Deepa Mehta’s “Beeba Boys” shakes up the myth of a serene, scenic Vancouver

Guns, cocaine, bhangra, funky hair, flashy suits, flamboyant love, violence and death mingle with a generous splattering of heavy swear words and light banter to present “Beeba Boys” on screen.

“Beeba” means good in Punjabi. But the film is coloured with both good and bad. The colour red is everywhere. On walls, rugs, furniture, wine and blood splattered floors!

As you take in each of the characters playing a dangerous game in Vancouver’s dark, drug-trading Indo-Canadian underworld, there is one question that weighs on your mind. How did acclaimed filmmaker Deepa Mehta, come up with a genre so sinister, so masculine, so unique? It makes more sense when you learn that she is an Indo-Canadian immigrant herself.

beeba-boys-02

Defying the placid calm and deep undertones of her film trilogy Fire, Earth and Water, Beeba Boys is an out and out aggressive defiance of Canadian lop-sided social ethos. Within the bloody battles, search for identity and whiff of drugs, you are caught unawares by shades of softness in each gangster. One helps a mom fry onions in the kitchen. Another cracks a joke to humour his friends.

The gang lord and single father Jeet Johar effortlessly played by the charismatic Randeep Hooda is reminiscent of Al Pacino’s timeless character, Michael Corleone, in Godfather. Like Corleone, Jeet sizzles with fiery intensity, spine-chilling stares and raw sex appeal. He also tucks his son to bed and lets his mother do his laundry in between planning bloody revenge.

beeba-boys-03 - © Mongrel International
Courtesy of © Mongrel International

His dubious charisma, juggling between a soft-heart and hard crime, keeps not just his parents (Balinder Johal and Kulbhushan Kharbanda) , partners in crime (Ali Momen, Ali Kazmi, Waris Ahluwalia) and the Punjabi-Canadian ethnic group unfailingly by his side but also the blonde, beautiful Polish manicurist Katja (Sarah Allen) who falls for his charms, too soon.

As the gangsters whip out their guns more and more recklessly, and love reels out of control, you gasp and wonder “is this for real?”

And then you’re told it’s based on a true story. And the chilling realization makes you want to salute Deepa Mehta’s unique rendition, rewind and watch each scene closely, all over again.

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Photos courtesy of BEEBA BOYS OFFICIAL SITE
Movie review by Joyeeta Ray

L3 (1)JOYEETA DUTTA RAY IS THE EDITOR IN CHIEF FOR SSZEE MEDIA, WHERE SHE BRINGS HER MULTIPLE INTERESTS AND MULTI COUNTRY EXPERIENCE TO THE ENTERPRISING PORTAL, THAT IS BASED IN LONDON, MUMBAI, TORONTO AND LOS ANGELES. SHE IS ALSO AN ADVERTISING CONSULTANT, PUBLISHED AUTHOR AND BLOGGER, CURRENTLY RESIDING IN TORONTO, CANADA.

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