English in the Movie Firaaq

I think the decision to have the actors switch between two languages (English and their native tongue) is important to the film. It clearly shows that the characters are highly educated and wealthier than most. However, I am a bit confused as to why the director decided to include English at all since the characters could have been portrayed as upper class through their homes and dress. Here are a few of the reasons that I came up with: the two languages show that these characters are members of two different cultures,  to comment on English presence in India, to suggest that the characters do not want other people to know what they are saying since the majority does not understand English, or a mix of all three. Any thoughts on this?

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3 thoughts on “English in the Movie Firaaq

  1. Yeah, I think it adds a layer to Western influence on India. While the T.V.s, cereal, collared shirts, and whatnot all seem western enough, it really adds a dimension to have them speaking in English while the poorer characters don’t. Also, that choice in Firaaq kind of cast an air of suspicion on all the books we’ve read, in that it really highlights the fact that, as books in English, they come from a very specific viewpoint of Western influence that must be considered.

  2. I thought it was actually a very nice touch, as it emphasized the differences between the worlds in which the characters of the film lived in. I figured it was just part of that world.

  3. I found that interesting too. It made me think of some Latin American countries that have closer to a Spanglish language than Spanish or English. I know this is due to a lot of the younger generation’s watching TV, movies and listening to songs in English and then just using that in everyday language instead of translating it. I wonder if it’s sort of the same with India. Not sure why the director chose to do that but that fact that it was pulled off so well and seemed normal shows a heaving influence of English, which was your second option 😉 I was just wondering if this is sort of normal or something they did for the film.

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