Tuesday, January 27, 2009

P.S..Dont go

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! If you've read the book, then no worries =)
In between commitments this Saturday, I made a stupid move. Watched P.S. I love you on my computer. It stars Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler as the main leads...neither of them being my favorite actors by far. Had read the book... and was WELL aware of the story line. Why I dared watch was beyond me. I cried myself to puffiness. And the strange part is, the Movie isn't even all that good! (yeah, I suck). Maybe the next few lines will tell you why.

Holly (Hillary Swank ) is a young woman, married out of love to a not so rich Gerry (Gerard Butler), living in a rented apartment which is no dream mansion. The dream bubble bursts with fights and arguments over mundane inconsistencies of life, with Holly and her I'm-not-sure-what-I'm-fighting-for attitude, exasperation over the size and quality of apartment and general lifestyle. However, Love keeps them together...until he dies unexpectedly. Of a brain tumour. This in itself is no surprise in the movie since the book begins with him already being dead.

Gerry leaves behind notes for Holly - one to be read each month...each with a plan, something she needs to do. These vary from cleaning up the house to getting a new job, to meeting her giant fear of karaoke head on, vacationing with girlfriends...all planned out in the last few months of his death. The opening of these notes, execution of their contents and flashbacks of their life constitute the remainder of the film. All very mediocre in terms of screenplay, dialogues, acting and even direction.
It makes you cry. Thinking of the possibility even. Being widowed before having kids, before even feeling like you've spent a big part your life with him, waking up to an empty bed (a heartbreaking scene of Holly instinctively asking Gerry to turn off the lights and patting his side of the bed, only to wake up and remember hes gone), being widowed at all, realizing you'll need to be on your own now...

It was lesser about the movie and more about the thought of it ever happening in real life and the people it must have happened to. I cant imagine it. I cant deal with the deaths of people close to me. Never learnt how.
Anyway, that was P.S. I love you. Also watched Slumdog millionaire.
I thought it was fantastic. The screenplay was wonderful, the editing crisp and neatly done, the direction and understanding of Mumbai's slums and politics thereof was commendable and complete. I don't see this movie being made better by an Indian Director. For the critics who are slamming the movie publicly, they re either sour grapes or want a piece of the pie...since as a movie...this one is a lesson in itself.
My first reaction was 'I want to go home and watch some friends, to get over the mellow feeling' BUT. A said - 'Its the truth, Why're you running from it?' The 'Its the truth' bit me hard.
How an Outsider come to India, brave the heat and sweat, dust and grime, stink and chaos of the slums and the city, and make such a brilliant movie is beyond me. Through the grotesque visuals, heart wrenching scenes Danny Boyle evokes only one feeling - that of Sympathy. All of us in our fancy homes and designer clothes know fully well that this is a side to Mumbai that exists... In fact a lot of us come face to face with it each day... people squatting on the railway tracks, shanties being dangerously close to the train bogie's, kids with disabilities rapping on taxi windows begging, kids selling rubber bands and hair clips in trains...
Why is it then, that if its shown on the big screen, the Director has portrayed only one side of Mumbai, and is slammed for it? Have these critics not seen 'The pursuit of Happyness'? And why is it that we need Movies to show Mumbai or even India in a glorified splendour, when actually it isn't so?

A PIL has been filed against Slumdog Millionaire that alleges that the title is defamatory since it insinuates that we Indians, are (hold your breath) Dogs. Yeah. Please to ask respective people if they've watched the movie and what its about before wasting out already majorly loaded courts with more baseless PIL's and what not.
Well actually, they're right, we're not dogs, we're dumasses. For these pointless PIL's and not having a decent honest government, for making corruption a part of our lives, that's what we are. So go ahead with the PIL I say, change in adjectives is a must.
I loved this movie. It sank in, when I got home...played so many gruesome scenes back, and felt this overwhelming urge to do something. And its coming. Thats a promise I made to myself, 27th January 2009. Thanks Danny Boyle for shaking me up so much, that I cant ignore it, for reminding me of something about my OWN city I shield myself from at signals and trains by looking away.


Piper .. said...

Seen the first and cried over it. Do it all the time. And yet, I go back and watch. The fear of losing a close one, is the greatest fear I`ve ever had. Cant ever imagine a situation like this.
Havent seen Slumdog. But OMG, have they really filed some PIL to that effect??!!!1
On second thoughts, it shouldnt come as a surprise really. Remember the uproar over Gere, a few months back?? :)
You`re right. We`re not dogs. We are dumb asses!! :)

Serendipity said...

