Life, one movie at a time!

Of late I’ve realized that my love for cinema has grown by leaps and bounds in Mysore. Having a multiplex across the flat (or what we call a Chummery) certainly helps, but there’s also a feeling that my appetites have changed and what excites me more now in cinema is not the same it was a few years back. And trust me, there has been a seismic shift in my preferences. From heavy critic appreciated stuff, I now look only for fun!

I’ve always felt that the Journalist Jai Arjun Singh has maintained a great blog, in fact it was one of the early influences that made me take up writing back in 2009. A lot of his work. Is on cinema, and it’s actually a treasure trove.

All of these feelings can be over-simplified and encapsulated in two words, ‘Growing Up’, but there’s something more to it. While I love cinema from across the world, I was advised by a friend recently, that blog posts shouldn’t be as ambitious as the previous one, so this post will be dedicated to Indian Cinema. So, all the Oscar winning movies, you’ll have a post for you soon too!

In my previous post, I’d written about Swades being an all time favourite movie, and while that still stands, its a feeling that’s emerged from my ideals, and not from what entertains me. But this post is going to put ideals on the backburner and just take you through some of the movies I’ve found extremely entertaining.

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Some of my early memories of Movies are at the Sapna-Sangeeta cinemas in Indore, and two movies I distinctly remember watching are Jurassic Park and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. There was a different feeling about going to the cinemas once in while with parents, in those single screen theatres. But the real movie buff in me woke up somewhere in class 9, when I was studying in Bombay. It was somewhere around that time I saw Shahrukh Khan’s Main Hoon NaaA Cheesy, masala, bollywood flick had me thoroughly having a blast, and even today, whenever it is on television, I make an attempt to steal a glance at the stunning Sushmita Sen. I think her character in the movie set expectations really high for any teacher I was ever to encounter in the future. Needless to say, no one ever lived up to them! What made the movie appealing was the fact that it was a lot of fun. And while a lot of movies such as Lakshya, Khakee and notably Mani Ratnam’s Yuva came around that time, Main Hoon Naa remains a treasured memory.

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A few years later, as I was in my initial college days, I finally saw a Mani Ratnam movie for the first time that I was able to comprehend properly. Guru was a movie that introduced me to the genre of Biopics, and business leaders, but two things I loved about the movie were the opening credits, with names being printed on polyester, with Maiya Maiya in the background, as well as the inquiry conducted by Roshan Seth. Simpy brilliant.

As I stepped into college, a lot of my personality was shaped by choices of the peer group who liked offbeat cinema, and treated Indian Cinema with disdain. Peer pressure gets to grown men too, and I was an 18 year old teenager. So my fondness for movies such as Dabangg, 3 Idiots and Taare Zameen Par became hidden secrets, as I rattled of names like Fincher and Aronofsky, while secretly watching entertaining Hindi movies too.

As I started working at GE, there was not a lot of time I spent on watching movies, but some movies like Rajneeti did catch my fancy. Another movie I thoroughly enjoyed was Vicky Donor, which, I’d seen with the entire GE team, and it was followed up with a sumptuous meal at Karim’s. These memories become etched in your minds, because there were so many shared jokes and laughs, which made the experience a worthwhile one.

Time flies, and I moved to Bombay, where, slowly, now I think of it, the change in the kind of movies I like watching started happening. I was a member of the Placement Committee back in college, and I started looking at movies as a way of releasing stress. Somehow, it wouldn’t feel like a movie, if the ending credits did not have a big smile across my face. And as I started working for ITC, that belief has only been reinforced more and more. Having seen almost all movies that have come out in the recent weeks, Pyaar ka Punchnama 2, Neerja and Piku remain special.

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I spent the afternoon today watching Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani for the first time, and I finally agree with the people who’ve told me it is unadulterated fun. Had me smiling from end-to-end, with small poignant moments once in a while. And to top it all, it had Farooq Sheikh, someone whose acting I’ve always liked, had one of his last performances in the movie. A happy, yet thoughtful, free spirited, yet based on friendships kind of a movie, it had me miss, recap and reflect on a lot of things in life. Have I had the right amount of fun? Every refused party, cancelled trip to a bar, unrealized holiday plan feels like a lost opportunity. And with the spectre of a six day week looming large over my head for the foreseeable future, it seems like there are going to be lesser opportunities of having fun.

Maybe, there will be a day when I’ll quit the trappings of a corporate job and make moe time for myself. But until then, the next Sunday belongs to a jar of Nutella and the movie Tamasha (Yes, I’ve not seen it yet!).

‘Yaadein mithai ke dibbe ki tarah hoti hai … ek baar khula toh sirf ek tukda nahi kha paoge’ – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

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