Monday, August 1, 2011

KYA YEHI PYAAR HAI- Is this love?

Now… please wait friends, this is not some philosophic treatise on love and neither is it a love story ( you can get all that in Kaleidoscope not here!). I have been inspired to write this post after watching two movies over the weekend!

The first one, a Tamil movie called “ Myna” is all about the “love “ of a young man for a girl who he had rescued along with her homeless mother and brought into his village to live with an old lady who is conveniently all alone. The movie starts with the couple as children and moves on to adolescence ( hers) and youth (his)! This is a recent movie and has apparently won a National award.
The second one is an old Hindi movie from the 1980s- “Dhund”-a murder mystery where an abusive husband is supposedly murdered by his wife. The wife had fallen in love with another man who was sympathetic to her condition and she takes on the blame of the murder thinking it was her lover who had murdered her husband. The story of course, follows a lot of twists and turns and you know towards the end that neither of them had actually murdered the husband!

Now, I am not questioning the plot or the story of either film but what struck me were the extreme manner in both cases that this emotion called “love” was being portrayed. In  “Myna”  you see the hero pedaling away on a cycle to generate electricity so that his beloved can study for her exams during a power cut ( If my daughter were not asleep during this movie, I would have used this to show her how the “ dynamo” that she studies about in physics operates!). You also see him run with a huge knife attacking anyone who tries to prevent him from approaching his girl.  In “ Dhund”  you see the heroine telling right at the beginning of the film very dramatically to a stranger who discovers the murder “ I killed this man!”.  She also faints with a scream when the prosecuting lawyer announces in the courtroom that the accused ( the lover) be hanged!

I used to wonder if love really makes people behave like this? I agree that some of us are given more to theatrics than others but really, is all this necessary to show that one is in love? I find that much of such behavior gets internalized and learned by the audience of such movies particularly the youth who probably think this is how they are expected to act when in love.  There was this boy Albert who used to run errands and  serve us coffee in the office where I worked some years ago. While working late one evening, I was surprised to find him in the kitchen area his eyes closed and face grimaced in pain. When I went closer I found that he had slashed his arm. After pulling the knife out of his hands and getting a couple of colleagues to come with first aid, I asked him the reason for his behavior. Eyes filling with tears he told us about how the girl he loved was getting married to someone else! Not to belittle his love, but I had to control myself from bursting out laughing when I heard this story. Albert had never spoken to this girl and had only watched her from the kitchen window, so what was all this drama about her having rejected him? There is a similar incident involving another young man again, someone who was a messenger in another office where I have worked. So, what was it about both these chaps? I think besides ,their youth, it was their complete involvement in the world of cinema which defined for them how they should behave.  The second young man was beaten up once by some “public spirited”  citizens for having been perceived as harassing a girl. Poor guy, in his scheme of things, if Vijay can chase a girl in the streets and sing her into loving him then why not him? The trouble is when movies draw a very thin line between love and sexual harassment then both the stalker and the stalked think that there is some other angle to it!!

I think somewhere along the way, most of our film makers need to learn how to portray love and its various manifestations. It is not about running around trees or chasing a pretty girl. I do agree that in the two hours or so that they have our attention, they need to take us through the lives of the hero and heroines but isn’t that what creativity is all about?  Not to say that there haven’t been film makers who have attempted it successfully ( “Jab we met” being a very good example)
And folks, rejection in love- there has to be some other way to portray it – besides the hero holding a glass or the heroine trying to jump off a cliff? Defeatist attitudes popularized by the biggest one of them all –  Devdas ! How about showing a person surviving the break moving on and then may be finding someone else? But I guess that is maturity –something difficult to find among our film makers who have mentally remained frozen in teenage!

17 comments:

Basil said...

read the entire post and got me thinking.until a few months ago,I was totally smitten over this gal around eight and a half years ago, to the point that I thought I would spend the rest of my life with her. we had this comfort factor going where we even spoke about the birds and the bees ....she even told me she could be herself around me n vice versa,yea. day-in, day-out, I used to bethinking of her, and my work slowed down but affected really - we still remain good friends.she has a guy in her life now and I am back to my playa ways. just thought it would be in our best interest that I drift away after having moved in too fast as I felt things wouldn't work going into our background.sorry, if this post may be irrelevant,but felt like sharing. and yes, pls do not hint about this on my blog as she reads my blogs n we are very good friends, not that the latter would be affected ....but still.

Saumya said...

