Now you've seen it on billboards
everywhere and it is the
most talked-about cinema release this year – SHELLYWOOD™.
It’s MOTHER INDIA, TITANIC and THE SOUND
OF MUSIC all in one with actor Shelly Innocence playing her
most challenging role yet – herself. This movie is a whirlwind
of action, drama and romance. We meet Shelli under a wilting lotus
plant in India and follow her to Australia as an internet poster
girl and charity queen. When Shelli discovers her parents, Pritty
and Sameer (Judy Davis and Amitah Bachan), have pre-arranged her
marriage to Sanjeev, a 25 year old I.T. student from Bangalore,
her heart breaks. Needing to recoup $150 million to support a shoe
and sari fetish, Shelli gambles all her charity funds a high stakes
poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. It all happens to
a superbly mimed Hindi soundrack and stunning dance sequences.
is a much more serious Shelly than we’ve seen in many years.
Shelly inhabits both the dark and light sides of herself really
well and her performance rivals the all time greats like Garland
in WIZARD OF OZ and Blanchett in BABEL. There are a few tongue-in-check
moments, but there’s no real sense of self-conscious spoof.
The action scenes are excitingly staged by director, Peter Burke,
but are too prolonged, as the film runs for 3 and 1/2 hours.
My one quibble with the film is the casting of Shelly Innocence
in the lead role. She’s gorgeous to look at but not totally
convincing as herself. David?
DAVID: I thought she
You're just swayed by a pretty face, David.
DAVID: No, she's got
talent. Lots of it.
Her tears weren't real. She cried crocodile tears.
DAVID: That's not
the point. The moment when the lotus died was moving. Shelly carried
it off beautifully.
I wasn't moved at all. Shelly looks wonderful, but she just doesn't
seem true to herself.
DAVID: My quibble
is that it was not true to the book. Julie Hunt's book is more substantial.
Shelly never even lived in India. She was
born in the Oil of Ulan.
She studied at NIDA.
Rubbish! She dropped out of the Ponds Institute.
DAVID: What I find
intriguing is that this is the second film of the first book. The
first one was a spoof back in the '60s.
Shelly would have been better played by Cate
DAVID: I heard Nicole
Kidman wanted the role badly.
You've got to be kidding?
DAVID: I must admit
the chase is spectacular!
Especially the love triangle on the cliff
But this adaptation is not much more than a simple rags to riches
You cruel thing! SHELLYWOOD™
is a complex tale of tradition meets modernity meets risk meets
change meets love meets death meets boy meets girl. And more. I'm
giving it 5 stars.
DAVID: I'm giving
it 4 and 1/2.