Sunday, August 28, 2016

(Re)mind games

The first movie i ever watched in a cinema hall was Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991). My cousin tagged me along and there's not much i remember about it except a scene where both Aamir Khan and Pooja Bhatt ate watermelon. Even today, whenever i come across that fruit, i think of that film. Just like pomegranates remind me of Biswa. The first Hollywood film i watched in a hall was Daredevil (2003). To my naivety, i found the whole blind superhero thing too cool back then. I watched it again seven years later and found the film short on so many scales. A film, unlike memories, doesn't change, right? Wrong. It changes with time just like we do. The way i felt about Amadeus (1984) the first time i watched at a film festival wasn't what happened when i watched it again three years later on a laptop. The same goes for Magnolia (1999). I think cinema has this spell on you for a time being. I firmly believe there aren't a lot of movies out there that remain constant in your mind. On the other hand, plays behave quite differently with your psyche. You watch one and then you watch another performance some months later and both of them are poles apart despite essentially being the same. The spontaneous nature of a play does this to you without your permission. My earliest memory of theatre is a Tulu play my amma took us (my brother and i) to when i was eight and i remember both our jaws dropped after watching a scene where one character stuck knife into another on stage. There was blood all over the victim's shirt. We two carried expressions that dangled between "THIS SEEMS SO WRONG" and "MURDER! MURDER! MURDER!" but kept quiet. The victim remained on the stage till the end. We were both looking for signs of life in him. None found. Inside our stupid heads, we thought he was dead for real. When the curtain dropped only to roll up again, all the actors walked towards the proscenium, folded hands to appreciate the crowd. The victim in his blood-soaked shirt bowed too, to add twist to our already confused minds.