Recently I was down with extreme amoebiosis, the result of which was that I spent nearly three days feeling that at least in the future they better build houses with toilets that come with attached bedrooms.
Anyway, when I went to my general physician, he, after the routine scrutiny, dropped the doctorly line: ‘this thing seems to be on the rise these days. You have to be careful where you watch your films’.
The doctor, of course, couldn’t have been more right.
I think I picked up the debilitating stomach bug, courtesy 7am Arivu. Must have been the heavy masala, no not in the film, but in the fried rice that I was served during the course of the movie.
These days, cinema halls are where people go — let’s get this straight — to eat. I mean they have full-fledged waiters taking orders for food when you are inside the theatre. As far as I can see, a multiplex cinema hall is a full-fledged restaurant, with the only thing missing being the board screaming the words: ‘We under take party orders’ (under take: sic).
When you watch a movie in a run-down single-screen facility you come back with a headache. When you watch the same film at a swanky multiplex you walk out with a stomachache. (Statutory warning: This rule doesn’t work if the film is Ra.One. There is no escaping the headache with it even at a multiplex).
Also, at a multiplex, movies are incidental to the general scheme of things, like Manmohan Singh is to the UPA government. But alas, it’s this belief that people don’t come to a multiplex cinema hall for the cinema, films like Ready get made. I watched Ready a couple of times and realised that only an extreme moron would sit through it even once. But there can be one acceptable cinematic reason for the film to have become the hit that it has been classified to be: It did not feature Akshay Kumar.
But whatever you may say about the multiplexes, they are truly providing at the mass level the digital experience, which you otherwise encounter only when you are sitting in front of your high-end personal computer. I mean, thanks to cutting-edge technology at the disposal of multiplexes, you can now come across a ‘Windows error message’ on the big screen.
As it happened, I encountered one recently. Apparently there was some technical glitch just when the film was to re-begin after the interval break, and the Windows error message kept popping up on the screen. If it were in a single-screen theatre I am sure there would have been jeers of protest and catcalls of derision. But since it was a multiplex, the people were much more orderly and patient. Of course, it could also have been down to the fact that the mundane Windows error message was several times more interesting and believable than anything that we had seen on the screen pre-interval. The film, needless to say, was Ra.One.
Also, talking of digitally delivering a movie, I wonder how multiplexes screening porn flicks will adhere to the strictest technological tradition of porn, which is to delete ‘history’ and ‘clear the cache’ post the watching.
But, as technology intensifies and digital connectivity increases, I look forward to the day when film production houses decide to totally do away with costly film prints and instead opt for transmitting on an optic fibre line the entire film straight to the projector, with the thrilled audience gaping excitedly at the screen flashing in lurid colours the message: ‘Buffering’.
Anyway, getting back to where I started from, these days, I end up mixing the opinion on the food that I inevitably have while watching the movie and the opinion on the movie itself. After 7 am Arivu, when a friend asked what I felt about the film, I pointed out that the Chinese portions were pretty well done, while the Indian parts were unappetizing to me. He complimented me for my nuanced film appreciation. I, of course, complimented myself for my nuanced food appreciation.
This weekend I intend catching up Rockstar at my local multiplex, and considering what I hope to eat during the movie, my fear is I may end up classifying Rockstar as a Spaghetti Western, which, going by the reviews that I have read of the film, seems to be a very kind thing to say about it.