Of Freida Pinto's legs, movies & Dev Patel
Rediff.com's Arthur J Pais reports from the Toronto International Film Festival.
Two years ago just as Slumdog Millionaire was starting its Oscar buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival, Freida Pinto had to spend many hours telling the reporters about her background, and how she had come to be named Freida Pinto (and her dream of acting in films directed by distinguished film-makers.
This time in Toronto she did not have to tell anyone who she is, and of her Indian Christian background.
The actress who is featured in the recent GQ magazine sizzling photoshoot in a short dress and displaying her legs walked on the red carpet twice, and was widely photographed with boyfriend and Slumdog co-star Dev Patel whose career has also taken off, thanks to a plum role in the $300 million grossing M Night Shyamalan film The Last Airbender.
Image: Freida Pinto
Photographs: Mike Cassese/Reuters
'She's the most beautiful girl in the world'
She plays the title role in Miral, a French film directed by a respected American Julian Schnabel, famous for the art house hits such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
And she has a small but significant role in the Woody Allen dramedy When You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
"She gets better with each picture," declared Screen International referring to Miral revolving around a well-protected Palestinian orphan who falls in love with a PLO leader (Omar Metwally) and sees her life change dramatically.
The Hollywood Reporter called her 'the distractingly attractive young Indian actress Freida Pinto...'
(She told GQ magazine that in Slumdog Jamal says, 'She's the most beautiful girl in the world. She said she was very conscious of the observation: 'I was like, Damn it. That's gonna be the end for me. I'm not going to get anything serious after that!'
But in Toronto, we got ample proof how seriously she has taken career and how promising things look for her)
Image: Freida Pinto and Dev Patel
Photographs: Mike Cassese/ Reuters
Woody Allen's muse
In the Woody Allen film she looks fabulously sensual.
She plays an British-Indian who is first seen playing the guitar, in a red slip, and spied upon by a frustrated and older and married writer. His entanglement with her leads to one of the most arresting plot twists in the film.
Image: A scene from You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Star on the rise
Pinto will be seen in at least two big movies next year inlcuding Immortals, a reworking of the Greek legend of Phedra.
The film which also features Mickey Rourke and John Hurt is being directed by Tarsem Singh. She is also signed for Rise of the Apes, a contemporary story of genetic engineering.
Image: Freida Pinto in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Awaiting another Slumdog
While Miral and the Woody Allen film will give her career a boost, she is certainly in need of a big hit.
A typical Woody Allen film these days earns about $50 million worldwide, and yet makes a small profit because it is made on a budget of $15-$18 million.
As for Miral, it may do well in France and a few other countries in specialized cinemas.
On the other hand, Dev Patel has followed his actor act in Slumdog Millionaire with a bigger hit, The Last Airbender, in which he plays a supporting role. It is his second $250 million plus film in a row.
The film was reviled by most critics and many loyal readers of the comics were not happy with it either. And yet, it is headed for a solid $320 million worldwide. Hit, it isn't, because it cost about $150 million but it will certainly look good on an actor's resume.
Image: Freida Pinto in Miral