Answer: Fucked up.
Not very funny, I know – but it kills when you’re sitting with racist friends in a shady Defence Colony market bar drinking and polishing off morsels of onion from your plate of Chicken Manchurian. This view however, as I have stated before, was based on previous experiences of having visited Chennai – one which involved toilets in multiple restaurants malfunctioning and spewing water upwards upon flushing after taking a dump and the other that was sprinkled with constant harassment by security at Chepauk Stadium as a part of the Cricket World Cup’s cultural integration segment. The last weekend however, changed all that as my trip to speak at the Youth to Business Forum 2011 went off without a single glitch. Everything except the folks at Marry Brown not understanding my request for a “Full Enjoy” burger for which I was willing to pay up to 500 rupees instead of the “Ho Touch” which they sold for about a 100. I imagine they didn’t like my mocking authentic local cuisine. That or they weren’t familiar with Delhi hooker pickup parlance. Probably both.
What I do want to talk about however, is my first ever experience of watching a Tamil movie on the big screen - and for that we shall skip to the part where I reached Sathyam Cinemas - a place for the swish set till having recently been overtaken by something called Escape Cinemas. Sort of like what happened to PVR Saket after another PVR opened in Select Citywalk. I have always felt that my height, bouncy follicle equipped moustache and mild paunch could be the ticket to a career in Southern movie industries – and I needed to see whether I could cut the Padiyappa. I bought tickets to “Vedi” starring Vishal (I think that’s what his name was. Couldn’t be bothered to check. Yeah, I’m badass like that) the newest, hottest star to make women’s love handles squirm with his rustic looks, muscular frame and International Molester Council certified full-teethed smile. The experience was nothing short of amazing.
The infrastructure: I must start by talking about Sathyam Cinemas who I believe have devised a brilliant financial sustainability strategy by completely eliminating air conditioning ducts and any form of seating in the waiting lounges. This combined with lovely Chennai weather ensures one has no option but to load up on Coke and a baguette like concoction referred to as a Sugar Bun. I only realized it was a sugar bun after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding where I thought the moustached man behind the counter (mine is better, so fuck him) was calling me sugar buns. I wanted to be offended, but the earnestness with which he said it and the realization that even my better halves have never referred to me as that made me sad. This is probably the only multiplex I’ve been to where the entire first row had cheaper crappy wooden plates as seats unlike the leather ass massagers everyone else paid for. This is a perfect way of combining the two India’s movie going experience and something Rahul Gandhi should make part of his manifesto. I have personally enjoyed watching movies from this row – including Rules: Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula where a fellow watcher commented on Milind Soman’s make out scene saying “Bhai muuh hai uska ice cream nahi ki itna chaatoge”.
So bright it hurts: I want to take a moment to personally apologise to Christopher Nolan on behalf of the people of India who put The Dark Knight Rises trailer in between Madhavan selling smartphones and women in thick sofa upholstery and jewelry waiting around a man-made lily pond for their husbands to bring the necklaces ripped from inside Bappi Lahiri’s pancreas.
WHY IS EVERY PRE-MOVIE ADVERTISEMENT A JEWELLERY AD? AND WY IS EVERY GOD DAMN JEWELLERY AD THE SAME? ITS AS IF ALL EVERY WOMAN DOES IS SIT AROUND WAITING FOR THEIR HUSBANDS TO BRING THEM GOLD, GOTO MALLS TO BUY GOLD, STARE AT THE MOON IMAGINING THEIR HUSBANDS RUBBING KOKUM ON ONE OF THEIR BREASTS WHILE CHECKING GOLD PRICES ON THE LATEST ANDROID SMARTPHONE BOUGHT AT THE CHEAPEST PRICE FROM VIVEKS WHICH WAS ON THE WAY TO A LATEST TOWNSHIP BEING DEVELOPED NEAR MYSORE THE PURCHASE OF WHICH WOULD INCLUDE CELEBRATING WITH GOLD. Batman probably said fuck it I’m ending it with this movie because I can’t stand being shown amidst all this shit.
Movie watching: I had a friend of mine at hand who would translate bits I didn’t understand – but it wasn’t really required.
Sameera Reddy (holy shit she still acts?!) checked off the traditional yet modern box with aplomb through the customary dancing with prison inmate posing as a rapper song, falling into a water body while a wearing tight white shirt with 10% love handle visibility temptation and doing pooja in front of the family. She was also friends with this desi chick (and when I say desi I mean ugly little shit. I mean for the movies, not in real life. Ok actually both. Whatevs) who was getting an unusually high amount of screen time and I figured ki koi bhen vagera ka chakkar hoga – which is what it turned out to be. Long story short – smouldering dude who nobody knows anything about is running from goons who are after him because he killed some of their folk, turns out he was also looking for his sister who he gave up as a kid when his father got shot by the cops because he was a bad guy – and of course because of that he became an honest upright policeman.
This revolves around this Vishal chap trying to be Ajay Devgan, which means he is fine as long as he does the “look at me I’m so intense I’m gritting my teeth and semi-closing my eyes to look pissed” thing – but him smiling is qualification enough for him to star in the next Paranormal Activity franchise. I’m also told that he’s big on fitness – which is visible given that he has construction worker cuts on his arms. Lovely. Big props to the designer who thought giving him a purple jacket and orange pants while dancing with Sameera Reddy in what seemed like Leh would add to his sex appeal. I’m sure clowns and vaastu consultants across the country wet their panties just looking at him. I know I did.
Action: I’m in 100% agreement with anyone who says Bollywood action sequences aren’t a patch on movies from down south. What they won’t tell you is that every bad guy in these movies is a certifiable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. How you ask? Simple. Who else do you know with the ability to carry swords inside the back of their shirts that can be quickly whipped out and used to charge a potential enemy? It’s like the hair on their back acts as a shell from which lovely tools emerge and a veshti that can be rolled up for action before shouting Cowabunga. I love how wave after wave of cronies with swords inside their back get their ass whooped – accompanied by that one dude whose only job is to make wisecracks at the failure of their attempts before the main baddie can’t handle his annoying character and shoots him in the face. So much for a sense of humor.
Also, while we’re at it – how are these powerful industrialists that have the system in their pocket such openly murderous bad guys in every bloody movie? I mean I know I’m not supposed to look for logic in these things and I don’t – but can you imagine a Ratan Tata sitting alone plotting some shit like that? I must develop a plan that eliminates all my competition from the face of the earth! Hello, Vaishnavi Communications?
The movie ends with construction cut man beating the shit out of the bad guy and saving dear sister and it is revealed that it a Sun Movies production. At this point I start laughing again wondering if anyone from the family would go and save one of its members whose name I can’t pronounce but is currently chilling with her homies in Tihar. Nothing that can’t be solved by smuggling a few swords inside stuck under the hair on your back I guess – Anil Kapoor used to smuggle a lot of products through customs like that I hear.
Now if you excuse me, I need to figure the logic of having 9 different types of pillows in one hotel room when millions of Indians have no roof over their heads. It’s the least one can do now that we’ve hosted an F1 race despite our poverty.