Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Bluntly speaking - They are just movies for crying out loud!

I do not understand why movies are being given the importance of a dissertation? When the movie Uri was released, people were agog about it. It felt as if India had won a cricket match against Pakistan! The hype was so much, I was tempted to persuade K to go for the movie in a theatre. ( I am a human after all!)  Thank God, better sense prevailed (my logic was – if I watched Thor Ragnarok on Apple Tv, I should wait for the online version of Uri too) When I finally had the viewing pleasure of the much touted movie boy was I in for a massive disappointment!!!!!!! In the movie kuch bhi ho raha hai! An intern is making a prototype which is the main surveillance device. I wonder if the highly qualified DRDO scientists were on Instagram posting pictures while this intern managed to develop Garud! An officer who was on a desk job is reinstated onto a high profile mission – JUST LIKE THAT! No vetting, no fitness checks nothing.  Tumhe ek team tayyar karni hai Vihaan” or something to the likes was quoted by the superior officer. Again I think more eligible folks were updating CV on LinkedIn. He goes on to lead a mission which has ridiculous twists and hey! also an helicopter fight thrown in for good measure. The movie was nothing but a feature length chronicle of newspaper snippets and theories proliferating in media.

If one goes through a fine tooth comb and presume it is all factual, there would be serious doubts on the security of armed missions and also the secrecy of armed missions. The surgical strike was a tactical mission and hence a lot of information about it must and should be confidential. It is thus appropriate that a lot of content of the movie was derivative. These thoughts are solely mine. I cannot label that because majority of the people like it, India is a country of jingoists. Or people who did not like it are anti-nationals.  As a movie, if it entertained audiences – it has served its purpose. That is what cinema is. It is a story. It is not a treatise. The screenplay writers are not experts in any field, they are story writers. If the story is not well told, if it fails to entertain audiences, it will not gain traction. That does not mean the movies need analysis under the lenses of patriarchy, feminism and other buzz words.

Given this I am bewildered at the critics and their pseudo intellectualism while analyzing something as temporal as movies! I see the world divided into two when reviewing Kabir Singh – that it reeks of misogyny and many other terms which need me to pick a dictionary. It is a movie! Like it or leave it. It is not an intellectual product. I hated the hugely successful movie Saathiya. I cannot fathom what made the lead character portrayed by Rani Mukherjee marry while in the middle of her doctoral education. There was no resistance from family, there was no rhyme or reason. I would bash that as “insubordination of an offspring”. There was a spew of “obsessive lover” stories in the late nineties like Darr, Agnisakshi, Anjam  and maybe many more. The highly successful movies Hum aapke hain kaun and DDLJ were I feel an epitome of patriarchy (if I speak like the current crop of critics) where the girl wasn’t even asked! We never had critics regurgitating words from a dictionary while reviewing those movies! If given a chance anyone can over analyse anything.

Movies get many things wrong. Pick any biopic and one can see glaring fictionalization to adequately entertain. Dangal would not have been the same without the fictional mirch masala. Movies stereotype blatantly and brutally. Some communities have been the butt of jokes since forever. If its funny it will be irrespective of the accent or the makeup of the person delivering it. Laugh and move on. A movie is a story, not a message – social or political. A movie is a story, not a commentary. It is a personal experience how you take it. If you are inspired, excited, spellbound or had a laugh – good for you. If you are offended, disgusted, disappointed or bored – again your problem, deal with it. There is no need to see either scenarios with glasses of social commentary, evocative discourse or anything remotely intellectual. Intellectualism does not reside in the silver screen. If you want to have deep thoughts and profound discussions – chuck the cinema and pick a book.

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