Note: This is not a movie review and if you were fooled into thinking that it is after seeing the image, blame it on the younger brat, who has given me a blog theme that demands a big picture!
When will I stop falling for the Trap of Two? Some people never learn and I lead the pack. Sigh.
Oh, you don’t know what the Trap of Two is? Well, I have to go back to my childhood to explain:
It had started when I was a naïve 12-year-old. My older sister, the third one, made me do what she wanted on the promise of buying me two ‘ganne ka ras’ (sugarcane juice). Now, these wonderful drinks back in those days came in very very tall glasses and to finish even one was a task for me. Remember the SMS that I am in matters connected to eating and drinking? So I would walk something like a million miles instead of riding in a cycle rickshaw (that was the condition, so that we could save the fare for the ras) and sit in the shop trying to finish the first glass super fast. She would have finished hers in before me.
With a deep breath, I would gulp down the last of it and push the glass away, slightly nauseous at the sweetness and hoping desperately that she had forgotten about the offer of the second glass. No luck!
‘Shall I order the second one?’ she would ask. Like a goat being led for sacrifice, I would nod miserably, unwilling to accept that I couldn’t drink another drop and thereby acknowledge defeat. After all, hadn’t I walked all those miles for it? Needless to say, I would start gagging after a few sips and try buying time by talking nineteen to the dozen.
‘Want me to finish it?’ she would ask, eyes glinting with laughter.
Past caring about losing face and the wager, I would push the glass gratefully towards her and she would gulp it all down in a trice. Three glasses of ganne ka ras, folks!
But the next time she wanted me to do something, it would be the same again. In fact, I myself would ask, ‘Will you buy me two glasses of ganne ka ras?’
‘But you didn’t finish it the last time…’
‘I will this time!’ And so she would end up drinking three glasses of juice again and yet again. Talk of being stupid and I will be in the lead!
Coming back to the present, it went something like this:
The L&M asked, ‘Shall we go for a movie?’
The movies that were running near our house were all of the one-and-half and two-star variety and we could have been prudent and decided against going for a movie, but when fate has it for you, you are done. I was in two minds about going when he dangled the carrot of two large popcorns.
‘Two for me?’ I wanted to make sure. Past experience had taught me that no matter now many tubs he bought, I would not get to eat even one tubful. And I wouldn’t be able to eat a second one, anyway. (Read all about that here)
He solemnly nodded. So I agreed. Didn’t I say that I can never remember my lessons?
The L&M recommended the Prateik Babbar starrer My friend Pinto. His choice was based on the fact that some of these new movies are really good and at least time-pass. The reviews said that it was a comedy though we failed to read much in the HT review which said ‘your school-going kids will enjoy it too’. It should have warned us, but fate didn’t relax its grip on us.
I could have opted for Three Mosquitoes (I swear that the guys and gals asked for mosquitoes) and I almost bought tickets for that till they asked the counter guy whether it was in Hindi. And it was then that I realised they must have meant the dubbed version of Three Musketeers! But I was not in the mood to watch an English movie in Hindi, so found myself asking for two tickets for My Friend Pinto. The guy asked me which seat I wanted and I told him. The L&M went ahead to buy the popcorn. The movie had started and the usher was guiding us to our seats, when we saw that it was a private screening! There were just half a dozen of us in the auditorium, honest! And on the very second day after release!
Just then my phone rang. I normally don’t pick up the phone in a movie hall, but what the hell, we were in a private screening with no one to disturb and so I did. It was Sudha, who wanted to say bye to me before leaving for Mumbai. We had met each other the previous day for the first time. Hey Sudha, if you had wondered about the noise in the background, you know now what it had been, don’t you?
Ah, the movie. Babbar Jr. with his cute baby face is awkward, trying to look the part of an awestruck villager who has come to Mumbai for the first time. Apparently he is a chip of the old block Smita Patil, but I am afraid I couldn’t see any traces of it in this one. Maybe comedy is not his forte. Whatever it was, we should have left then and there. But we first had to finish the popcorn and so sat and watched some incredibly stupid footage, which would have been great in a children’s movie or even a fairy tale. And to think that it has been produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali!
Michael Pinto comes from a Goan village for a short holiday in Mumbai before joining priesthood after the death of his mother. He is made to do a Forrest Gump by mouthing, ‘Mama hamesha kehta tha..’ (remember, Goans are not supposed to know proper Hindi). His childhood friend Sameer is apprehensive about taking him home since Pinto with his heart of gold is known to get into trouble without trying. It is New Year’s Eve and as expected it is a series of breaks and tears and getting locked out in the balcony in a dressing gown. We were supposed to be laughing or at least smiling.
Crunch, crunch…The popcorn kept us awake as we waited with bated breath for the comedy scenes to begin…Even a Jaane-bhi-do-yaaron-style dead body making its rounds through the movie can’t elicit a smile.
When one tub was finished, (for once, I managed to keep pace with the L&M) he got up for a refill and I woke up enough to watch a bit of the film…The entire story is set in one night when Pinto encounters a series of character — a stereotyped don, a drunk B-grade movie actress, a gambler, a bunch of children who steal his wallet after he helps them get back their puppy, a wannabe dancer with whom he dances in the rain…
Couldn’t help but think of the other one-night-story, Jaagte Raho. It had great music by Salil Choudhury and some wonderful character actors enacting great roles in that 1956 movie.
The L&M is back with the popcorn. We are both bored to tears by now and want to leave. But we had the popcorn to finish first.
And then the trap-of-two hit me! I could not finish the second tub of popcorn, which I had demanded in my greed much the same way I would demand a second glass of ganne ka ras when I was younger. I might have, had we stayed till the end but I wanted to leave fast. So I meekly gave up my share to the L&M and gratefully left the hall a few minutes later.
Now you know why this can’t be a movie review.
Image (top) courtesy: ondemand.erosentertainment.com