I spent the better part of today morning (an ungodly hour) watching a famous movie. I am not going to name it, but this post is about the impact that movie had on my day. I am not a huge movie fan and usually watch movies for three reasons. Oh yes, I’m actually going to make a bulleted list.
- Someone recommends them strongly. And by someone, I mean people whose recommendations I take seriously. That seriously brings down the number of people in the list
- It belongs to a series / genre I really love. And that is NOT only Harry Potter series. (*Conveniently overlooks the fact about watching the Fantastic Beasts movie soon after release*).
- A favorite actor of mine (that is about two or three people on the whole, encompassing movies of many languages) has acted in it.
These might sound like everyone’s reasons. But I do not have a strict code that I must watch even if the above conditions are fulfilled individually or together. For instance, I try to steer clear of the ‘popular movies’ everyone is talking about. And I also do not conform to the idea that a highest grossing movie is the best in content. I do wish movies came without the songs in between. *Ignores distant groans of disbelief*
After that long essay of digression, I will come to the actual movie that triggered this post. My main peeve with the story was not that it was unusually bad. It was so stereotypical, a confused mess of emotions that has gained popularity in recent times as ‘the people’s favorite kind of movies’. I have no idea who gets to decide that, though.
The story itself was simply complex. Girl meets guy. They befriend each other over petty fights and soon become indispensable parts of each other’s lives despite not obviously wanting to. The guy is a cry baby / play boy (note the space. As in a boy who is still in the ‘playing with toys’ stage as far as mental development goes). The girl is a thoroughly unique specimen who tries to hide the deeper past of her heartbreak behind her ‘I-don’t-care-about-love’ façade and laughs at everything, proclaims proudly about being judgmental. She also calls the hero for a double date with his girlfriend and her boyfriend in tow, and goes about insulting the ‘airhead’ stereotype Hero’s GF.
Cut to the provocative smooching scenes, the hero and the heroine are cheated upon by their respective (yet to be) significant others who have taken a fancy to *surprise, surprise* each other. The heartbreaks are dealt with by trips to exotic locations (why aren’t normal people able to do that, I wonder) and there over mushy cuddles they express their liking towards each other. Not love… Not at all.
And then the ‘Go-to-hell’ heroine meets the man who unscrupulously broke her heart so she somehow deems it fit to break the hero’s heart and follow the cheating scumbag who dumped her. (But I’ve always loved you as a friend only. I told you I didn’t believe in love. It hurts. Well, except for the absolute prick there who deserted me). So lalala the hero gets invited to the wedding and he goes there to sing sad songs (which become mass hits, of course) and hide his pain and tears behind his smile while ODing on glycerin in his eyes. Then on the eve of the wedding, he professes his undying love to the heroine who must, by then, be regretting even inviting him.
Then he jumps out of the hall mid-wedding, and the heroine is heartbroken. Yeah, we’ve never seen that one before. The hero then finds another girl who salves his wounds of loneliness awfully quickly. If only guys and girls in real life where that lucky. Then love is redefined. Was it defined previously? I forget the details. And then he calls up the old flame to childishly gloat to her. Add in a few quality smooching scenes. But again, surprise, surprise, the hero’s latest flame has an old flame who is in love with her and who she’s divorced. Throw in a cameo appearance here.
The hero’s new and old girlfriends (the heroine is the old GF, if that isn’t clear by now) meet at the new girl’s place where the hero tries all tricks to make her jealous. He even goes to the extent of demanding why she isn’t jealous to which she replies yes, she is. But she is hiding it all. Nice twist there. I never saw that one coming.
And then the new GF realizes how deeply he was in love with the older one and refuses to continue with him because she had initially not believed in love but was now falling in love with him. I wonder what luck the hero had to meet women who proclaim to not believe in the idea of love but still manage to fall in love pretty easily, only the unrequited variety, strictly.
Things take an inspirational turn here. The hero becomes a popular rockstar. (that was the twist that made me almost tumble out of my seat) and then he meets the heroine’s ex-husband, the man whose wedding he indecently escaped from attending. From him the hero learns that the heroine has left him because she did not get the love the hero was able to give her from her husband. By this point, I really wish I could give you guys a glossary of a who is who but sadly I am too confused myself and would have been totally clueless had it not been for actually seeing the movie.
Then Hero searches for Heroine and therein comes the final twist – something that Indian cinema has not explored ever – heroine has cancer. The deadly fatal disease. Yes, the one that kills. Hero cares for the heroine and insists that she is in love with him and refuses to accept no for an answer. He also insists that she is truly attracted when she has refused many times previously. Of course, the effect might be diluted because her actions completely contradict her words. The heroine then realises she cannot make the hero understand the friends without benefits thing and goes off on a plane where, for the millionth time in Indian Film History, the hero chases her to airports (fulfilling a dream of hers) and brings her back. We believe he says that he values the friendship more than the love. Indeed. Yes. Completely believable.
What affected me about the whole setup was the way the movie sequenced the events. I am not really against the modern era, nor am I very traditional to frown upon break ups or loving a second or third time over. Life can be full of mistakes and people can fall in and out of love. The thing that bothered me the most was the way the movie failed in conveying the message it set out to talk about.
The modern age is already filled with confused relationships and people bartering fun and frolic with soul nourishment, losing the wholesome things and quickly being disgruntled with the superficial things they run after. Soul nourishment or a long term serious relationship is something like the good fat the body needs to function. The carbs one must take for health. Jumping from one relationship to another in search of eternal love, while always pining away for the one unrequited love, and bartering their emotional fullness to something as superficial as few days of temporary fun is like a scabbing wound, a caffeine and sugar high that will quickly deplete the body’s energy resources and leave the person feeling even more drained than normal.
All through the 2 and half hours, I had no idea what the movie wanted to convey and my being rankled with the Hero’s obstinate attitude that people actually found heart-wrenchingly endearing. The continuous, vicious cycle of movies projecting what they think the people love, and people actually imitating what they think the movies show, is a never ending rut we seem to be stuck in.
Romanticizing the behavior of refusing to take no for an answer and bawling like a petty boy who’s lost a toy is not considered attractive behavior in my books. And though this might not be the most popular opinion, or might even be misconstrued as the ‘men don’t cry’ stereotype (which it absolutely is NOT) I feel that the movie lost its whole point and hid behind the general idea of what is mistakenly assumed as romance.
I could go on ranting. But I wish to stop here to save my sanity.
Oh, and by the way, I am going to individually find all my friends who recommended this movie to me and thank them all for the material they gave for this blog post of the day. I’m grateful to them.
*Hagrid rant end*