Pagan News and Views Since 1998
Movies%20and%20me.docxWhen I write about movies or any motion picture; I am not playing the role of a critic. I don’t think I have the right to judge anyone’s labor of love. To create that visual tapestry on celluloid is not easy; irrespective how good or bad the movie is. There are a lot many people who depend on this “make believe” world for a living. Those who follow their heart and take this as their principle source of income: have to go through a lot before they reach a level where their passion helps them to pay their bills. Struggle is inevitable if you wish to make a mark in a profession which is ruthless and cut throat. This is a superficial world but when we don’t find any meaning in our own lives. We go and watch a movie to fill that vacuum within us, that empty space within our heart which may never be filled. It gives us a privilege to escape; to run away from our own problems for that duration of time.
I am not encouraging anyone to run away from their problems and responsibilities or to look for escape routes. We cannot escape problems or struggle even if we wish to. Irrespective who you are; some things needs to be faced and dealt with. A movie is like a short break in our day to day living. When we get an opportunity to recharge our batteries, renew those hopes in our souls and hearts. Which help us to make attempts to live and to seek a hope even if there is none at the end of the road. When there is too much pain in our own lives; we feel comfortable to see those characters suffering on screen. I am not surprised why people say that misery loves company. At the same time any story that ends on a happy note; gives us a hope which we may not have. This hope is very crucial for us. Not that this hope will solve our problems or help us get rid of suffering.
There are times when we make choices; choices which may not be ethical or the most optimum choices, considering our situation and available resources. Still we stick to what we choose or have decided since we have gone too far to return. At this point in time such a superficial hope works like an effective stimulant. It is like getting a good cup of hot, strong and bitter coffee at the end of a stressful day. Something that is not expected but makes the suffering worth it. At times to accept suffering is more relieving than being over cautious to run away from it or to dodge it. I am not a fan of sadistic/masochistic pleasures but am not surprised why millions of people follow the rituals of pain to seek inner liberation. Life does not change. In the end we pay the price for the choices we make and the decisions we take. There is no free lunch in this world and everything has a price tag.
In this day to day mess and battle for survival. We all need a stimulant: whether it is a cigarette, a cup of strong bitter coffee, a drink at the end of the day or a movie which makes us cry or makes us love ourselves more. We need to value the soul which we are blessed with even if people around us want us to think the other way. If you do not respect your own soul then no one else will. Self respect, sacrifice, self induced suffering is needed at times to gain that respect; not for ourselves but for that soul which lives within us and which is our companion when we go to sleep. Sleep is not something that everyone is blessed with but then that is what life is. I am not propagating addictions but the human soul is not as strong as the world wants us to believe it is. To go against the current or to follow any unpopular choice is not easy. The struggle is endless and the chances of survival are way too low.
Let me get back to the reason for writing this article/blog. Motion pictures are not easy to make. To transform the written content of a script into a visual canvas and make it look as real as possible. To give it a life; may not always be easy or possible. All this is not easy. This craft or professional medium is difficult to work with and not everyone is blessed with an ability to do so. To keep the emotional content of story-telling intact and not to lose one’s focus while making a movie. It is not only the director’s mind and his ability in his craft but also the external factors which influence the process of film making. The end result is what makes the viewer go through his own emotional graph. His own dormant emotions which come to the fore when he or she watches that respective movie. Every motion picture is in a way a ritual to invoke those emotions in your heart which have not healed and neither do you wish to heal them. Some wounds are more soothing when they are not healed. The pain makes you relieve those old memories and does not make you forget how foolish your heart is. Sometimes being foolish is equally important, just the way being wise when one needs to be: is very rare. When we enter any traumatic phase; the first thing that happens is that we lose our presence of mind. We panic and allow our emotions to rule our mind; this is something which only makes us less receptive and more volatile.
I could be wrong in my understanding or point of view. So, please do forgive me for the same. However, I personally believe that we watch those characters and visual stories not because we like them but because we want to search our own soul among those characters which come to life on the big screen. What is not possible or feasible to achieve in our own world is what we crave to see on celluloid. That is where the vacuum gets filled; the empty soul finds a sense of completion. We end up feeling happy; an emotion which is temporary, momentary and the result of something that has nothing to do with our practical life. Before I end this article/blog; I have mentioned two movies. I saw these two movies in my life when I was very vulnerable, far more receptive and this visual experience shaped my life for the better.
