Disclaimer: I received this film for free from TriCoast Entertainment in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the film or the content of my review.
Title: My Hindu Friend
Released: (6/1 Amazon Prime release)
Director: Hector Babenco
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 Stars)
About: Diego is a film director very close to death, surrounded by people who are having trouble dealing with his current tempestuous mood. Chances are he won’t survive, but if he does, that means he needs to relearn how to live.
Review: This film was first released in 2015, but due to the director’s passing directly after the premiere, it is only now being released this year.
The reason why is likely due to the film being based on the director’s personal experiences. His stand-in character is Diego played by Dafoe who is diagnosed with cancer.
While he is hospitalized, he meets and befriends another patient, a Hindu 8-year-old boy who is also battling his own sickness.
Now the relationship between these two was very touching, but I thought there would be more to it.
The title of the film feels a little off since the interactions between Diego and the little Hindu boy are limited in comparison to those outside of the hospital.
Having said that William Dafoe (who plays Diego) is magnificent, as always. He is bitter, resentful, determined, and insecure all at once.
His relationship with the young Hindu boy is genuinely touching, albeit brief.
The actor is as adept at making us fall in love with his kindness as he is at making us hate him for his brashness.
“The movie you made was like a feature-length mayonnaise commercial,” he tells an aspiring filmmaker, in a way that only Dafoe can. “You’re just an ad man who’s gotten rich selling crap to people who have nothing to eat.”
My Hindu Friend may seem like a downer, and it certainly is a contemplation on life, death, and the meaning of both, but Babenco still makes room for plenty of light.
Diego is a man who wishes to die at home and not in a hospital – the bright, sunny, wide open spaces of any scene set outdoors compared to the cramped, dreary darkness of the hospital room is immediately apparent.
But there is one part of the facility that manages to snatch some rays of sunshine: the room Diego and a young Hindu boy (Rio Adlakha) share as the two undergo chemotherapy.
I found the film to be very good.
It is slow in some place, but don’t worry it’s not boring.
This film is more then just a means of entertainment, it’s a film that makes you think about life and death.
Willem Dafoe does an amazing job portraying a film director with cancer. Very natural, very realistic and one feels the despair. Nevertheless, the film, in my opinion, never becomes depressing and I am glad that I watched it.