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.