Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights – 7

A small-scale Indian Ikiru, in which a dotty old man brushes his teeth, gets his flip-flops mended and dogs the local bureaucracy until he gets the streetlights near his house turned off when the sun comes up. It is what is known in painting as a genre scene. I can’t imagine what an Indian would think of this portrayal of his country: it looks so backward and dirty and inefficient to us, but maybe that’s the point. One quickly falls into the rhythm, and we enjoy our time with Shyamal babu.

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