The love that dare not speak its name
The issue: Nehru-Edwina
The soundtrack: Tainted love
So the proposed Hollywood movie on the love affair between Chacha Nehru and Edwina Madam will never be out in a cinema near you.The official reason cited is that the film’s producers don’t have the necessary shekels — to the tune of a humble $40 million — in these times of economic slowdown and that the Indian government’s restrictions on key scenes that make a love story a love story in 21st cinema hasn’t made it easier for director Joe Wright to pitch it to Universal Studios. Well, if those are the reasons, I may have a solution.
Quite understandably, the Indian government’s version of the film would have shown two birds twittering on a branch — or, if it was keen on showing how adult-like it has become since the days of the Films Division of India, two flowers touching each other in the breeze.
Quite understandably too, Universal Studios wants to “make more of the love story”, perhaps with Kate Blanchett, who was supposed to play Edwina, telling the actor (Irrfan Khan?), who was supposed to play Nehru, lines like, “Is that the Mountbatten Plan in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”
But both these silly obstacles of money and officialese can be removed in one stroke if Mr Wright – or, for that matter, Mr Wrong, or anyone else wishing to take a crack at the Nehru-Edwina love story — makes a digital film, making costs tumble down and uploads the movie on the Internet. The YouTube formula can actually make great business sense considering that the buzz created by such a film has already been made.
Considering the heady stuff I see on the internet seeing Nehru-Edwina snogging away on a YouTube video will be quite romantic as well as historic. I can already hear the music in the background – to highlight the Indian government’s notion of the ‘relationship’ – 80s synthpop band Soft Cell’s sinister cover of Gloria Jones’ Tainted love.
Neither can the Indian government block this avenue of creative expression — unless, of course, it wants to be seen being as paranoid as the Chinese — nor will there be a problem shoring up the cash to make this film. While Nehru’s signature rose from his pocket drops on the carpet while the Soft Cell singer Marc Almond sings: Sometimes I feel I’ve got to run away/ I’ve got to get away/ From the pain you drive into the heart of me./ the love we share seems to go nowhere.
So remember, someone has the problems, I’ll have the solutions. Especially when it concerns the matter of love between our public boys and girls.