Machel Montano is a man of many hats, but if you didn’t know that he most recently added the title of actor to that list, you must be hiding under a rock. Bazodee, the Caribbean-Bollywood influenced dramedy film, debuted in theaters on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. Not only was the trailer posted all over my Facebook, Snapchat AND Instagram timeline but fans went out in herds to support the Soca sensation in his first leading role. Of course, you know I had to support di ting so here are my thoughts:
First and foremost, I am a sucker for musicals and love stories but when I originally heard about the movie a few months back, I definitely gave it a side eye and wasn’t sure how I felt about it. The full movie trailer is what caught my attention and it convinced me to give it a chance.
I’m not going to spoil it for those who have not seen it but here is a brief synopsis. Anita Ponchouri, the female leading role played by Natalie Perera, is the daughter of a businessman who is deeply in debt but she is soon to wed a wealthy, (don’t forget gorge) man, Bharat Kumar (Staz Nazir) from London. As her fiance’s family is flying to Trinidad and Tobago for their highly anticipated engagement party, she meets Lee De Leon, played by Machel Montano, at the airport and that’s where the Bazodee started. As expected there was a dash of cheesy, with a sprinkle of corny and ok maybe the ending was reminiscent of 2003’s From Justin to Kelly but the culture, music and atmosphere makes it worth watching. The overall quality of the film exceeded my expectations. It made me smile, laugh and I had to refrain a few times from whining up inna Cinemark dem chair. Most of the songs in the film are from Machel’s library of hits. The arrangements were changed around to suit a female duet but when is the last time you heard Water Flowing by Xtatik? Or No War? Gyal Wuk? Perhaps, I’ve lost you but only true Soca heads will know and appreciate the feeling of hearing these old school Soca songs–and the film is filled with them. It brought back so much nostalgia for me and remembering those days of jumping up to these songs….and also my days of really bad carnival makeup. Thank you YouTube.
Although, the main storyline is focusing on this blooming love triangle, the back story features what is known as the greatest show on earth, Carnival. Several scenes take place on Ariapita Avenue and surrounding areas showcasing J’ouvert and Carnival Tuesday. Machel even surprised me and jumped on a Tassa drum, which I didn’t even know he could play. To my posse who plays Mas, I know we can get ‘rel dutty and carry on bad during J’ouvert but showcasing these traditions and even the way we speak through film is breaking boundaries and opening doors that have never even been looked at before. I fully understand what Mr. Double M is trying to accomplish through Soca music. Everyone should definitely support this movement as it always starts with us. If we can’t support ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to?