Citizen Kaun?

by Ashish

Back when I was in school, many decades ago, my parents used to forbid me from borrowing books from the local library while the exams were on. This was because I had this habit of finishing a book as soon as I laid hands on it. Didn’t matter if I started reading it at ten at night or at seven in the morning. Everything else could wait. It was a policy that I personally did not have any problems with, but my parents evidently did.

My policy has not changed to this day, but let’s just say that the source of disapproval has. And the consequences are of an altogether different, more persuasive nature.

Such is life, though, and we must get on with it nonetheless.

On the other hand, one of the (many, I hasten to add) positive consequences of being permanently hitched is that I have become something of a movie buff. Not a fanatic who goes through four movies at a go, I grant you, but one who enthusiastically hotfoots it to the nearest theater to catch whatever fantasy is playing out on the big screen.

A movie and a book are, of course, one and the same thing. They are a story. Expressed through different mediums maybe, but at the end of the day, a story. And that is all we desire from both of them, so things work out nicely for all parties concerned. Give us some characters – some central to the story, some not so much – a plot, a context and a conclusion, and we are satisfied. There are degrees of expertise in the execution, of course, but all we’re looking for in a movie is a story.

Unless we are watching a movie called Tree of Life, in which case we don’t understand what the frack is going on. It’s a movie that talks about the origins of the universe, dinosaurs, father-son issues, death, the after-life and two siblings fighting with each other in small town America. That last bit, about the siblings, is set in the 1950’s. The rest of it is from literally the beginning of time.

If that sounds confusing, I have succeeded. I saw the movie in a theater, and twenty minutes into the movie, none of us were left in any doubt about the fact that all of us were completely out of our collective depths. Some of us quit halfway through and walked out, while most of us, being Puneris, stuck to the principle that we’ve paid good money for these seats, and will make full use of them. Incomprehensibility be damned.

There was no story, you see. Not one that we could follow, at any rate. Which is why today’s blog post is about burying the Tree of Life, and is also about praising Dulhe Raja.

What a fantastic movie, ladies and gentlemen. A true work of art if ever there was one. There is this man, see, slightly chubby, who is a fun guy. He loves this chick, see. A very hot chick. There’s the girl’s father, who’s a bit of a hapless chump. And there’s a villian, who’s unabashedly villainous. And the guy charms us, the audience. He charms the girl, charms the previously antagonistic father-in-law and defeats the villain, all the while maintaining an air of being in complete control.

Plus, it’s hard to not be an entertained by an ensemble cast featuring the peerless Govinda, the bankable Kader Khan, the ebullient Johhny Lever and the voluptuous Raveena Tandon.

What more, I ask you, can a man ask of a movie? To sum up: a love story, a bad guy, and an ably uproarious cast of characters.

That’s all that Kulkarni asks for, thank you.

But I over analyze. It’s good timepass, and that’s all there is to it.

I suppose there will come a time in my life when I will be able to rhapsodize about the genius of Bunuel and Kurosawa. Hell, there may even come a time in my life when I’ll understand what the Tree of Life was all about. I doubt it, personally, but never say never.

But come what may, gentle reader, my all time favourite will for ever and ever more be Dulhe Raja.