Saturday, 16 June, 2007

"Summaa Adhirudhu-lle!!"

Hoo-boy! Last evening (night, rather) was one of the most fun experiences ever! I went for the first-day show for the movie 'Sivaji' - starring our own thalaivar Super Star Rajnikanth! I have never been to a first-day-first-show before in my life, certainly not a thalaivar movie. And though this was technically not first-show, it was still certainly something! Rock concerts by internationally acclaimed bands be damned! This is the real thing!

Consider this. You get to the theater one hour before the show. You don't bring your car, coz you know that traffic would be a bitch and parking will be hell. And even though you're an hour early, you see FIVE HUNDRED PEOPLE standing in queue outside the theater. You think they are waiting for tickets, but no - THESE GUYS HAVE TICKETS! They're just waiting to get in!

There are metal barricades all across the entrance of the theater complex, and beefy security guys with a mean look and brandishing meaner lathis patrol the queue of eager fans. The line continues to grow. People are being let in, one at a time through a gap in the barricade - their tickets being checked, and their selves frisked. You spot a moment when all the guards happen to look away, and sneak into the queue right behind a bunch of girls who are just getting in through the gap, thus 'jumping' a few hundred poor souls in line (tip - jump the queue just after a bunch of girls - this way the guards apparently think twice before starting a ruckus), and lo, you're inside the complex. But wait - there is ANOTHER line leading up to the entrance of the movie hall, where you get frisked over and over in sequence six times, and are checked to see if you're carrying any cigarettes or alcohol, both of which are banned. You've not been frisked so many times at one go ever before! You pass through what seems like an endless passage before you reach your hall. Btw, all the screens in the complex are running the same movie.

You decide to take a leak just before the show starts, and hit the restroom only to find people in there - smoking! You finish your business and return to your seat, to find the guys in the row in front of you sipping surreptitiously from a bottle of cola, passing it stealthily from one to another - only, it's no cola, it's a clear golden liquid which seems to burn a lot going in, by the look on their faces! The faint stench of whiskey in the air only confirms your suspicions.

The movie is scheduled to start at 10 PM, but no one is in a hurry. You wait till the hall is filled one person at a time, and eventually the lights dim at 10.45 PM. The screen lights up, and the crowd goes wild! It's only a trailer for some arbit movie, but no one cares! :-)...the party is on, fellers!! With just the one trailer (and no ads), Sivaji kicks in. For the first five minutes, you can hear NOTHING from the screens! This is because the crowd refuses to hush up, going wild with frenzy right through the intro sequence - said intro sequence being a ubiquitous thalaivar hallmark! The camera captures only his feet, his back, his shoulders, as he walks and talks through his first few lines, and at the dramatic moment, he turns to face the camera - and smiles. And that's when all hell breaks loose in the movie hall - the guys in the row ahead, along with pretty much 80% of the crowd, are on their feet cheering...and someone is throwing fucking confetti!!! Well, it's just a bunch of paper that's been shredded to bits, but it's in the air, tons of it! It takes a full ten minutes for some semblance of calm to set in. By this time, you're fully into the spirit of things! (No - no puns about 'spirit' please. The guys in the row ahead were done with their firewater long ago)

You realize that this particular movie-watching experience is highly interactive. When a song is playing on the screen - you see this chap sitting two rows up get up and begin to dance along. It's actually a bit surreal to see his sinuous silhouette swinging hips in time with the heroine on the screen! When the 'comedy track' kicks in, you literally roll along the aisle in laughter. You slaver openly when the heroine goes through the titillating mechanics of the dances (the choreography of which, typically, has very little to do with the lyric or music, and more with blatant suggestive eroticism), clad in the barest essentials that just stop the censors from going 'snip'. You hiss and boo the villains, casting very vocal aspersions on the legitimacy of his birth and threatening to chop off his wee-wee when he gives your hero some lip.

And the punch lines. Ohh, the punch lines!!! You wait for it with bated know it's coming...and when it hits, you roar as one with the crowd, cheering your thalaivar, savoring the lyrical tang of the punch, quickly memorizing it and hoping you'll remember it - for later. Coz this is the first day, and you heard it first!

All through this, you are dimly aware of the fact that there is some sort of a story being told here, maybe. And then again, maybe not. You don't really care. All that matters, is the fact that you are there first. For the first day of your thalaivar's movie, after a break of two years. Jumping for joy, cheering at full cry, roaring as one with the crowd of admirers - till the pounding from the surround-sound speakers resonates with your own full-throated enjoyment. All that matters, is the vibe. "Summaa adhirudhu-lle?" :-)

1 comment:

Grandebelf said...

he he! check out a different review prob concentrating more on the message and less on the experience itself:)