Some months ago, I went to a multiplex to watch the Hindi movie ‘Singham’. Though there were many emotion shifts in the film, I watched it with a stern face and so as everyone in that theatre. When the movie ended, the family on my back row got up to leave. One lady amongst them said to her husband, “I liked the movie very much. What about you?” I wondered whether she really liked the movie. Throughout the screening, she didn’t laugh once, didn’t clap once, nor did she whistle any time. On my front row, there was a couple. The boy was analyzing one scene of the film. He liked it but was giving his expert views on how it could have been improved. The girl kept nodding in response while maintaining a look of acceptance.
The next day, I got a call from my friends in my hometown. They said that they all watched Singham and the public in the theatre went mad during the screening. I thought to myself, “I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as they could. It’s not that I didn’t like the movie. I like such kind of drama. Then, what’s the reason. Is it because I watched it alone? But that is something I do always!” Concluding that I might not have enjoyed the movie because I watched the late night show, I chose to give it another chance and this time it was an evening show in the same multiplex. Result was also the same. I liked the movie, but the enjoyment quotient can hardly be equal to even 1% of what my childhood friends had experienced.
My curiosity increased. I wanted to discover what change I brought to myself in the recent years. “Is this what they say ‘hormonal change’? Am I going through depression?” My brain was bombarded with questions. After one week, one of my friends wished to meet me in Vashi. I knew there was a single screen theatre nearby. So I planned to watch Singham again in that theatre which was, in all respect, different from the multiplex I normally visit. After meeting my friend, I went to the theatre. The ticket price was half of what I had paid for the earlier visits to the same movie. Screening started. I had no excitement as by that time, I had all the dialogues by heart. There was a lull for 5 minutes in the theatre and the rest is history. People started whistling, shouting, soon after the hero was introduced and continued this energy till the end. I was thrilled. This time, when I came out of the theatre, I felt I liked it and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
This made me realize that watching cinema in a theatre is an art. Somewhere we miss the essence of an entertaining movie by judging it critically and just by showing off that we belong to the intelligent class. Many a times I feel we should deliberately retain the rawness in us. It’s not fun if we dance like Michael Jackson during Ganapati Visharjan – we need our street dance on the beats of ta ta tain, ta ta tain, ta ta tain, ta ta ta ta tain. It’s not fun observing Holi at home with lots of sweets – we need to color our bhabhis, jijus, and their sisters who hide somewhere in the corner of their bed to prevent us from coloring them with gulal.