Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ae Deal Hai Mushkil (This is a difficult deal!)

A few days ago, I made the mistake of going for a movie that had been released the preceding Friday. My daughter had been waiting to watch it for many months, as she is a huge fan of the director and he has just one release every four or five years! As per the original plan, she was supposed to watch it in India with her brand new college friends but as luck and the Supreme Court Of India (one judge in particular) would have it, medical admissions of international students were arbitrarily cancelled, citing a lack of an exam they were not supposed to give in the first place and so she had to come back to Nairobi, just like a hundred plus medical college students had to go back to their countries of residence. Which meant that I had to go with her for the movie.
Ten minutes into the movie and I knew I had made a gross error. This particular movie had been in the news for the past few weeks because one of the actors was from our neighbouring country. Relations between our neighbour and India recently took a turn for the worse and so a particular political outfit had threatened to disallow the screening of the movie. The matter was resolved with the powers that be meeting with the directors and producers who apologized and promised to check passports before casting actors in future and the movie was released on time.Well I just wish they had succeeded in blocking the release...
If I wanted to watch scenes from blockbuster movies of yesteryears, I would simply watch them online or I would wait for the movies to be screened on television, which they are, with unfailing regularity. Why would I pay good money to watch two silly people with too much money and too much time on their hands trying to recreate those scenes? And not that the scenes are much to speak of in the first place, as they mostly involve women in chiffon sarees prancing around trees in Europe and looking ridiculous. People in Bollywood seem to have over flowing bank accounts but have a complete paucity of ideas at times...
Twenty five years ago when I was a teenager and in high school, the concepts of living in, multiple relationships, same sex relationships, divorce et al, even malls of the Sweet Valley High series, were all completely alien to us. We were very clear back then that such issues were 'American' in nature (with sincere apologies to my American friends here, all of whom have rock solid values) and we had nothing to do with it. Well, well, the shoe is on the other foot now. A post liberalization India is grappling with all this and more today, leading to an irrevocable break in what old fashioned people like me call basic decency, core values and some semblance of culture.
Even then we, as upper middle class, middle class (and below) parents do try our best to inculcate basic moral dos and don'ts in our children and we still hope that once they are financially independent and no longer answerable to us, they will lead reasonably decent and upright lives and not turn into home wreckers and adulterers. And then this kind of a movie comes along which is so completely divorced from the reality in India. We have only a hand full of Metros and maybe another fistful of large cities. The rest of India is a combination of small town and rural life. Open any newspaper and you will read about many of the social and ethical issues that are raising their heads there, leading to Panchayats and parents often taking the law in their own hands, generally with tragic results. And very often, these new age couples are inspired by Bollywood, which they think is the new reality. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
When this kind of a movie comes along, teenagers and young adults think if the lead actors and actresses can hop from one bed to another, from one relationship to another, get into a physical relationship with a person he or she  met TWO hours ago, then why can't they do the same? If the reel life heroes and heroines can puff cigarette after cigarette, down vodka shot after shot in a bar (this seems to be a favourite scene in EVERY movie these days) then surely it's the right thing to do? Instead of emulating people who have made something more of their lives than simply increasing alcohol and contraceptive bills, our youngsters seem to be getting caught in this vicious cycle of a lifestyle that doesn't seem to serve any higher purpose or calling.
Such movies, if at all there is a need to make them, surely need to come with an A for Adult tag. Then at least, younger, tender, minds will not be exposed to what can be termed as a complete breakdown of our traditional Indian society on the screen and a complete aberration of the way most of us choose to lead our lives. Life, even on the straight and narrow path, is not easy and if complicated by jumbled up ideas and no clear delineation between right and wrong, is only going to become more tumultuous.
Another completely irritating feature of the movie was the way the hero came across as a clingy, needy, guy ready to burst into tears at the smallest possible provocation. While I am ready to break most gender stereo types ( and have broken quite a few of them) and have NEVER said to my son 'Don't cry like a girl' (and will never say it either), how many of us want husbands/ boy friends who spout tears like a leaky faucet every few minutes? No, honestly, think about it. Tears are genetically a woman's prerogative and let's keep it so or else, as a compromise, let neither sex cry on screen!
The hero discloses that his mother abandoned the house and him along with it, when he was a two year old toddler, leaving him to the mercy of his billionaire father. Even that is insensitively treated as a joke by the leading lady. Well, it certainly explains a lot about his behaviour...
That's about the only lesson you can learn from this skewed movie. Leave your marital home if, compelled by circumstances, you have to, but NOT without your kids. Else one day a girl is going to have a soggy, weepy guy on her hands, craving the attention and affection denied to him by his mother, and she will drop him like a hot, sorry, soaked in salty tears potato...
P.S : My daughter remains loyal to the aforementioned director and found nothing much wrong with movie, save the twist at the end. But then, her ideas of busting gender stereotypes involve letting grown up guys wear pink dresses if they want to! The less said about this, the better. And yes, she's refused to go and watch a movie with me ever again, after I tore this one to shreds! See what I mean about Bollywood destroying family traditions?!! I've been taking her for an occasional movie since before she was born...

11 comments:

  1. Not seen movie but totally agree with you...

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    1. Consider yourself very fortunate because you haven't watched this absolute nonsense!

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  2. Not seen movie but totally agree with you...

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  3. Well written. We need a few sensible people on the sensor board !

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    1. Thank you! Yes sense and sensibility rare in Bollywood...

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  4. Well written. We need a few sensible people on the sensor board !

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  5. This is just the tip of the iceberg Anupama! The kids are exposed to so much more. It's up to them to filter the information and take what is appropriate. This time you got to know what the kids are exposed to as you watched the movie. There are short films, you tube films, chats, various social media... the list is endless and scary. We need to try and inculcate values in our children at home and most of all TALK about everything ... right from drugs, smoking, alcohol, sex which will help them to filter what they see, hear and read and assimilate. The movie PINK is good example of how kids can learn bitter lessons the hard way. We need to let our children go with these solid lessons and have faith in them that they will do the right thing.

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    1. Totally agrre. Let's hope when push comes to shove, they stick to higher moral grounds!

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  6. Vivid presentation. Dignified, enriched content. Deep views. The next generation is getting it nowhere, or we are now misfits??Thanks

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    1. Thank you so much Mr.Dev.We are complete anachronisms as far as GenNext is concerned!

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  7. Yes very true ! Most of the Bollywood movies are hopeless! And totally agree that they are spoili ng Indian culture!

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