That urge to revisit. To take things slow. To see a film again. To read a much loved book again and not rush the process. It appears contradictory because as we grow older we realize we have less time. But really knowing something changes things, doesn’t it? I know I will never be able to read all the books I want, watch all the movies and series I want. Time is more limited than I had thought and flies far more quickly, especially when you are not paying attention. I realize being aware of your mortality is a good thing.
It is the strangest thing. On some days going through a day is hard with time barely passing, and getting to the next day is a struggle. Yet we struggle with time. If that is not a paradox I don’t know what is. If nothing life has a sense of humour. Irony is what makes the world go around.
There are few films where I immediately want to go back to the world it portrayed and my first thought after watching Shoojit Sircar’s October was just that – I have to watch it again. This is not a movie review but a discussion. Spoilers ahead.
For some reason October reminded me of The Big Sick (another movie I wanted to see again as soon it finished) even though the leads Dan and Shiuli aren’t romantically inclined like the real life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon in the former. Perhaps because like The Big Sick, October dealt with something catastrophic happening out of the blue with humour.
I am foolish. I am naive. I am easily irritated. I am moody. I get affected by things which most people shrug off without a care. I am frequently annoying, and have been known to speak out of turn when I should have kept my head down and looked at my feet. I hold on and be direct in the wrong-est of situations, and do things because I want to without thinking of returns in the hope of things working out, even when there’s no chance of it. In short your typical Aries. (No better time than Aries season to embrace who I am.) So I could relate to Dan’s character in the film October more than I’d like to admit.
I don’t believe October is about a romantic relationship. Affection, connection and love are different things. But people have always seen what they wish to see. Although Dan and Shiuli work in the same hotel they had barely interacted with each other outside of work when she was conscious. Most of their interactions are after the accident. Shiuli cannot reciprocate Dan’s affection or repay what he has done for her but he continues tirelessly without hoping for much, a little (flash of) recognition maybe, and, of course, her recovery. Continue reading “October is not a love story.”
When I saw the song Chod aaye hum woh galiyan from Maachis, I couldn’t remember if I had seen the film but the song felt familiar to me and the visuals unfamiliar to me. How is this possible? I love this song and didn’t even know it existed until yesterday. Yes, you can safely say I’m losing my mind or is it something serious like going mad? Well I can hear my school mates saying, “we knew that you will end up in Ranchi”. It’s such a shame I didn’t write diary entries during those days. It would have made mining out information so much easier.
When I was a kid I went to see films with my maternal aunt and her friends. She took me along, mind you, I didn’t tag along or demand to go with her. But I don’t remember if she took me with her to see Maachis or if it was a recommendation by her? Guess I will have to ask her and I really hope her memory is better than mine. With Gulzar it was bound to be a double treat. He has directed Maachis and the lyrics are also penned by him. Vishal Bhardwaj is the Music Director. Now you know what I’m talking about. I have a movie to (re)watch until then you check out the song.
Life on the other side of twenty. It’s all downhill I tell you. Nobody told me that 20 is the new 40. Well, I have always been an old soul. Is that all I hear you say? I was not the forgetful sort but lately I have been having trouble with my memory and none of my friends take it seriously. They think I’m exaggerating. The bane of having self-deprecating humour is that no one believes you even when you are screaming the truth out loud. They think you are always trying to make people laugh by putting yourself down. No amount of wailing or complaining will get me my memory back or for that matter my past life. Believe me I have tried both and it’s not something you want to ever see.
A song can bring back many memories, memories you didn’t know you still had but they are there somewhere. I have a uncle who looks like Chandrachur Singh, who I had always associated with Kya Kehna and suddenly I remembered that he (not my uncle but the actor) was also in a movie called Yeh Silsila Hai Pyaar Ka. Before you roll your eyes, when I was young I wasn’t that discerning a movie watcher. I just looked stupidly at the moving pictures and it’s safe to say I have watched some pretty ridiculous and lame movies oblivious to their greater purpose. Oh wait you weren’t bothered about the movies but were alarmed by my scattered thoughts? It’s not in my hands (resigned look on face).
In the darkness of the movie theatre all my worries fade, the world falls back and fades to black. It’s just me and the story. Or is it?
Of late I have come into my own watching movies alone in the theatre, so I was surprised when I didn’t want to see Fitoor alone. I had asked a friend but she was busy, so here I was. I was embarrassed that I would look like some loser (we might be losers but we surely don’t want to look like one) because it would be the Valentine’s weekend. The worst time on the planet to be alone, bombarded by mush from all sides (you can only escape it on the moon) and the marketing gimmicks are scaled up to such levels that sometimes I doubt it’s a conspiracy against singletons (Thank you Bridget Jones!). If there was ever a time to declare to the world that I am happy watching movies (romantic or otherwise) alone, then the time is now.
My friend cautioned me not to go see Fitoor on Friday as I am not too fond of crowds. It was a Friday and a holiday so a crowd was expected. On Saraswati Puja, instead of paying obeisance at the feet of the goddess of learning, how was I to know that people will rush to the theatres and bow down at the altar of entertainment.
1146 a.m. A burgeoning crowd outside and the door is yet to open. And here we were irritated because the lift opened at every floor (nobody got in seeing how many people were already crammed inside). I could almost hear the collective sigh of frustration.
1150 a.m. I am in my seat. None of my seat mates (I don’t know what else to call them) have arrived and I wished no one would but it was the first day and the last four rows are always in demand.
I’m not the only one who came alone to watch a romantic movie before the V-day weekend and this fact fills me with glee. There’s a guy in the row in front of me, who’s sitting alone, nearly in the middle of the row. He will be squished by unknown people on both sides. An uncomfortable proposition. I always take the aisle seat so that one side is always empty. A guy came and sat in the seat next to me and he’s flying solo too. Continue reading “When watching a movie alone isn’t what you bargained for”
A Minor Incident
by Badly Drawn Boy is a song I really like and it’s proven hard to forget. The lyrics make sense and the tune is easy to latch on to. The scenario for which it is used in the movie is quite specific. Toni Collette plays Fiona, Marcus’s mother. The song is Fiona’s plea to Marcus (before she offs herself) to carry on living without her. And that she will be watching over him from up above the clouds (provided she goes to heaven). I first heard it in About a Boy which I found really endearing. Not many people agree with me on this but I think it was one of the more mature performances of Hugh Grant.
The movie is fun to watch because it has a good dose of tongue in cheek humour. The interactions of the worldly wise Marcus (played to perfection by Nicholas Hoult) who’s twelve with a thirty something, yet to grow up Will (played by Hugh Grant) who doesn’t work but goofs around, and has no real purpose in life except perhaps finding people to date and be totally unattached. The hassle free life is his goal and he manages to live this way till his life collides with Marcus’s. It’s what they bring to each others lives and how they are both changed and see a new way of life viewing it through each others prisms that forever alters their world views. The dialogues are funny and Nick Hornby
has to be given due credit because it is based on his novel
of the same name. I have read it and it was good but I liked the movie better than the book. Sacrilege, right? Honestly, I always try to read the book before seeing the movie if I know that the movie is based on a book but I didn’t know that this time around. May be I should read it again.
The movie begins with these lines –
Will: All men are islands.
It ends on a very different note. Lemme go watch it again. You guys have a great Sunday.