For all his life, it has been presumed that when Ash finished his studies he'd enter the family business but recently he's been realising that he has dreams and ambitions of his own, far from those that his father always took for granted. A clever and attractive guy, Ash is stuck between two worlds: there's the hedonistic life he leads with his friends in London city where nothing is off limits and there's also the more conservative part of his life which centres on his family.
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These are the titular "courtesans of Bombay," and we eventually come to learn a little (probably too little) about this peculiar industry in India's big cities. The most cutting moment is how one of the narrators notes that pregnant women in this area pray for a girl: A boy is useless, his only potential worth to the family would be in being a pimp to other girls. In the compound, one young girl is so valuable that she can work while the rest of the family just sleeps all day on the floor (as is seen frequently in the crude video footage).
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Remember the bad guys in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Those were the Thuggee, worshippers of Kali who happily assassinated and robbed their prey in the early 1800s. Here, a young British officer (Pierce Brosnan) uncovers Thuggees working in colonial India.
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Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.