My Hindu Friend (2015) – A Chance We Just Won’t Survive

The last movie from Hector Babenco’s film, “My Hindu Friend”, is a reflection and autobiography of the director himself. It’s a well-made movie, for sure, because there is Willem Dafoe in it. It’s a story about Diego Fairman who has to face a surprising fact that his life isn’t long. He didn’t have a great relationship with his family. His brothers hate him, his wife still takes care of him apart from his ego and behavior, and his families never understand him.

This is a drama self-indulgent movie, about an individual who still has a drop of time before the almighty took his life. The title comes from one of the kids, and also a doll he always carried and hugs when he was sick, at the hospital. The kid is a place of “escape” from his life. And it’s cute to see Dafoe and the kid recreating a drama stage using the hospital’s indoor equipment. They just had some fun even though we never know who the kid is.

“My Hindu Friend” is a little bit of misanthropy about life and also about someone who becomes a douchebag to people. He ventured his desire to one of the hookers he met. He also hates one of his siblings because of the past, rather not too familiar with the mother too. However, some parts might be difficult to distinguish between who the real one or fantasy characters are. For instance, the doctor character reminds me of “The Seventh Seal”. It’s not because both characters play chess together but the dialogue makes me fixated on these things.

Sometimes, they both talk about their personal experiences. The protagonist is a director who is quite famous in his day. At the time of his death, he tried to fight his severe illness. While at the same time, he wrote a script for his next film which would become the protagonist’s final film. Just like Hector Babenco, the director of this movie. Anyway, the two characters don’t just talk about their identities. However, they talk about how the protagonist feels, when the doctor asks him, which is at the end of the horns of life.

It’s kind of similar to a story about someone who met a character that didn’t exist— it could be —before death picks him up. It’s kind of hard to recognize which and how. “My Hindu Friend” is a good movie but so hard to go through. Besides Dafoe’s amazingly portraying a film director with cancer, this movie is so natural and realistic. The despair and dark tone was there. The movie is always memorable depressing but at the same time, it always becomes a beautiful film besides the story and because of the composition by Mauro Pinheiro Jr.

I have never watched the directors work besides this movie. He is a director from Argentina. He was not well-known by the international audience but very well-known in South America. Most of his works are pretty great such as “Lucio Flavio”, “Pixote”, and “Carandiru”. This is a much different experience from the trademark director than most of his movies. It’s because this is an autobiographical film about the director bout with cancer; this is a poetic visually shot movie as well besides the movie falls flat to its plot.

This movie falls too much with the plot. With the all-over-the-place story, this movie fails in the first impression even though, for me, the movie falls depressingly suddenly. There are so many absurd things happens going on with just one sequence. For instance, the grandma hooker character who just appears to fulfill the lust of the protagonist. I don’t know, it feels random. There is one scene where Dafoe suddenly got out of the car, left his car in the middle of the road, and went looking for a hooker. The Singin’ in the Rain sequence at the end also feels unexpected to me even though it fits much with what the protagonist thinks and what happens next.

There is a connection, there is a solid, and there is a flat as well. “My Hindu Friend” falls in a film about isolated with the plot that just goes on, becomes dull and monotonous for most people. Yet, the Dafoe performance too, for some people, might be a little out of place. However, Babenco as a director could have successfully conveyed his experience and personal feelings about himself in the last days. As a self-indulgence movie as well, it might be this movie wasn’t self-aware to the mainstream audience. This movie will get theatrically limited on January, 17th in North America.

2.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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