Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Magic of Realism

I am a huge fan of realistic cinema. So committed I am to the magic of realism that I don’t mind paying big bucks to watch a man with a lota and foul intent, getting chased by the news-hungry media. And I sigh with relief and start munching my popcorn noisily when he finally gets to relieve himself, with only the tall grass protecting his modesty.

As I get back home, I shake my head in disbelief. Man, that pooping scene was so intense! I could almost feel my bowels crying with ecstasy.

During my growing up years, my parents made sure that my brother and I were exposed to nothing but the best. While my parents snuck off to watch Sholay, we the helpless were left behind to spend the evening, trying to kill each other in the most painful way. Of course we managed to survive to watch classics by the likes of Satyajit Ray, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Sai Paranjpye.

With such an intense grooming, wisdom had no choice but to walk ahead of my years. While my lowly friends watched festival circuit movies (read art house cinema) for the sex, I would watch it for the three intense lines that the characters exchanged with each other in Spanish, while rowing for two hours and ten minutes in a picturesque lake.

My brother rebelled and dedicated the rest of his life to watching just action movies and Angelina Jolie.

But me, I was getting hungrier and hungrier for stark reality. No happy endings, no colourful bonanzas, no loud celebrations for me. I wanted my character to seek the meaning of life from the lone sheep in the deserts of Mongolia. Any hanky-panky that the man might have wanted to do with the sheep was snipped off by Edward-Scissorhands, whom we otherwise refer to as Censor Board of India.
 
I was content with the sad, hungry and the angry.

Until I moved to a country where censorship is as alien as a Swiss bank account to an Indian politician.

Now before I proceed, let me clarify that realistic cinema is different from Art house cinema. Art house cinema is like the masterpieces hung at Tate’s Gallery of Modern Art. Nobody understands it but everyone is too scared to trash it. Realistic cinema on the other hand, is reality that our mundane lives often miss out on. It’s not every day you see Gangs of Wasseypur playing out in real life or discover that your soft-spoken neighbour is actually a wannabe terrorist!

Thankfully none of the characters catch a plane to Istanbul, Switzerland or London to profess their love with 20 extras doing dhinchak in the background. I think the politically correct word is backup dancers. Although I still don’t know why they are called that! Are they expected to take the lead actress’s place if she passes out?

Coming back to the point, away from the clutches of censorship, I was finally getting to watch unedited versions of reality and art. Naked hairy asses and no I’m not talking about the four legged variety. Men kissing men, the kind where you can feel the tongue touching your tonsils …and most importantly, close-up shots of men and women of all sizes, barfing like it’s nobody’s business.

It’s not as if I’m averse to barfing, but there’s a right way to do it - quietly in a corner, away from prying eyes. But no Sir, not in these movies! The actors will make a big show of it, to let reality sink in like the Titanic. On the carpet, inside the car, on some hapless man - just like kindergarten kids, for whom puking and peeing is just another act of spontaneity.

Irrespective of whether you are watching French, German or American cinema, the movie is incomplete without the lead character’s puke being splashed all over your screen in all its vividness.

I mean, if I really wanted to watch men and women puke, I’ll just walk around in any of the hospitals in my vicinity. If I wanted to watch someone else’s butt plastered all over my screen, I’ll watch porn, dammit!

And I have observed that most of the characters prefer doing all their talking while sitting on the shit-pot. For heaven’s sake, the least you can do is shut the door while you exchange intense bytes of wisdom!

Sadly, these movies come with no prior warning. Just a – this movie may contain adult themes. I refuse to see what’s so adult about letting out/ exchanging your bodily fluids in the most grotesque manner! Enough to put you off sex for a lifetime. Little wonder that most European nations have such a low growth rate.

Learn something from Indian cinema, you fools! We show how men and women can have babies by simply running around trees and kissing each other behind giant sunflowers.

Little wonder we are a population of 1.22 billion and growing.

Things have come to such a point that I have started craving movies that show picture-perfect characters living out picture-perfect lives! So guess what, this Diwali, I actually went ahead and watched Jab Taak hai Jaan! Such a simple story line…boy meets hottie... hottie falls for the boy who’s always trying to sing like Rabbi Shergil…hottie leaves God for boy….boy goes off to Ladakh, grows a stubble and starts defusing bombs…and it goes on and on and on, till you wake up to discover hottie is singing songs with her lover boy again. And not once did I have to put up with SRK having trouble digesting his dinner! Phew!

Damn you realism, I’ve had enough of you. I’d much rather watch larger than life characters in all their Technicolour glory.

Isn’t it why we watch movies - to evade reality?


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46 comments:

  1. Welcome to the Brave New World of International Art cinema , Purba! Am sure to watch those scenes you can walk across country side in India:) Best wishes for the New Year to you and your family!

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    1. In India, life in towns and villages is a struggle, especially for women. Don't think I"ll be able to survive it.

      A Happy 2013 to you and your family.

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  2. Loved reading the reality of today's movie trend. You rarely get any movie worth a watch. And most of them are more about the same story line in god knows how many versatile ways.

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    1. I think the greatest movies are simple tales presented beautifully.

