Endhiran South African Connection

I am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Malayalam, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Konkani, Nepali, Khasi, Dogri, Garo and other languages.

I’m on top of the world again. Remember Mani Ratnam’s Ravaan? There was a Zulu song in the film (Cinema My Take July 17, 2010). I saw myself again in Endhiran, written, produced and directed by Shankar. The movie is about a very naughty robot, Chitti and his creator Dr. Vaseegaran both played by Rajinikanth.

There is a Zulu song in the movie ‘Ngibuye khaya’ which means I’m from home. Please note that maybe the song is in Seswati, isiXhosa, isiNdebele because most African languages in the region are related, brothers and sisters of some sort. There’s also a part where the song says ‘yebo’ which means YES in my language isiZulu.

United Nations General Assembly
The Zulu song is part of a multicultural scene Shankar shot in a beautiful mountain top where Sana, played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and the robot (Rajinikanth) are dancing. The funny part is when Mrs. Bachchan tries to speak my language clicking her tongue. IsiZulu is a piece of cake. IsiXhosa has more clicks.

I understand Shankar released the movie in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi but language is also part of the story in Endhiran. There is a scene where Chitti the robot says Tamil is his paternal language although he is multi-lingual. Here are more clicks for Shankar.

Ixoxo, frog in Zulu
Ingxoxo , conversation in Zulu
Xova, mix in Zulu
Gxuma, jump in Zulu
Iqola, thief in Zulu
Ingqondo, the mind in Zulu
Ingqungquthela, conference/summit in Zulu
Iqatha, piece of meat in Zulu
Mgqibelo, Saturday in Zulu

On location Peru
I read somewhere that the mountain top is actually Machu Picchu in Peru. It was hard concentrating on Sana in that scene because the mountains in the background kept waving at me, a very difficult choice between two versions of beauty.

The scene shot at Machu Picchu is like the United Nations General Assembly because the director also used songs from other parts of the world. Then there’s this mature woman wearing coloured clothes. She also sings while Sana and Chitti dance. I wonder who she is. Is she from Peru?

Endhiran is like a four course meal. No. Make that a 12-course meal because there can never be a one review of the film. I started with the South African connection because the director Shankar made me part of the story.

On location Brazil
Endhiran also revives my faith in film. Personally, I think it should be entertaining and educational. Take Brazil for example. I understand cinematography for the song Neutron Electron was shot in a desert in Brazil. I’m ashamed to say that I only associated Brazil with lush green forests filled with magnificent birds and other forest creatures I have no intention of meeting.

The movie has helped me see the country in another light and I will definitely include that desert if I ever go to Brazil. I cannot imagine the logistics of taking cast and camera crews to that desert. Only Shankar the director can tell us.

NEXT BLOG: Endhiran the review - mathematics.

Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel.




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