Re-Loading, Again

Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, the very first film that I saw
It’s been ages since I blogged about anything. Precisely, it’s going to be about six months since a word’s been written in the blogosphere. That’s about half a year. That’s around 180 days without a single line being written about an art form that I hold close to my heart. I’d be lying if I said nothing’s changed in the past few months. Everything’s changed. Maybe not everything, but a lot of things certainly have undergone a major transformation. I feel a lot of these changes have happened internally. However, these shifts have exhibited their extrinsic repercussions as well.

One of the immediate effects has been disconnecting from the world of cinema. I had seemingly distanced myself from the celluloid or anything to do with it on a grand scale. My movie outings reduced drastically. My anticipation with regard to new releases was almost conspicuous by its absence. I couldn’t bear to watch a film on my laptop anymore. Least of all, on that pint sized 15” screen. I’d occasionally try to catch a movie in the theater, just for the heck of it, just to know if I could feel that magic once again.

Sometimes I do experience that ecstasy, but more often than not, it just ends up being a ho-hum experience. I shall refrain from naming these films, out of respect for my friends who might have either recommended these titles to me, or had the misfortune of accompanying me to these movies. However, there were a few other films that I had watched over the last six months, which managed to leave some sort of an impression on my mind. Over the top of my head, I recall The Descendants, War Horse, Hugo and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

I had watched all these movies on the big screen – I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And they turned out to be some of the most heartening movie-going experiences this year. The list might appear inconsequential – four films seen in a theater over the last six months. That's tantamount to two-thirds of a movie every month. But it does point to a very significant evolution in my cinematic choices. I almost completely disowned the concept of a blockbuster, irrespective of the star or the director.

Therefore, the Mission: ImpossibleDark Knight and Avenger franchises bemoaned the lack of my patronage, while secretly rejoicing in their victory over the masses. I was more than glad to be bereft of this sense of communal belonging, which gets reinforced every time a big-budget action flick hits the screen. A realization dawned on me during this time. It wasn’t an epiphany, in the truest sense. It was more or less one of those things you’ve always known, but never acknowledged. The greatest movies ever made, were relics of a time gone by. 

In other words, a majority of the best films I would ever see in my life would be ones made before I had the realization that there were so many great films. Honest to goodness, I have been obsessing about movies since the longest time. My mom tells me that I was weaned on simultaneous reruns of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music during my toddler days. As per photographic evidence, I could be bribed into finishing my lunch, comprising Thayir Saadam (curd rice) simply by popping in the VHS of this musical.

Captain Von Trapp and Fraulein Maria served as my indispensable lunch-mates every single day for about three years. Thanks to them, I grew up soon enough and went through my share of The Empire Strikes Back, Moonwalker, Thriller and Inner Space during my early school days. Those were some of the titles I starkly remember. I also recall going gaga over Amitabh Bachchan in Hum. A fixation with Bollywood followed shortly thereafter, a short-lived melodramatic episode that shall be expounded about in another post.

I’ll do a time jump now and cut straight to the chase. I have found a new goal for myself. And that’s trying to finish watching all the movies that I already have with me. I’ll take my own sweet time. And I’ll blog about them too – as and when a film merits a blog, to be specific. As much as possible, I’ll avoid the new releases. They are being dissected a dime a dozen. So you won’t find me venturing into those seas. If you’d like to drop in and say a thing or two about the film, you’re more than welcome to do so.

I’m not venturing into the highly contested arena of writing about movies to make some kind of a statement. It’s just a personal record of sorts that I don’t mind sharing with the world. And I hope it gives me the discipline to lead a better life bereft of aimlessness and procrastination. I’ll be happy if you folks enjoy reading it. If not, I’d still be happy. Or at least, that’s the idea. Bouquets, brickbats, adoration, adulation, indignation, as always, are most welcome. Rave about it, rant about it, if you feel like it. But let’s just get back on track and put passion back to where it truly belongs – in the realm of the arts. Jump in.

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