Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Picture This

If I've been to two movies in two successive days, something is definitely wrong with the Universe. It also probably means total abstention from cinema for a minimum of six months. Spoilers aplenty ahead, so discretion is recommended.

My last movie at a theatre, before these mishaps occurred, was 500 Days of Summer during my last week in Singapore. How breezy and delightful it was! Sanity ruled then.

I saw Karthik Calling Karthik yesterday with friends. Utter joblessness and boredom were the reasons that drove me to it; everytime Deepika was on screen, I felt like I was watching an advertisement. Farhan, well, I didn't find him remarkable, and schizophrenia came as a dampening conclusion to what I was expecting to be a thriller- I wouldn't even have minded a supernatural story. The messages Farhan left himself seemed too contrived to have been recorded in hazy moments when the subconscious took control.

This afternoon came the turn of Ye Maaya Chesave (What spell have you cast on me- roughly translated), the Telugu version of the much-talked about movie Vinnai Thandi Varuvaaya (Will you cross the sky to come to me, more rougly translated). It started out as a grave, honest attempt to portray the regular religious tangles of young lovers' parents (because, of course, the kids are head over heels in love and don't mind anything at all), finally degenerating into a total farce. If the lovers did have to elope at the end of three years, they might as well have done it in the beginning and saved us all the trouble. The 'hero' resembles an infatuated little puppy, swearing to wait eternally for his mistress- sorry, Lady Love- the expression of a village idiot perpetually affixed on his face. The girl is pretty, bats her eyelids, frowns when she is angry, dresses well, goes to work, but can hardly ever make an important decision- which, to me, negates all the other advantages put together. The defining moment of the movie (sorry, couldn't find a less grandiose term) arrives when he asks her to marry him, because a few years on, she might say that the right moment passed them by and he didn't act, like she did a few years earlier. He describes how this beautiful girl who doesn't wear make-up (yeah, right- tell that to someone who actually doesn't wear make-up) rules his heart. Sigh. Lovesick people of this sort make you revel in your state of single blessedness. The only engrossing parts were the ones containing the rapid Malayalam conversations- I couldn't read the Telugu subtitles fast enough- so it was left to my Tamizh skills to try and decipher the wrathful discussions. I am glad quite a bit of the movie was shot in Kerala. Alleppey is enchanting, and I have found yet another place to add to my bucket list (when I do begin creating one).

The ordeal dispensed with, we wandered around Big Bazaar, and for once, I found something sensible there- 70% off on certain books. There weren't too many interesting titles on display, but we did find a couple of now out-of-print copies of Richmal Compton's William books. There were a number of copies of (by admission) an unauthorised biography of Hugh Grant- apparently, they haven't found any buyers. I picked up Alexander McCall Smith's The Kalahari Typing School for Men; Ice-Candy-Man by Bapsi Sidhwa (my first Pakistani writer); Thomas Hardy's Life's Little Ironies; Once Upon A Tender Time by Carl Muller (my first Sri Lankan author). A motley little collection, don't you think? All for the princely sum of Rs. 250. What a fruitful afternoon.

PS: This is my first ever post with the tag 'Cinema'.


Anonymous said...

If you found this dumb, I'd love to see your reactions when you get to see some stellar examples of Mainststream cinema - the Tamil "Kuruvi", perhaps? ;)

Bhuvaneswari Jayaraman said...

A treasure trove for just Rs 250/-. I envy you, Pooja

wanderingbrook said...

Rindo: Oh no. Once bitten, twice shy.

Bhuvani- :). It is quite a haul. I've finished McCall Smith and enjoyed it; into 'Ice-Candy-Man' now and it is extremely riveting.

Sunshine said...

ohh how i miss living in India where books are soooo cheap!!

Kartik calling Kartik i thought could be done muuch better post interval with the groundwork they had laid!