Hi Piper - Oh ya, the uproar against Gere over the 'obscenity case' wonder what went through his mind.

DeeplyDip said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog...
P.S I Love You sounds like a beautiful story - heart wrenching for sure...and even I loved SM. Totally agree that none of the Indian directors could have made it this way - maybe because we are immune to so many of these things that they might've overlooked them...regarding the PIL...it's truly a waste of time - rather than fighting and protesting on people calleing them dogs (which they didn't), why don't they collect aids and help for these people and take try and take out atleast some of them from this mess?

Serendipity said...

@ Deeplydip - you wrote about something Ive been fuming over since 2 days, how could i not?

If you want to help out, or contribute in any way --- go here..


Quiz_Master said...

Aplologies first, reading your blog after long time... (a week I think).

I didn't read the book before watching 'P.S. I love' you but IMO it was very emotional (brought tears in my eyes too) and inspiring mocvie... 'Life Goes On and On...'

SlumdogMillionaire was just fantabulous. Music (Rehman rocks), Casting, Story everything just perfect. I can't understand why some people are opposing it. There's nothing untrue about India in it.

Gunjan said...

Yes, Slumdog Millionaire was something very different. Rahman's music made the whole idea even more effective. But understand, that the movie was not only about what happens in Mumbai, it was the portrayal of a poor boy's life which starts from a slum in India. Mumbai was just a location for that. All the poverty related stuff they have shown happens in many other places in our country.
As much we love the city we have grown up in and I have especially seen this in all people from Mumbai, we must realize that these issues are national. Make sure that this doesn't remind you just of your own 'city', it should remind you of the whole country and the issues it is facing.

Serendipity said...

@ QM- Im completly totally mad at you. hmmpff. :)
The movie and book differed slightly in storyline though. I definitely liked the book more.

@ Gunjan - absolutely. Your 100% correct.
In fact, ill tell you this, since sunday (when i watched SM), Ive been so shaken up that started an initiative at Indiahelps for street kids --- whcih we're trying to do at an all over India level now. Not restricted to Mumbai i.e.

does that make you smile? wish us luck

snow said...

Me too, recently watched both movies -- PS was all mushy mushy but I was watching it with five friends, so didn't quite absorb the sentiments of it.. but it was a good movie, liked it.

SM was really hard-hitting.. I don't think they've exaggerated it.. the thing is, we easily avoid seeing things we don't want to see - the ugly side of our society.. was a good movie... and I cried without realizing it..

Wish you lots of luck with the new drive of helping out street kids. Go girl! :)

Serendipity said...

Thanks Snow :)

In Slumdog, I was weepy non ashamedly (if thats even a word) throughout the first half. :S

Amol said...

for a good cry on a similar (broadly) theme as PS..., I suggest "my life without me"

Serendipity said...

Hi Amol!

Watched it! "Without dreams you can't fucking live" rememeber the line?

Anonymous said...

I can not gather strength to watch this movie even for that matter the hindi version " U,Me aur Hum". It is just sends me into depression.

Amol said...

It had so many great lines. And I've loved Sarah Polley since "the sweet hereafter", so she can make a 6 hour movie of herself sleeping and I'd probably watch it :)

Serendipity said...

Sunshine - Oh, i wasnt aware of U me Aur hum being the hindi version, I dont watch too many Hindi movies to be honest..but this movie, you really should watch

Hi Amol, why bees your profile unavailable?!
Im gonna be sending in your request to her, and u gotta execute it buddy. :D

Amol said...

nothing sinister ;-) I don't have a blog or anything. Just use my google account to sign in for comments.
great books in your library BTW. highly recommend "the calcutta chromosome" by Amitav Ghosh, if you haven't already read it.

Serendipity said...

Amol - lol!! :D
Oh, I havent read Calcuta Chromosome' - shall pick it up. Im going through a lean book-reading phase and need to step it up. :)

Smita said...

A friend has told me about P.S. I love you, I had liked the concept but I also knew that the whole premise is heart wrenching & thus can understand your crying :-)

As far as Slumdog is concerned am yet to watch it, may be this weekend. A fren has gifted me the book 'Q & A' & have started reading it and am enjoying it (though it is an average book) so I hope the movie will for sure be fantastic.

As far as criticsm of the movie is it is so typical of us Indians. There is one group which is ready to criticise the movie & then there is another group which is ready to calim the accliamed movies as ours. I remember the hooppolah which was created when "The WHite Tiger" had won an award. We tend to criticise the achievers & love to hide our shortcomings...

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