How many movies have been made in all these years? Documentaries, cartoons, movies, everything included? I don't know. But I guess I can safely bet in-spite of the fact that I have not seen even a considerable fraction of the movies that had been made so far, that "Before Sunrise" is one of the best movies that have been made so far. Few films have made an impression on me as this one has. After seeing this movie, I was on a high, as the expression is nowadays, for days on end, and even now, as I think of it, the feeling surfaces.
Before sunrise has the obvious, usual, simple, logical, sensible, predictable ingredients.
Beautiful rebellious woman- 1 nos,
Handsome confused heartbroken young man- I nos,
Romantic location-I nos,
So what makes this movie so special? For knowing that, you must watch it. I guess I must say that it is a non-conventional romance, You don't get to see a lot of romantic conversations, clichéd " I love you's" , and the big moustached father of the girl ,inevitable flavor in most stories. But this isn't a story. It does not even have a timeline. It is just a day. A day in the life of a couple. One day.
Is it the story of a one night stand? If I was held at gunpoint and asked to describe the movie in just three words, I will, for saving my life, admit it is a one night stand. One-day-one-night stand, more accurately. But it is something beyond that as well.
The story is "minimalistic", which is the word used to describe this movie. Before Bachchan junior had the idea, these couple discovered the art of walking and talking, and that is it. The movie is about a couple who is walking through the picturesque streets of Vienna, Paris, and talking about a lot of stuff. Jesse, our hero, is a romantic who is desperately trying to hide that fact, and Céline is a romantic person, but with apprehensions of her own, and truly a woman in spirit. They meet on a train, and knowing that it is highly improbable that they'll ever cross paths again, they set out to fulfil that desire for adventure.
There are few things that is not talked about. Love, history, art, past- not exactly a romantic conversation. I wonder, if assured that we might never see the other person again, won't we be more comfortable talking to that person, instead of someone whose judgement threaten us the rest of our lives? That is the essence of the film. Or so I believe.
Film reviews aren't really my forte'. Nope. But certain films deserve to be reviewed and rated, bad and good ones, so that justice prevails. I don't know what that means, of course, you can understand, you see something wonderful, beautiful which touches you and you cannot help but share it with the world. Like After I saw this movie, I called up my best friend and talked for almost an hour and a half, about the movie, and I was told later that my enthusiasm was contagious. Few films have that affect on us, right? Few things in life have that effect, the ability to elevate to a higher state of blissful happiness borne out of nothing materialistic, infact, it is the idea that gives us the joy. The freedom from life's mundane activity, the mind is in constant search for variety. Something to help the soul to keep going on.
All I want from life, is just like what Kajol said In DDLJ." Ek mahine mein apni saari zindigi jee loongi"- She is given one month from her life to see Europe, and then, she is ready to placidly accept what life had in store for her. But I don't have that choice. One year, two max, if you put all your hope together and wish for it, Then I have two more years, in which I wouldn't be able to see Europe, am sure. But I hold on to that hope. That maybe one day, I will get to see Europe. Walk through the streets. See things. See the place. Oh how I envy that Santhosh George Kulangara!! Sigh. Just to see Europe. Paris. Vienna. Maybe just like Simran, mein apni saari zindigi us ek mahine mein jee loongi" but for her, it was before her marriage, and for me..I don't know. A month. It is so short a time, but then again, that will be its beauty.
The stupidest irony is, I have found someone I would love to go there with. But the distance is so much, not to Europe, but to come closer. Once in a lifetime you find yourself among the company of such friends who just..fit in to whatever contorted life you had been living. They fit. Not a square peg and a round hole, a square peg and a square shaped hole. A round peg and a round hole. It is absolute bliss, just lying down on the green ground, looking up at the sky, and laughing really hard. But no, I am not greedy. I can't have everything, life is not meant to be perfect, but it is meant to be a quest for perfection, which you never achieve. So . Europe.
What has this got to do with the movie? I don't know, my literary abilities are not sufficient enough to explain the connection the ramblings have. But once you watch that movie, You will know. Watch it.
No I did not read the article on today's Hindu, or The Hindu. I was never one to read newspapers. (pauses for gasp). Well, it takes all sorts to make this world!! Fine. Sue me. But if you find another soul who diligently reads every single letter on the "kappalandi pothinju konduvanna kadalaasu", I will eat three gulab jamuns.(Am on a new diet.)
But I did read the headline, something about how dowry is not abolished, that it has just changed forms. I thought it was very important to post on the blog, my blog, that noone ever reads, except perhaps those who accidently stumble upon it due to creative search phrases...er..I meant, post on this blog my views on the topic.
This is not a critical view of the system prelevant in India. Infact am ignoring the masses who actually face the problem of dowry and concentrate on lives of people like me. heck, am going to concentrate on me.
As happens to single, unemployed plain looking fat girls, I am also tortured into, blackmailed into(emotionally) a marriage, given I give the impression of being this absolutely useful PhD wannabe who doesn't know what she wants. My profile is on Kerala matrimony, and I must say, given all this, it is quite fun womakoing grooms with your mom. Prospective grooms, that is.
What is dowry? or rather, What is not dowry? Dowry, if we are talking about the kind they all are screaming to abolish is different from the unnamed phenomenon which happens in families in a subtle manner in only one aspect. The absence of a whimpering father and a weeping mother at the wedding stage. In due course of time, dowry will be taken and dowry will be given, only it will be under a different name, or no name.
Now. We have to present the girl decently for her wedding right? I mean, she is so and so's grand daughter, she can't appear in public without a decent amount of jewellery! No No it is not dowry, we are giving it to her wonly! Our lil baby! Daddy's precious girl! Arey it is a custom almost a religious ceremony to send off the bride in a new car! What bhaisaab how is it dowry! She will be driving it no! Ah first visit to the daughter's house! Call a lorry, buy Ann's bakery, load the stuff into it!" what are you saying, it is my daughter's sister in law's brother's littly baby! we gotta get those tiny little anklets,how can we visit empty handed! Aah, it is jamaiji's pitaji's 60th birthday! Golden ring, nothing else will do. Flat's downpayment is 80 lakhs. Surely you can count on us molu!
Well, either pay it all at one go, or pay in installments. If you have a child, a girl child, then by Indian standards, you have to pay dowry.
It is a subtle concept, so subtle and interwoven into conduct and tradition that it is actually glorified, and the evil is deeprooted, it is futile to think of uprooting it. I used to argue that, well, the groom's family is equally responsible for the above mentioned expenses. But is that so? I am not sure.
Is it actually necessary, the way Indian parents are tied up to their children for life? Well, what do I know of the practices in other countries? With my thorough knowledge on sitcoms and relatively rich experience in watching a lot of movies, I do believe I am eligible to comment on the western culture. Don't they ..hmm how else to put this- let go their children after a certain age? The lives becomes separated, not interwined. They help each other, not depend on each other and continue to suck the resources out. (harsh, you think?)
Dowry is not something that can be abolished. It is there, it is a part of our social structure that a complete radical change in the entire system is necessary for it to disappear. Maybe when we become parents, we will value our freedom and respect our children's as well, maybe we will succeed in abolishing it.
Until then, I'll rather opt out of a costly MBA, and settle for a second hand car, to be compensated for in my wedding.