September 19, 2005

Of Phillums and Flicks....

The year was 1995....I was in class eight ; It was the time when we discovered an innovative way of cutting classes. Leo Club - a club which aimed at improving the society by providing for the poor and the helpless . Apart from this, they also conducted talent Kaampetitions every year to encourage the development of new skills , appreciate education etc., etc., The events ran for a full 15 days.. We were allowed to bunk school if we represent our school in these talent competitions ...Platform created....Situation exploited.. Because it was the time when we could choose to troop off to Public Gardens where the events were held..The place had hordes of boys AND girls from across Hyderabad escaping from school and two-three 'pretty' popular - only english speaking- svelte females...And people tried to outdo each other in their affected affection towards them. I got plenty of opportunities to witness conversations between hep guys from my school and the 'cultured' females....The conversations usually circled around Black Forest Pastries, croissants, video game parlours, Archies, Asterix, Nancy Drew mysteries and films...Nobody talked about sambhar rice, samosa chat, Chandamama and Chacha Choudhry. And when it came to films it was all Hollywood...."Hey did you watch Pretty woman ? Richard Gere was sooooooo cuuuuuuute naa" ; "Yaaaa re, it was a chweeeeet film ". Though I had been watching films since my early days of childhood, everything they discussed went over my head...I was a big fan of Akshay Kumar's Khiladi series that time....They were packed with action, stunts, thrills and titillation (Stuff which I later emulated in front of my mirror in a closed room) and each film would run for atleast fifty FIERCE weeks in Hydra-bad....But I didnt dare bring this topic in front of juntaa...I would better not horrify them and expect a "Sajid u make our eyes shine with pride " by describing how Akshay Kumar vanquishes the villians and liberates all the four leading ladies and their family members after a 30 minute fighting sequence...Life demanded hollywood to stay in the rat race...Until then the only english movie I had watched was 'Benhur'- A tale of God, Jesus and universal brotherhood....Guess it would help me procure a 30 mm thick mattress in heaven (assuming I would be going to heaven because I was told children who are obedient and help their parents go to heaven and I always help my mom change the curtains...)

That weekend I decided to add some sophistication to my life...There was a demand for transmuting cinmaa hall to movie theatre, paap kaarn to pop corn, tikitaan( The Hyderabadi vernacular) became tickets, soooper became classy and above all 'waaching a picture' into 'catching a flick'. And the second step was to find out all the ungrezee pictures running in town...I picked the paper and scanned the list...There were four...Three of them were unsuitable for children.(I was a child back then....:-) So I had only one option...The film was 'Blown Away' a Jeff Bridges starrer and was one of the worst films in the history of mankind....I caught hold of some of my chaddi friends and convinced them that this would be a better watch than DDLJ (now DDLJ was released that weekend). And so off we went to get blown away. The theatre had about fifty odd people .I believe they had no where else to go....When the film started, I started concentrating hard...very hard to comprehend the dialogues...These native english speakers have an unusual knack for speaking really really fast..:-( What to do...There were no sub-titles either...And after about 15 minutes I just turned around to see what the others were upto.....One of them was trying to achieve perfection in tying his shoelaces, one was staring DEEP into his watch hoping for some miracle to happen, one constantly switched between wiping and polishing his specs and making his tongue traverse the insides of his cheek. I wished I was bit by a venemous snake just to stay in a state of coma until the movie ended...Neways we ended up sitting through whole of it. When we came out I asked one of them.."How was the movie ?" ...pat came the reply..."I THINK it was good"....My first authentic Hollywood movie...An unavailing effort at getting to my feet; Anguished and helpless in the clutches of a dream...

However the week after that we watched DDLJ...A bombshell of a film and a hell of an entertainer...I was showered with vituperations from all those guys who were made to relinquish this for some stooopid movie...So it was back to Akshay Kumar and Sallu bhai...And english only if it starred Aarnold or Jackie Chan with all the dishum dishum and Ghibba Ghib... Later when I entered college, I realized that each film industry has its own appeal thanks to a whole bunch of film appreciating gang in my wing. We watched everything (except ofcourse a certain mallu genre starring the famous u know who....) - Hollywood for its sheer elegance and originality, Hindi films for their charm and entertainment value and of course our very own telugu cinemas for their mass appeal and regional idolatory. Depending upon on our undulating moods, we chose our films and favourite actors...Well, if I were given a choice to choose between Priety Zinta swinging away to glory on a swing laden with flowers in the heart of punjab and Nicole Kidman sporting a Virginia Woolf outfit in an ultra sophisticated and demanding role , I would go for Priety...:D So Priety, if you are reading this, just chill....This is just a blog....

PS: Very soon I would be coming up with my own review of a path breaking film of our times....
viz Pulp Fiction...

4 Comments:

Blogger Shashi said...

abe saale you forgot to mention our never ending relationship with black tickets.And i thought "rumble in the bronx" was the first flick.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Dijas said...

>> abe saale you forgot to mention our never ending relationship with black tickets.
Oh yeah, maybe in some other post.

>> "rumble in the bronx"
No it aint..."Blown Away"
it is...:D

2:14 AM  
Blogger vijay kongara said...

Dude.........Blown Away it definitely was. And i do remember an innocent Shashi, making a feeble attempt at covering his eyes at sight of a few fleeting frames of carnal pleasures on screen!! ;-). Hmmph......just to think what the IIT did to him years later.....
Hey did we see this movie before/after that jackie chan flick on my BDay??

3:06 AM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Too good... laughing my @$$ off now :)) But you summed it up in this sentence beautifully: "I realized that each film industry has its own appeal thanks to a whole bunch of film appreciating gang in my wing"

8:31 PM  

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