Guzaarish and the Euthanasia debate

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I recently saw a Hindi movie (Bollywood movie) on Netflix instant play which got me thinking…. yes, a Hindi movie that got me thinking.  Well, that’s a new one.   Generally, Bollywood movies are not for thinking- they are for pure entertainment and to please the masses.  The movies are a break from reality for most of the Indian movie-going populous.  And occasionally, a movie like ‘Guzaarish’ comes along which is a failure in India but a hit abroad. 

It was a good movie but if I wanted to escape my daily woes and get entertained and/or laugh, it provided a little of that but a lot of thinking about a real uplifting topic- death.  ‘Guzaarish’ explores the Euthanasia debate head-on but Indian-style.  The glitz, the glamour, the gorgeous dresses and scenery, the singing, and dancing, and of course… a little humor to go with all of that. 

It is not an easy topic but as you watch this movie, you slowly start to understand the concept of euthanasia and why this particular character asks for it.  For me, it spurred the Kevorkian debate all over again.  Of course, each case is different but just like state-sponsored abortion, I can also understand the opposition to state-sponsored or even state-funded euthanasia.  It’s a Catch-22 because even if Euthanasia is not state-funded, that’s okay but if someone does assist in euthanasia, then that person is guilty of murder.  From a legal perspective, I wonder if you can’t claim “defense of others” as a criminal defense.  All in all, I find the re-opening of this debate interesting and for me it raised a lot of moral, ethical, and legal questions.  It is one Hindi movie that truly got me thinking… I would love to hear your opinion on the movie – please leave your comments here but no spoilers. 

I would recommend ‘Guzaarish’ as a movie to see – not for the lengthy songs and dances, but for the concepts and the artistry behind the movie itself.  The one song, “Udi” is quite well done and a beautiful display of all that is Bollywood combined with cultural dance.


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