I love movies. Period. I am not a critic so I’m not concerned about how good or bad the film is. I love the idea of spending three hours just watching the screen explode with various colours, scenes and emotions.
And then, of course, there are the actors.
Perhaps the only thing that puts me off is blood and gore so I rarely agree to watch a film from a violent genre. Also, if the movie revolves around an animal or a beloved pet gets killed in the film then it’s a definite no-no for me. I howled after watching Haathi Mere Saathi. I cried while reading Marley and Me and refused to watch the movie because I couldn’t bear the thought of falling in love with Marley and then losing him all over again. I loved Will Smith’s I Am Legend but, at the end of the film, when he has to put down his own dog, I cried.
I loved Farah Khan’s Main Hoon Naa and Om Shanti Om. Predictable stories, typical Hindi film fare but I can still watch them again and again. Similar to how many of us can watch Sholay, Chupke Chupke, Padosan, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Andaz Apna Apna, Bawarchi, the original Golmaal, Seeta Aur Geeta, Ram Aur Shyam — the list is endless — innumerable times.
But put Mr Amitabh Bachchan in a film and then that’s the only thing I need. There are very few films of his that I couldn’t sit through: Toofan, Jaadugar, Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag, Nishabd, Boom. Highly forgettable movies.
As a child, I remember that going for a night show with the family was an exciting affair. We would dress in our best and during the interval, the children would get a packet of potato chips. These were small packets and not the Lay’s you get now but the sweet-shop variety. We would savour each chip from our respective packets. I always ended up being the loser among my cousins and friends because I’m a slow eater. I would be the only one with half a packet left, while the rest would have finished theirs. And then it was a free-for-all. I would soon be overpowered and my chips would be devoured.
I have one golden rule when I go to a movie theatre — one must not miss the ads and the trailers. To follow this rule, we always have to reach and be seated much before the movie starts.
When I began working with a newspaper, I had the privilege of going for first-day, first-shows. My colleagues and I would wait for Friday with much excitement. Every Friday, my movie-viewing companion was a senior colleague of my mine, who was as much of a movie buff as I am.
I remember when we went to watch Hum, we had another young colleague’s ticket and he was late. By the time he reached, we had missed the ads and the trailers. What a tongue lashing he got from us! We did, however, forgive him once we sat in the hall and the movie began. Jumma Chumma had the entire hall up and dancing and we couldn’t sustain the anger. We had to stand to see the screen because everyone in front of us was dancing on their seats. I actually only ended up watching that song in full without interruption when I watched the movie on television!
For all my love of the movies, I end up watching a film very rarely these days. Unforgivable! No first-day, first-shows anymore. Sometimes, I end up watching a movie after months of its release. Yet I still enjoy them and it doesn’t matter to me if I know the story and the ending. Like with Talaash, by the time I saw the film I knew about the surprise twist (no spoilers here), but I still loved the film.
Recently, I saw Holiday: A Soldier Is Never off Duty. A remake of the Tamil film Thuppaki, it was such typical southern fare with the heroine being her glam-doll self who surfaces every time a pout is required on screen. In most southern films, the hero has a comic side-kick who makes a fool of himself with his buffoonery. That was different in this movie, because Akshay’s side-kick was played by Sumeet Raghavan and, thankfully, he was not projected as a buffoon. But the film was good fun to watch.
Of the new ones, I watched Dil Dhadakne Do (DDD). A lot of people trashed the film saying it was too flaky. But frankly, I liked it. I’ve also liked Zoya Akhtar’s earlier work: her debut film Luck by Chance and then the huge hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. I haven’t seen Bombay Talkies, in which she directed one of the films, so I can’t comment.
The film about a dysfunctional family may have got a lot of flak, but my family and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Now, I hope to watch Piku, PK, ABCD, Bajrangi Bhaijaan (when it releases), Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, phew — the list is endless again. I will definitely write about them once I’ve watched them, whenever that will be. Better late than never!
Watch this space.