Friday, February 18, 2011

Moving Pictures

I am fascinated by cinema, by theatre and by books. Not necessarily always in that order. In fact a good movie or book can keep me away from so many 'more important' things in life. Do I regret it? Never! But this passion makes me ask myself what exactly is it about this often 'unreal' world that draws me?
I love movies, and I love deciding what is good cinema for me, not just what is supposed to be good cinema. Oftentimes, somebody else's idea of a great movie may not be the same as mine. That leads me to the question, what is it that we desire, expect, derive from watching a movie? Is it just the appreciation of another person's vision, creation? Is it for pure entertainment? Is it for education? Is it in order to be awed? Is it in order to lose yourself for a while?

What is it about a movie that appeals to you the first and the most? These may not be the same at all!
To me, the story is incredibly important. It does not have to always be going somewhere straightforward, or be life-changing or terribly profound and realistic. But it should have something, a moment perhaps that touches me and draws me in. Then the rest might be mundane but I am hooked! I do not understand direction, editing, cinematography and so on, so all I can say is a beautiful frame is definitely a plus, makes the experience more aesthetic but it is not a requisite for the movie-watching experience to be fulfilling. Of course, a brilliantly crisp story with all the correct ingredients can fall flat if the actors are wishy-washy. They need to be able to make me believe the characters they are playing. That's all. Sometimes actors are so into themselves that they never stop being themselves. That gets on my nerves. Also, special effects and action sequences never seem to impress me. So no dhishoom dhishoom for me!

I make no claims about being a highly evolved, discerning and knowledgeable movie-watcher at all. But I think that a movie that engrosses me, makes me want to be an onlooker of the scene unfolding, if not a participant is all that is essential to make me watch it in its entirety. Otherwise, I am sorry to say, I have grown to be a fan of the fast-forward button. Which explains how I get through 4-5 movies in one night.
Oh, and the trigger for all this unnecessary thought... the movie Ijaazat. I fell in love with it, all over again. Cried bucketloads, marveled about the strength of the roles written, Rekha's beauty, the poetry and the music, the non-judgemental treatment of the story! It almost breaks my heart to watch something like this and yet I choose to go through the experience again and again, because it feels like I live through all that the characters experience!

Is there a movie that made you want to stop everything else and just watch it endlessly? Over a lifetime, there may have been many, perhaps you could tell me about them :)

6 comments:

namu_r9 said...

oh wow yaar..what a lovely example to choose!!! Ijaazat really is a classic, really mature and radical movie for its time, but beuatiful in every way imaginable!!!

U know what, i think what draws me to movies is the chance to experience emotions and situations i may never encounter in real life. Just put yourself in the place of every character and feel what they would. Sometimes i dont even need the actors to be tht grt, as long as the story is good!! Watching movies certainly is a very personal experience!!! :)

Mukta said...

hey namrata, i agree with you that movies are a personal experience indeed! in fact, for me they are more often than not, a solitary experience too. that way i can relish every bit of the movie selfishly :)
what are your favourites?

Onkar Bhardwaj said...

Mu,

You just need to go through our movie database in google-doc (remember we all had a google-doc?) to find out about my fav movies.

Although there are many favourite movies, the top three movies I can watch innumerable times again are Network(1976), Sherlock Holmes (latest one), The Matrix. I think if a movie is to become my any-time-watch, it should have some crazy (but not senseless) stuff as well as style. And is there a surprise no romantic movie features here? Well, I haven't watched ijaazat but so far I haven't really found a single romantic movie that really took my breath away with solid storyline with no unnecessary mushy stuff. And given this bias, I tend to stay away from them. People have suggested me Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind, maybe I will watch it next.

namu_r9 said...

Its always so ahrd to pick favourites....many a times, some of my fav movies i've watched only once, they can be too hard hitting to just watch again casually!!but if i had to name a few, i;d say shawshank redemption, bombay, matrix, DCH, dark knight to name a few.

ASR said...

me too a movie fan... if u havent seen yet,may b u shud try
1. you've got mail,last chance harvey(romance)
2.12 Angry men (Drama)
3.Taken,the negotiator (action,drama)

keep writing

chaitra's mom said...

good read mukta.

I love movies too.And i agree it is a very personal experience.I love to watch my favorite movies alone.Few of my personal favorites are :Rang de basanti,Dil chahta hai,Sakhi in tamil and Bombay,Forrest Gump.