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Film / Bow Barracks Forever

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Bow Barracks Forever is an Indian English-language film produced and directed by Bengali filmmaker Anjan Dutt. Set in Kolkata, the movie chronicles the lives, struggles and eventual triumph of an Anglo-Indian community living in the titular Bow Barracks apartment complex. The movie chronicles the lives of the residents as they face the usual set of life’s tribulations, as well as pressure from a sleazy real estate developer who is trying to force them off property they’ve owned for decades.

Emily is a widowed mother, living with her son Bradley and pining to join her older son Kenny in London. Unfortunately, that older son seems to have forgotten completely about her, or cut her out of his life. Her younger son Bradley is a listless guitar player who can’t seem to hold down a steady job, and is having an affair with Annie, a battered wife.

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Annie is a battered woman living with her husband Tom, an Armenian origin alcoholic wife beating thug who is involved in some kind of shady scheme. She finds solace in the arms of Bradley.

Melvin and Rosa are an older couple, with a teenage daughter Sally. Melvin is a hardworking teacher, but Rosa feels unappreciated and is cheating on him. Their daughter Sally pines after Bradley, but he isn’t reciprocating.

And finally, there is Peter “the cheater”, a well meaning small time hustler. Who might just end up being the man to save the day.


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Tropes found here are:

  • Actor Allusion: Lillette Dubey, who plays Emily Lobo is the daughter of a locomotive engineer in the Indian Railways - an occupation stereotypically associated with Anglo-Indian men. And her name also suggests European heritage. But she is actually Indian through and through - with no European ancestors.
  • The Alcoholic: Peter “the cheater” is the good fun loving variety. Tom is the abusive wife beating variety.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Annie ends her affair with Bradley because Emily admonishes her, that Bradley is so infatuated with her, that he is neglecting everything else, including his guitar playing.
  • The Cameo: Singer Usha Uthup shows up to belt out a Christmas song for the Bow Barracks fundraiser concert.
    • Roopa Ganguly, a Kolkata based actress famous for playing Draupadi in BR Chopra’s Mahabharata shows up as the cheated on wife of the man Rosa is having an affair with.
  • Con Man: Peter “the cheater” is implied to be one.
  • Cuckold: Rosa sleeps around on Melvin. Also, Tom’s wife Annie is sleeping with Bradley.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The murder of Manish the architect, who is trying to get Bow Barracks recognized as a historical landmark so the city will maintain it, becomes this for most residents.
  • Domestic Abuse: Tom's Establishing Character Moment is him beating Annie with his belt.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Annie cheating on Tom with Bradley is sympathetically portrayed due to Tom being a wife beating criminal. Rosa sleeping around on decent Melvin is more unsympathetic.
  • Grass Is Greener: The community residing at Bow Barracks feels that life will be better for them in either England or any Dominions such as Australia.
  • Hated Hometown: Emily and Rosa really really hate Kolkata and implicitly, India too. They both just want to get out of there.
  • Home Sweet Home: It takes until the end, but the residents of Bow Barracks finally come to this realization.
  • Unrequited Love: Sally pines for Bradley. He doesn’t reciprocate because he has feelings for Annie.

Alternative Title(s): Bow Barracks

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