Posted by: njhz86 | February 27, 2010

Review: ‘Cowboys in India’

What started out as a hard-hitting documentary covering a mining company in India quickly went awry as director Simon Chambers found a far more comedic route.

While still tackling the important issues, “Cowboys in India” personalizes them by telling the story through the relationship of Chambers with his driver Doya and guide Satya.

The difficulties and pitfalls experienced by the threesome add comedic relief to the serious debate over whether the mining company is doing more good than harm and whether the company is keeping the promises they made to the people of India before embarking on the project.

The confusion over what exactly the mining company had promised and what parts of the deal they were actually holding up was mirrored through Chambers’ confusion as to what Satya and Doya were talking about and why they were doing the things they were doing.

Even as a viewer, I could feel Chambers’ frustration as he didn’t know what was going on and his restlessness with Doya’s constant requests to stop for food. He spent half the film thinking that Doya and Satya were just taking him on a crazy trip and bringing all of their friends along for entertainment.

However, it wasn’t all comedic situations he encountered on the trip. The sadness and anger of the people of India was also felt throughout the audience. The emotion of the people on the screen resonated with the audience as they explained about deaths due to the mining equipment or trucks and the loss of land.

Seeing the helplessness, yet unwavering devotion of the people to improve their situation was motivating and made it easy to understand what caused Chambers to embark on his wild journey in the first place.

Other showings of “Cowboys in India”:

Saturday, Feb. 27 / 8 p.m. / Forrest Theater
Sunday, Feb. 28 / 10:30 a.m. / Big Ragtag

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