could feel extreme love but at the same time extreme hate - it's not an "Indian-thing" at all. I wished they left that out of the movie. The score was suitable for the kind of movie it was (an American-Indian traveling to India with Indian-sounding music). I don't think it would be any better if James Newton Howard re-scored the movie. But all and all, the ending did satisfy me. I'm not going to rate it, but I will tell you right now it is definitely worth checking out if you are either 1) An M. Night Shyamalan fan or 2) a fan of "coming of age" tales dealing with the main character's ancestry.

If I screwed up on anything, or missed a part of the movie I should have describe in more detail (I didn't tell you every scene-by-scene, just the most important facts) just tell me. Now - did you like the movie? Was it too non-supernatural-y? Would you consider this movie a part of M. Night Shyamalan's career as a movie maker? It was his start - and even though it didn't get good reception, it did allow him to go on to make Wide Awake and gain enough notoriety to make The Sixth Sense which was basically the start of his major Hollywood career.

I've seen every M. Night Shyamalan movie but Wide Awake. I was going to order it through Net Flicks, but they only have a "save" option for it, not an "add" for the queue list (meaning they will have it sometime in the future).
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 12:25:12 AM by Unbreakable888 »

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Re: Praying with Anger Discussion (for people who've watched it)
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 12:11:12 AM »
Nice review!
What you see isn't always what u get.