Gandu

​Self-consciously striving to avoid every Bollywood trope and trace of Satyajit Ray, this Indian slum fantasia owes more to American gutter-punk tradition. You could call it Last Exit to Bengal. There, in Kolkata, former video and commercials director Q frames his story in stark black-and-white. Gandu is about 20, fatherless and resentful of his mother's lover. When the latter two have sex, Gandu crawls across their bedroom floor like an insect to steal some cash. Out on the street, he throws down Bengali hip-hop rhymes ("My heart is a crematorium . . . ") and posts his graffiti tag in dilapidated alleyways. His G-for-Gandu glyph sends out an arrow (-->) as if to represent all the sex he's not having, no matter how much porn he consumes at the local cyber cafe. At a certain point, embarking on a road trip with a Bruce Lee-obsessed rickshaw driver (simply named Rickshaw), Gandu is introduced to heroin-smoking and undergoes a kind of cognitive break. Suddenly he's a famous rapper or rocker; suddenly he can have sex, in color, with a red-wigged girl straight out of a Wong Kar-wai movie. (It's NC-17, real, like The Brown Bunny.) Q doesn't tip how much of this we--or Gandu--are meant to believe. Is it just another screen fantasy, like Gandu's cyberporn? Slick and handsomely shot, Gandu isn't saying--it's all provocation, attitude, longing, and self-disgust. BRIAN MILLER (Also: Egyptian, 1 p.m. Sat., June 11.)

Fri., June 10, 7 p.m.; Sat., June 11, 1 p.m., 2011

 
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