. . . . 9.20 pm . . . .
It was almost a 12 hours since I sighted 'respect'. I was aware of the fact that 'respect' was making its way today for almost many months, and was eagerly awaiting its arrival. I was in no mood to give it a miss, today, of all days, for it was the first day.
Any new movie. First Day. Chapter should be closed. This has been my motto for some years now. I don't want any of the reviewers to influence my decision. I am my own reviewer. Today was that First Day. And I DIDN'T WANT TO MISS IT.
Especially when it has Vikraman weilding the megaphone. Especially, when it has Vijayakanth in it. Especially when, we have not one, but two Vijaykanth in it. Especially, when one Vijayakanth has that glorious wig and looks a shade older and delivers Krishna like sermons.
Especially, when their previous outing had been one of the greatest wonders of all time - wonder because it ran for 275 days in many obscure theatres in remote locations, with one show every day with - a story that was no story, a narrative that was an overdose of sleeping pills, a music played at funerals, dialogues which will lick (a dinosaur's spitting lick) your heart so good that you feel drenched in emotions, a villain who is waiting for the first opportune to seek redemption, and that jingle, la la laa la la laa la laaa, cure for all your constipation problems (hear it more than once, it will cure you of all illness, with a ticket to heaven - well, wherever you go, that will certainly feel like heaven)
Wait! Did I miss something? Yes. 'Oing' That fart of a sound, that was not a fart, but a musical reminder that it is a comical scene, and therefore you should laugh. Now, did you hear that? You didn't! No problem. You have two and a half hours to correct yourself.
That was the past.
Will history repeat itself? I want it to. I wanted this "Respect" to be several notches above "Narasimma", "Vanchinathan", "Dharmapuri", "Vaanathai Pola", "Gajendra" et al.
I want to watch it on the first day. So I go with my partner in crime towards NM Road, and instead of taking left, which leads us to my erstwhile nighthouse "Rohini", we take a right, to the homeland of Captain, "Woodlands".
. . . . 9.45 pm . . .
We reached Woodlands. Park our vehicle. Look at the hall entrance to find some 70 - 80 people. Couple of steps towards the ticket counter - there is darkness. There is a man who tells us that "HOUSEFULL!"
What?! Housefull. I had a doubt, if I had come to the right theatre, right counter and check once again. "Illanga, naanga 'Mariyadhai' paarka vandhirikom."
"Adhu thaan housefull."
I had a heart attack. Never before my attempt at a movie been so disastrous. Of all movies, this Mariyadhai - I am returning home, without even seeing 15 minutes of a movie, for the first time. (couple of years before, once in almost every month, I will exit the cinema house in the first 15 minutes - thanks to movies such as "Ayudham", "Pambara Kannalae", "London" etc.)
Never before have I returned home without watching the movie I sought to see.
History was created.
Sai, you are a loser. I told myself.
. . . . 9.45 pm . . .
How can I be a loser?! Never lose hope. We wheeled around, rocketed to the next nearest theatre "Satyam", feverishly expecting the superman's late evening show. As luck had it, it was not to be my day. Time was almost 9.55.
There was still hope left. When every thing goes, hope comes. I had hope in the form of "Rohini" which has never disappointed me. A hundred plus visits, not even a single return empty handed.
"Come, lets go to Rohini." I yelled at my accomplice. He started the bike, and it started behaving like a wild bull tied to a rope. We tried playing matador. We played bad. Next thirty minutes was spent in waiting.
We looked into the sky. We saw hope disappearing slowly. I realized that I have missed my target. And I had a second attack.
Today I was hell bent on getting back my respect, which I had missed. For if I miss today, tomorrow this epic will be for the history books. It had broken all records of bankruptcy already. Never in the history of Indian cinema, the air had warmed so many seats. Even, at Devi Karumari, Virugambakkam, the usual visitors - the courier boys of malaria, dengue and rabie - had taken a break, and cooling their heels else where.
This time I was meticulous. Booked the tickets online, and voila, we were at the cinema house bang at 10 pm waiting for the epic to unfold, eating our double scoops of Baskin Robbins!
And it unfolded, oh boy, and how. Vikraman had not lost his imbalance in the last few years. Many thanks for that. Almost 40 minutes into the movie, we knew this had the markings of another epic. It felt like travelliing for almost 400 hours from Kodambakkam towards Vadapalani, only to find that Trustpuram is still a good one kilometre away.