Dil Toh Pagal Hai: I saw this movie in 1997 (the year in which it was released). The movie made me discover the school of Yash Chopra and his visual aesthetics. His ability to understand emotions and to create them on celluloid. His movies have a soul, which respects passion and the suffering that this emotion makes one go through. I was 15 years old which I saw this movie; it is a very important part of my soul. I saw his other movies and fell in love with Lamhe, Chandni and Silsila. Dil To Pagal Hai was the only movie of Yash Chopra which I saw in a movie theatre. I am not going to forget that experience as long as I live. I am grateful to my god for this very beautiful memory. When life becomes very difficult to deal with or survive through. It is during such a phase, we live on these memories. They work as a blood bank and give us a source of life when we cannot get our own.
The movies which Yash Chopra has directed in his lifetime; have always been worth a watch. His ability to understand emotions reflects in his work. He gives class, visual aesthetics and depth to every emotion whether it is pain, suffering, love, passion or lust. You get to see this in the dialogues that his characters speak but more prominently in their silence and their body language. Silence is a very important tool in this visual medium and to get it right is not easy. This man knows how to respect a woman through his cinematic vision and screen play. He will make his lead actress look and feel beautiful like no one else. Even once the movie is over, the characters will live in your heart. Life is not candy floss; love and passion are usually looked down upon in society. However, his movies will convince you to follow your heart in spite of being aware of the consequences. He has given respect to love on celluloid. His movies reflect the amount of hard work and effort he has invested all through his life. So as to create the magic that has been immortalized in his body of work.
A Beautiful Mind: This movie was released at a time when Russell Crowe was at his professional peak. He had won his Oscar for Gladiator (which was an equally gorgeous movie: thanks to Ridley Scott) and this was a man who knew his craft. Blessed with drop dead gorgeous looks, a very masculine aura and an irresistible charm. Russell Crowe was the reason I wanted to see this movie. However, when I did see this movie; I developed immense respect for three people: Jennifer Connelly, Alicia Nash and Dr. John Forbes Nash. This may sound ironic but I am glad I did not see this movie in a public movie theatre. This movie and certain scenes in it, make me cry. I would not want anyone to see me crying in public. My tears are my own, they are not for others and definitely not for public display or consumption. I am very selfish when it comes to my emotions. I don’t mind creating a façade as long as my emotions stay within me and are not known to others. Even if this sounds disgusting, I think I have a right to choose and I am not answerable to anyone for the choices I make. Life is too subjective and relative to analyze every emotion and some things need to be left the way they are. Discretion is not something that society respects or propagates but it is not a crime to be discreet or to hold on to your privacy.
There are many scenes in this movie which have made me cry for hours. Every motion picture carries an emotional graph but this movie has made me explore my own emotions like never before. It is like searching those deep, dark, ancient and ruined caves which have never been discovered. I read the book a few years later and fell in love with Dr. John Forbes Nash. Usually with books one ends up liking the author for the work they display through their written content. However in this case, I love Dr. Nash but I do not look up to Sylvia Nasar the same way, though I respect her work immensely. For me Dr. Nash is a true blue survivor. A man who survived the test of time. His talent, his thesis, his work and his struggle has made him immortal. He has paid a huge price to reach where he is but this man is incomparable. There is no one like Dr. Nash. I am not justifying his flaws but who is not blessed with flaws. Vices are a part of human soul and an important element of the human race. Honestly I love and respect Dr. Nash even for his vices. This man is a phoenix, capable enough to rise from his own ashes and his life proves the same. I have read the book a couple of times and hope to read it again. I have watched the movie again and again. My appetite for this movie is not going to be satiated. I personally believe that Dr. Nash is not just blessed with a very beautiful mind but also a very gorgeous soul. I am going to respect this man as long as I live.
rohit dua (tarot reader)
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