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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bollywood bids Bush goodbye with a parting shot

Barely two weeks before George W. Bush leaves the White House, Bollywood is ready with a farewell present -- a film that takes pot shots at the outgoing U.S. president.

"The President is Coming," set in Mumbai during Bush's trip to India in 2006, tells the fictional tale of six Indians vying for a chance to shake hands with the visiting head of state.

Bush is a running theme in the film and so are 'Bushisms' -- verbal slip-ups in his speeches -- that have gained notoriety during his eight-year presidency.

"Bush is more of a sort of metaphor for the things that America represents -- good or bad -- but he's also used as a bit of a punching bag because he's an easy target," said Kunaal Roy Kapur, the film's 29-year-old director.

Shot in a mock documentary style, the English-language film depicts a series of farcical tests conducted in a room at the U.S. consulate to single out a young Indian worthy enough to meet Bush.

"The President is Coming," adapted from a play of the same name, opens in Indian cinemas Friday, just days before Barack Obama takes office on January 20 as the first black U.S. president.

"It's definitely a nice little goodbye present for Bush," said Kapur.


There is no word yet on whether an actor plays the president's role in the film, although the director has said he used different ways to deal with the problem, including using video footage of Bush.

Television promos for "The President is Coming" showed a person wearing a rubber Bush mask and a business suit walking past various Mumbai landmarks.

Kapur said the film, made at a cost of about 30 million rupees (approximately 414,000 pounds), would have lost much of its charm if Bush had not been the incumbent U.S. president.

"The premise wouldn't have been as much fun if any of the other presidents had been around," the first-time director said.

"The whole fun of it is that it's President Bush."


Watch the trailer

The President is Coming


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