The jingle was not there, for there was no SA Rajkumar (did I say Beethoven was his failed disciple?!) The farts continued, but the dino's tongue had gone dry. We tried hard to find the man seeking redemption, we could not. We tried to find if there was any plot. Yes there was. A Three Hundred Acres of it. Full of greenery, and fit for sheep grazing. As I kept on munching the pop corn, waiting for something to happen, it suddenly happened.
Interval. Another thirty minutes. We were on our way back. For it was 2 hours, and there was still no sight of that watery dialogues, emotional hatyachar etc. And, we were still at Kodambakkam.
The epic blew in our face.
'Daei Vikraman, mavanae, nee mattum en kaiyila kidache, unna kuniya vittu nongiduvaen', I thought angrily.
I had lost respect for the genius called Vikraman. I had lost respect for Vijayakanth.
Any gains from the outing? Yes. Two. First, we knew the source for all those multi coloured outfits for Tollywood. They are first tried on that moving lump of mass destruction called Vijayakanth, to check the colour combo (ever seen pink shirt, with yellow shawl and a flurosent green trousers on a man who is a second cousin of Nelson Mandela, and first cousin of 'BOLA'?) Second, I had a nice sleep.
. . . . . 9.30 pm . . . . .
We were once again on the road to, peridition, I thought, heaven, my accomplice promised. The previous day's outing hurt us badly for we had no scars to show to anybody. We had no superior inputs to brag about. We had nothing to discuss about, except probably, the demise of the greatest comic combo of all time. I was sulking as I felt I will no longer experience that wonder of yonder days. The charm of being Captain's fan was lost.
We reached our destination, Promised Land, at 9.45 pm and made our way to the Peaceland, which is were all the action was. Sorry, reaction was to begin. Not ordinary one at that. It was the Third Law of Newton.
. . . . . 10.15 pm . . . . .
As with Respect, we had a huge crowd of almost 50 people in a theatre enough to fit 500. The reaction had already started. Even before any action.
The movie was gud (sigh!), and I looked at my partner, angrily, my eyes shouting "Where is the real action?"
It was to come. Some twenty minutes into the movie. It started with a close up shot. What was that?! It looked like some lizard in the wilderness of Kalahari. There it was once again, shaking its hips. Now it looked like a sloth. And now, death. Another close frame, and I saw heaven. Heaven with a moustache, wearing Nayar's baniyan and Pokkiri's old denim shirt. (It must be old, for there were no buttons to keep them closed) Heaven was like a hologram. Alternating between being hell and heaven. (It must be a good ad for AXE, but for which no moving thing will be near that marvel within the next 3000 Kilometres)
As they say, the best came in the last. The real entertainment began only then.
With the lead lady, all scared, with a natural zoozoo like reactions (natural, considering the guts required to pair opposite to one of the most desirable heroes), you start itching your face with your nails in the toes (those in the hands were ineffective and exhausted).
'Kaaaaaaaa' I first thought it was a crow crooning, and I was searching for that black beauty in the dark. Only then I saw it emanating from the lizard on screen. There were several kaaaa's highlighting the lizard's agony, to my liking. The seats behind our row was shaking. First I felt it was another tsunami. Little did I realize that, the guys behind us were down on the floor, on their back, with their hands on their aching stomach, their mouth wide open, and shouting "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha".
They were extremely happy. So was I. So was my accomplice.
For we had found a new hero. To go forward and do all the good service, which Captain did. We had found our vice captain. The next captain.
That was the reaction to the latest technology in firing a shot, hand shot. Take out the bullets. Throw the gun. Hold the bullets in between your fingers. Aim the baddie. And see the bullets racing towards him. Hero holds empty cases in his hands.We had captain deflecting a tracer bullet using a beggars lid in Dharmapuri towards the shooter, and here we have a hero, who fires bullet without a gun! Wow! Hey James Bond, Super Man, Spider Man, Krishh, Kandasamy etc., take a bow.
(On a serious note, Director says, it is scientifically proven, and logically explained. This movie is a good watch, for its no nonsense approach and a good narrative style - generally, exceptions applicable!)
Can't wait for the Tiger to come out!
To extreme left is the man with uncurable imbalance, the dinosaur, the genius himself, Vikraman. (A small test, find just one difference between the Captain and Bola, and I give you a billion hugs)
THE VICE CAPTAIN (FUTURE CAPTAIN)