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Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Reflective Journal Entry: Seven

Think about actors for my drama - in the great movie I saw recently, Ben Kingsley played the part of the professor, David Kepesh, who meets and falls in love with a beautiful young student played by Penelope Cruz. It got me thinking that Kingsley is the perfect actor to play the part of Yudhi's father, Halim. He has the right skin tone and colour. He has that Middle Eastern/Asian look. He could even be an arab given the right attire so his look is very flexible when it comes to the roles he plays on the screen.

So, my point in writing this down is not to say, like some egotistical idiot, that I'm going to get X Hollywood A-lister to play Y part, but that there is some value in picturing them as real people for it will allow me to write about them more sympathetically, and in a more real and natural way.

Who could I get to play the part of Yudhi? A good-looking Asian looking boy? That guy who was the lead in Hanif Kureshi’s ‘My Beautiful Launderette’? Must find someone and make a real effort to focus on their picture in my mind when I am writing scenes that involve him. I have to start to see this more in cinematographic way; a series of stills that move from their inert places on the page, to a place where the characters actually breathe unassisted by their author like Barthes’ notion of the author being dead.

I imagine the character of Hava like a blonde version of Minnie Driver although now she’s too old, but a younger girl with flaxen hair that as Updike says in Terrorist something that brims over at the top like beer ‘the cedar coloured patch of frizzy hair sticks out, in its moment of capture, above the elastic waistband like the head on an impatiently poured beer.’ (p.162) Ok, the allusion here is sexual and related to her pubic hair, but what I want is a metaphor, similar in the way it captures her ‘overflowingness’, her abundance of something that is both sensual, and full of the joi de vivre of life. She will be the perfect antidote to the life-denying, negaters of life that Achmed and his militants represent.

There would be no shortage of Bollywood actors that could play the ‘baddies’: Achmed, Feran, Imad, Hanif etc. But Malika would be different, someone with flair, an innate sense of self and fully confident albeit a spendthrift.

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