Bollywood Made Me Question The Romance Of Romeo & Juliet

Our resident guru on all things romance, Renu, gives us a radical Romeo & Juliet interpretation. 

Recently I watched a Bollywood film titled Ishaqzaade, which – loosely translated – means ‘Love, Rebels’.

The movie told of two families of opposing cultural tribes (Hindu and Muslim), in which the black sheep defy all odds and fall in love with each other – a classic, can’t-do-wrong plot.

A plot that is identical to Romeo & Juliet. But what I thought was just another adaption of Shakespeare’s play turned out to be something far more pertinent.

The name Romeo & Juliet makes girls (and guys) sigh and scoff in equal measure. William Shakespeare’s most ‘romantic’ play portrays an infamous act of love, rebellion and lust, some finding the suicides of the besotted pair beautiful, others stupid.

My entire life I have grasped at, and adored, every version that offered itself to me. I have read the play and seen three adaptions; Baz Lurhman’s Modern-Mafia take, that old one with the Zac Efron lookalike, and even more recently the adaptation starring Douglas Booth. All the while I have longed for my Romeo, questioning whether or not I would ever die for love as Juliet for he. And the answer was a hands-down yes! Okay…sort of yes.

Throughout cinema’s history the Romeo & Juliet concept has been memorably re-imagined many times; West Side StoryGnomeo and Juliet… Even The Lion King 2 was loose interpretation.

But the re-imagining in Ishaqzaade is far less glamorous. 

Gnomeo and Juliet
Gnomeo and Juliet

Straying from the basic plot, our Romeo decides to ‘trick’ Juliette into falling in love with him, getting married under the watch of both Hindu and Muslim Gods, along with blackmailing her family into dropping out of the upcoming county elections so his father can win. Extreme and brash, his actions lead to his mother dying and the families agreeing to kill their children as punishment for their actions…before carrying on as usual.

The film has a strong, underlying message: thousands of couples in India are banished/killed/scorned by society and their families because of their interracial love. The film calls for change in society, to accept and embrace love of all sorts regardless of religion, cultural or status.

After seeing Ishaqzaade, I questioned the romance of Romeo & Juliet. I realised that the story has been over romanticised through the years, sweetened up to show love as we want to accept it; fatally, heartbreakingly passionate…

But for thousands of people in India and all over the world, Romeo & Juliet is quite literally the story of their life, without the any happy reconciliation or starstruck romance.

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New Indoor Tracking Reminiscient of Minority Report

It’s always fun when real life catches up with future-based cinema. Soon, Blade Runner’s 2019 will come and go without a flying car in sight. (Probably.)

It all gets a bit spooky, though, when future-based cinema gets things right.

Well, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s Minority Report may have got something right.

Wired Magazine have reported developments in new ‘Indoor Tracking Technology’ by a UK company called SiRFusion, which will help people navigate buildings and shops, just like a lot of us already use online maps to navigate roads.

The system could map out a shopping mall, for instance, and point you in the right direction of particular stores. Fancy a bite to eat? Get directions to the food court.

SiRFusion in action, with a map of the entire mall.
SiRFusion in action, with a map of the entire mall.

The Minority similarities begin with the system’s potential for tracking individuals. In the movie we see a system of eye scanners everywhere, even in shops. Considering this is used to check where someone is at all times, it’s no surprise Tom Cruise’s rebellious character John Anderton is often evading the scanner’s gaze.

With the real life navigation system there is a requirement to be connected to mobile data and WiFi to unlock its benefits. But if SiRFusion can tell you where to go within the distance of a metre, that means it can tell where you are. 

This means that as well as the manufacturers selling off information about consumerism, they could even disclose information to Police over the whereabouts of a particular person before they committed a crime, or became a victim of a crime. Just like in Minority Report. 

This would be a small step from the information and usage data the likes of Facebook and Twitter sell to the highest bidder every day in order to derive our habits as a society.

Things get even more Minority Report-like when you consider the prospects for personalised advertising similar to that seen in the movie. Touched upon by Wired Magazine in the source article, there are huge prospects for shops to notify you of in-store deals when you enter a mall, or for billboards to change to a specific advertisement from a selection depending on your age, gender and shopping habits. 

Ultimately the system should become useful for everyone, but it doesn’t stop the accuracy of Minority Report‘s forecast being a bit spooky, and highly commendable. Bravo, Steven.

4 Beautiful Star Wars: The Force Awakens iPhone Wallpapers

What do we call the new Lightsaber? 8 names from across the internet…CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

Through scouring the inter-web I found this quadrate of beautiful fan-art posters for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, made in the geek-dom frenzy that occurred post-release of the UNBELIEVABLE first teaser trailer.

These posters do fit nicely on an iPhone – or any phone – screen as a wallpaper that does the job while we wait for official images to be released.

MORE: Why I don’t ‘get’ the Star Wars hype…

Now go show off your fancy new phone wallpaper to your fellow proud nerds and watch them whimper with jealousy.

Jurassic World Trailer: 3 Positives and 3 Negatives

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