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  3. If I ever get to write' Three mistakes of my life' , watching jab tak hai jaan will feature at number three.First two mistakes I am waiting to commit...inshallah with Srk, krk, salman, it will happen soon.
    Lol at your take on reality and its cinema :D

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    1. OMG!Sharmila - you make it sound like an unholy threesome :p

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  4. Loved reading it. Even art house cinema needs to be aesthetic in the land of anarchy I feel. Reality is not interesting enough for people here.

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    1. We have our Polity spicing up reality just for our sake.

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  5. I have a very weak stomach, your graphic description of barf nearly set me off. I dont think I am strong enough to watch international movies. My system will rebel

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    1. Hahahaha...just stare hard at the carpet and wait for the retching sounds to stop.

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  6. I love movies that leave me disturbed, just like reality. I am not aware about the thin line you have talked about here, so I would need some glorious examples.
    btw, have you seen 'Irreversible'? Totally disturbing. Worth the time.

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    1. Hmm...the plotline sounds similar to what happens in India almost everyday.

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  7. Interesting take on international art cinema. I haven't watched much of those.

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    1. I suggest you do. Start with French Cinema.

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  8. Purba, if a man has a lota in his hand, the intent is that of urgency.....the result can be foul. Lol. I was missing your write ups.

    Personally, I am not a fan of realistic cinema. Give me soft romantic stuff any day.No wonder they love our Bollywood and candy floss.

    Loved it.

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    1. I am not big on mush but I love watching romantic comedies. Just perfect for a rainy day :-)

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  9. Purba,

    Everything within limits is fine but as soon as it is crossed it become gross.

    Take care

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  10. what ya, you not posh? eh, maite?

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  11. Spoken my heart, Purba.
    I can imagine how you might literally pine for realistic cinema, given the c**p that our very own Bollywood regularly dishes out to us so lovingly!

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    1. But I do like Dibakar Banerjee movies. Thankfully a lot of filmmakers are waking up to realistic cinema.

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  12. I totally agree with your summary I’d much rather watch larger than life characters in all their Technicolour glory.
    I prefer a Salmaan Khan Dabaang and it's sequel to Gangs of Wassypur type...and so many masala movies making the 100 crore club seems to shout..boss full time entertainment mangta

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    1. Hahaha...I did watch Dabangg and quite enjoyed it. But I think I'll stay away from it's sequel.

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  13. I haven't watched one... Interesting one on art cinema... I have seen some films which its directors call as reality and I haven't watched any of these! Must watch one..

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    1. You must! It's an experience you"ll cherish :-)

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  14. I feel myself going in the reverse direction. I dug Govinda, Mithun and other mindless stuff when younger. But these days, I just cannot stomach Salman and Akshay tripe. I want my grey cells to be challenged :). You are right about art house cinema. Mere palle kabhi nahin pada. But I dig realistic movie. I basically enjoy a good movie :).

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    1. You cannot stomach it anymore because that tripe is an assault on your senses.

      But Bollywood has a huge following worldwide. Guess the dhinchak is a novelty for many.

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  15. I always enjoyed Mithun movies and still love to watch sometimes but my wife used to get angry at me :)

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    1. Watching movies is a diversion for many and need for some.

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  16. I watch a movie to enjoy the time so Art movies are not my cup of tea.. as such there is so much reality out there in my life .. when i go on my shift .. I dont think I can take any more then that .. :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Indeed and most of us watch movies to unwind after a hard day's work :-)

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  17. Phew! For a while I thought we had lost you...Welcome back!
    So, how was Dabanng 2?

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    1. Hellow? you haven't written in three weeks!

      And Dabangg? Neva, eva!

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    2. Hah...no, I meant, welcome back to the world of 'unreal' cinema! I was so certain that you were one of the front benchers at the first showing of Dabanng...throwing Australian cents and popcorn at the world's shortest, brawniest, moustachioed star to have worked with both Bhagyashree and Naghma!

      Guilty as charged on not having written in weeks. :(

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  18. I used to love realistic cinema and those that stimulated my grey cells when I was younger, but now I can't watch anything except children's movies and mindless comedies that once irritated me no end. No barfs and poop for me, please :)

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    1. A movie is either meant to entertain, inform or make us think. If it fails on all these counts - why watch it at all?

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  19. Dinchak, Purba, Dinchak. Another dinchak post from you..rofllll...you won't believe I started reading this post from the day you posted and finally was able to complete today. And luckily I always stopped at the heroine passing away part. Good that I didn't read it previously. Otherwise, I would have been sent home from work the first week I joined :P ...meaning, I laughed so badly that my tummy hurts..
    My son was asking me the other day, amma what is a rape? I almost uttered, "didn't you watch Indian movies dumbo? where men fall on women and pull of their clothes and hero comes and rescues"...LOL..but then...I controlled my mouth...
    btw, did you get to watch the movie I sent to you?

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    1. Ha! trust Bollywood to glorify kitsch.

      No sweetheart, not yet. Been awfully busy :/

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  20. Like a wise man said: Too much of anything is bad... :) Loved the post, Hilarious !! :)

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  21. a fan of this unique style of yours! superb take :)

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    1. This post did not find too many takers. Guess, people prefer me raging and ranting.

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  22. You have to wade through a lot of poop to be an intellectual. That's why most of them are bit crabby.

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  23. enjoyed reading this intresting bunch of article. Its amazing :)

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