Monday, February 15, 2010

Of undiagnosed bugs and uncountable hours to kill

"A 1000 euros??..Is it that good?" was almost as if he didn't understand the pulse of the Indian nuts who'd go to any extent to watch Shah Rukh blaze the screen on the 1st day. For the uninitiated,1000 euros is how much it cost to watch My Name is Khan at the Berlin Film festival. (Happy to watch it for 125 rupees at Satyam,merci beau coup)

Don't for a second think that I DON'T belong to the India nutspora who'd do anything to watch SRK or Rajnikanth or the rest of them prance onscreen.I WOULD.I would even pay 500 bucks for a ticket.Its just that I've been sentenced to a week of bedrest,thanks to a dazzling array of possible viral infections,ranging from dengue to some mononucleosis (or mono nuclear cyst?)..The results of the tests will be out soon for all those curious souls dying to know.So I decided to write about some wonderful movies I watched over the week.

Before Sunrise to the recently concluded Scarface.The aptly titled sequel Before Sunset,Julie & Julia and Chaubey's neo-noir Ishqiya to spruce up the middle order.The rise and fall of the sun might need an exclusive post I'm thinking but what the heck,I'll try to fit in a short ode here.

Before sunrise - this Richard Linklater indie took my breath away. When I finished watching it,my first reaction was,Jesus F Christ! This film's 15 yrs old? And I'm watching it only now???..What a waste of 5 odd years..Very rarely does a film come SO close to your philosophy that you wonder if the filmmaker and you weren't separated at birth.Or were twins in the previous one.Provided he believed in reincarnation too. Rambling apart,I wikied Linklater and the man is all about agenda-less living.Live one day at a time.And that's what the film's all about.American Boy meets french girl on train,they get off at Vienna and walk around all day.No no..I have given NOTHING away.This is not the kind of film where you need to focus on plot,oh what did character X say in scene 22 bla bla.It is all about the flow.You need to be a bit of a dreamer too, to enjoy the film. Understand that life is fleeting and all you have with you is the beauty of now.If you don't believe in that,you can stop reading right now.

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy take you through a journey that you wished never ended.You almost want to touch the screen and say 'Don't stop talking don't stop talking!"And when its finally over,you wanna play it all over again.Linklater comes to the rescue of his fans by creating the much needed sequel.

Before Sunset is endearing in the fact that it takes off from a non-fairy tale ending of the prequel. Boy and girl DO NOT reunite.(Thank god some filmmakers regard the feelings of normal folks who have to deal with reality day after day).Boy is married (presumably happily) with a kid and girl is in a 'hanging in there' relationship with someone.And while more than three quarters of the film is taken up with how they meet and warm up to each other after so many years,the clincher of a climax is all about why relationships are doomed if they have to exist forever.Delpy says 'I LIKE being alone,being alone all by yourself is better than sitting with your lover and STILL being alone." Perfecto.I would like to meet Mr.Linklater someday.

One more gem from Delpy's mouth: "The notion that people need to have someone by their side to be COMPLETE,is absurd..almost evil." You score again,Delpy. Shades of the romantic idiot is seen in Hawke,when he says 'No can't think that way'..I wanted her to slap him right there and say 'WHY NOT YOU ASSHOLE?'..I have been jaded enough and have every friggin' right to think that.Its the FRUIT of my jadedness and I have EARNED it.You dare not take that away from me'..But no,that would not have been very French I guess. And I know how important it is to be in character throughout the film. (Though I wonder why..We don't stay in character throughout our lives,why should it be expected of characters onscreen??).The film ends with a lovely serenading session AND without a resolution..much like life.Well done,Linklater!

Over to Julie and Julia : What to write of an actress who has proved herself many times over,so much that no award will ever measure up to her acting prowess?.She makes my jaw drop every time and outdoes herself in this biopic,well imitating the idiosyncrasies of the jolly,lovable ol' lady who supposedly taught America to cook. Being a staunch vegetarian did not deter my taste buds from swelling up at the sight of Amy Adams cooking up a delicious Beef bourguignon! Sigh..sometimes I wish I weren't so considerate to animals..non-vegetarians seem to have so much fun. Cooking IS therapeutic though..I tried my hand at making breakfast for a few days and was pleasantly surprised..not only did it taste alright,the day started off with an 'Oh well,I did something productive today' note..which excuses your lack of productivity for the rest of the day :D

Next up is Ishqiya : Much has been spoken about this Indian Tarantino but what tipped the scales in favor of watching it despite the sickness was the beautifully picturized 'Dil to baccha hai ji' song.The song itself is quite haunting,an Indian tune set to middle eastern arrangements..More incentives to watch the film : Vidya Balan looks ravishing,the contrasting nature of the 2 love stories - Naseeruddin Shah's unspoken yearning love as opposed to Warsi's more direct,brazen young love.The older man's love definitely wins the women over.At times it feels like an Indian western meets neo-noir but for most part its sheer poetry.The lyrical grandeur just washes you away.Warsi acquits himself well,and more than makes up for all the non-meaty roles of the past.Again,a film that carries you with it.Laudable debut,Chaubey!

Finally,Scarface: What can I possibly say about a cult film,made the year I was born? :) .. Its probably best to shut up.. but I WON'T.Al Pacino was excellent as usual,he just does these angry young man/middle aged man roles SO well.I wish he'd done more variety though.Interestingly,all the roles he turned down could have offered him that variety..Kramer vs Kramer,Pretty woman,Born on the 4th of July.But its just as well he turned them down. Can't imagine Kramer being played by anyone but Hoffman. its definitely dengue..hip hip hurray!..I've managed to contract something new for a change and am quite smug about it :| Sickness is good for SOMETHING I say! Bring it on!

"Aisi ulji nazar unse hatt ti nahi..Daant se reshmi dor katt ti nahi..Umar kab ki baras ke sufaid ho gayi..Kaari badari jawani ki chatt ti nahi..Walla ye dhadkan, bhadne lagi hai Chehre ki rangat udne lagi hai.." ...ra ra ra ra.. :)

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