Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Hero and the Damsel

Handsome Guy. Pretty Girl. Guy loves Girl. And Girl loves Guy too. They swear that they're destined to be together. No one will tear them apart.

Oh well, with an exception, though - the neighbourhood gangster boss. Big Boss wants to make Girl his mistress. Pays her family money and snatches Girl away from Guy. Guy tries to stop Big Boss but is beaten into pulp by the minions. Girl watches Guy with a sad forlorn-puppy look as she is taken away. Guy swears to get her back.

Guy sells his underwear. No, not enough. He sells his fowls too. With the money, he gets a Colt .44 magnum and confronted Big Boss.

Curses. Fist fights. Yells. Testosterones. Bang! Bang! More curses, more gun shots. Angry Guy kills Big Boss. Minions scatter, tail between legs. Guy reunites with Girl. Girl cries, hugs Guy.

Love talk. Singing. Dancing. The scene suddenly changes into a garden. More singing. More dancing among the flowers. Fantastic. They are really destined to be together. To sing and dance in the fields and live a happy life ever after.

Sounds like your familiar Hindustani films, no? Gritty bandits, lavish romantic musicals, good-looking actors and actresses bad for your blood pressure. That's the staple of every Hidustani films, it seems.

When I was a little kid, I was looked after by a babysitter. Every Friday after doing the chores in the afternoon, she would switch on the TV and voila, a Bollywood movie would be on air. That would be around three in the afternoon, when almost no one watched the TV. Those who were working were working, those who were not working were probably taking an afternoon nap.

Now, the Chinese lady who babysat me doesn't speak Hindhi. It was the singing and dancing that she enjoyed. I, too, don't understand Hindhi. But unlike her, I wasn't into the musicals. And as a kid, I didn't bother about the sexy actresses either. I'd just sit there and wait patiently...

Watching a movie that you don't understand is like listening to a lecture that you don't comprehend - eventually, you doze off. That was the moment I'd wait for. Then I'd switch channels, to the cartoons! (Grin)

So, you see, a large part of my childhood involved Hindustani movies, although I never learned enough Hindhi to swoop Aishwarya off her feet, or to curse an angry Indian bandit. As a kid, I was led to believe that everyone in India was either a handsome chum, or a pretty lass; was either an impoverished peasant who survived on dhal day and night, or a trigger-happy bandit with adrenaline leaking out from his ears.

When I watched Slumdog Millionaire last night, it brought me back to my childhood days, those Friday evenings of Hindustani movies. No spoilers here, but suffice to say, it fit all the criteria for a Bollywood movie. Except that the actor was a nerd. But all in all, the British producer did a good job in giving the movie a Bollywood touch.

The movie ended with a kissing scene between Jamal and Latika, no dancing throughout the movie! I was cursing the British producer for being so careless, when the movie came to the closing credits, and guess what, dancing!

Ah, now that left me with a sense of satisfaction!

2 persons flung their shoes:

Kim Huey said...

I was glad they did the dancing in the end too.
Although Dev Patel did a pretty awkward dance among all other professional dancers, but not until the dance, then we could only call it a happy ending!

Kryptos said...

oh well, a fairytale ending may be heartwarming but it's always far from real life. but then, maybe tat's y we like them. with just a little denial and ignorance, we can easily convince ourselves tat however shitty life may be, there'll come a day when everything turns rosy.