On my recent visit to Ernakulam, I was blessed with an opportunity to watch a movie with audience avant-garde. Of late, I have been watching movies either at home or in a Bengaluru multiplex. The audience in a Bengaluru multiplex are boring. They need a multilayered intellectual joke to laugh. When the heroes make their introductory appearance on the scene, there are no catcalls! But, the movie experience was different in the rapidly growing city of Ernakulam.
In spite of a culturally diverse population, it was easy to get a ticket for Saifeena’s “Kurbaan”! Even though “Padma” theater has been renovated and elevated to a quasi-multiplex status with lesser seats, tickets were readily available on the second day of the release. I ignored all these obvious signs and gave quality of the movie a clean chit. How can this movie go wrong? The posters prominently displayed a bare-backed Kareena trying to hide a bare-fronted Saif.
A lot of things may have changed in “Padma” theater. The first class and second class sections are gone! It has been converted into a restaurant (owned by film actor Dileep). But there are still a few things that have withstood the winds of change – the air conditioning and sound system. The air conditioning still freezes you in 10 minutes and the sound hurts your ear drums from the word “go”.
The joy of movie experience was amplified by the audience avant-garde sitting among the boring family audience. While the family audience watched the movie in a reactive mode, the other set of audience were proactive and took active interest in the movie as soon as the credits started rolling. They shouted and interacted with the various actors – Saif, Kareena, Vivek, Dia, Om and Kirron - appearing on the silver screen. Whenever the actors were in a dilemma on screen, this set of audience suggested solutions loudly.
Finally, it was the actors who played spoil sports. They did not respond to the suggestions. To add to the insult, the actors stuck to their version of script adamantly instead of adapting to the dynamic script written on the fly by these resourceful audience!
It might have been due to the callous and uncaring nature of the actors that the audience avant-garde suggested only sexual acts as part of their script (re)writing. When Saif locks Kareena against the bookshelf inside the empty staffroom of the college in a “I-might-kiss-you-now” position, the audience wanted Saif to use the empty tables scattered around the room. They urged Saif not to stop at a kiss. The audience also had plenty of suggestions for the aging actors – Om and Kirron. When Vivek watches the aircraft carrying his fiancée Dia exploding in mid-air, these audience were sincerely worried. They wanted to know if Vivek-Dia relationship was ever consummated. They could easily have taken a guess for Vivek and Dia played independent professionals living in the tri-state area. But they were not in the mood for guessing games! They followed the wisdom imparted by our learnt. When in doubt, ask!
I was part of the boring unenthusiastic audience.
I vowed to watch only Malayalam and Tamil movies while in Kerala.
I never wrote a movie review because I slept in between the movie.
Picture Courtesy: http://www.forumkerala.com