Haha, I couldn't agree more! I think the drama level has been taken too far and it's terrible when it bleeds into real life. I had a guy repeatedly say he couldn't bear to live because I was with someone else. We never even dated! He watched a lot of these movies...

Rhapsody B. said...

Namaste......
Love is subjective as it is define and redefined differently depending on whom you ask, the culture you are in etc. Some people do go to obsessive extremes and call this love, this to me is distructive because i believe true love is not controlling, or obsessive rather it is in the best interest of the other and at times it may require walking away. Its a simplify analysis but I think you get the general idea. Too often many of these movies, western and South Asian, Asian etc define love in controlling forms with hiarachies and superiority and endless modes of violence that is unfortunately has become so normalized that many have become numb to its toxicity.

Thank you for stopping by, as always i look forward to reading from you

Meera Sundararajan said...

Thank you Basil and Rhapsody. Soumya welcome back to my blog- hadn't heard from you for a while. @ Rhapsody, you are so right- love is always being portrayed as controlling...!! We like to think that destruction is akin to love. @ Saumya your admirer was probably a person with some deep seated psychological disturbance. @ Basil, it is always good to reflect on a relationship before we formalize it rather than regret later. And I am glad that both of you continue to be friends.

Purba said...

And I used to keep telling my students, college is diametrically different from how it is portrayed in movies - nobody sings and dances in front of the Principal's office.

But I personally think most of our kids are not as gullible and are quick to move on - quite like I love you till I find someone better.

Bikramjit said...

Totally agree wit you , movies give out a wrong signal, I remmeber my colelge days , sitting at the gate on day one and then shouting that one with yellow chunni is mine , the red one is mine .. and the whole year would og by and not even say a hello to the girl .. and if we see any other guy talking to her then ti was WAR.. :)

thats what happened then never heard anyone singing or dancing .. had that been a way then also I doubt if i could have done anything terrible dancer and if i sang the college would have closed ...

Rejection wow god knows how many rejections we have had, Hardly any girl came or talked to us :)

But these days i do think people have advanced a lot and having one afair is not a way a few on the sides for both boys and girls is the trend and I do feel that the basic need to have a love affair is basically to get physical after that its move on to next one ..

Dhund was a good movie Zeenat-Danny and Navin :) oh god I seem to be so old even remeber the actors ... :)

Bikram's

dr.antony said...

Love is a fantasy. People who watch and enjoy such movies will never find the love they learn from it.We have enjoyed the romance of MGR and Jayalalitha.So why not this also?

dr.antony said...

Love is a fantasy. People who watch and enjoy such movies will never find the love they learn from it.We have enjoyed the romance of MGR and Jayalalitha.So why not this also?

SUB said...

true...very well said...but hindi movies are maturing now...hopefully it will get better :)

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Purba you are right- college does not involve taking one notebook and going all dressed up for romance! But I think the kids in the smaller towns still get influenced a lot.
LOL Bikram! You should have sung out "Lal Dupatte wali tera naam to bata"!! Yes, Dhund had a stunning looking Zeenat Aman- probably for the first time in a sari right through the movie!
@ Dr. Antony, love as they portray in the movies is certainly fantsy- otherwise why all these swiss locales?

@ Sub, Hindi movies are certainly maturing but the local regional ones are regressing !

Tomz said...

I think I have to see the movie, Dhund. A movie with similar plot was released in Malayalam too some decades before. Despite of the ending of the Hindi movie, in the Malayalam one, named Yavanika, meaning Curtain, in the end, both the woman and lover found guilty

Emmy said...

Life had pain why should we all be cowards at the sight of a little pain. I think we must go on and fight, yet it hurts but its not the end of the world!

KP said...

Well said... and it is up to people (us) to understand the difference between reality and movies.. and stop getting deluded..

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Tomz you can get a DVD of Dhund. Now I am interested in this Malaylam film you have mentioned. Yes. Emmy it hurts but the victory should be ours not the pain's. @ KP glad you agree.

Ibhade said...

i had never hidden the fact that i love bollywood esp the love movies but {there is always a but} the love is often exaggerated....when i saw the title, i remembered KUCH KUCH HOTI HAI {hope i got the spelling right}...i wondered if such could happen in real life..well, that is film for you..A MAKE BELIEVE...or should i say a WHIM?

This is a fact: LOVE IN MOVIES ARE EXAGGERATED!

Sandhya said...

'I would have used this to show her how the “ dynamo” that she studies about in physics operates'..great idea! She missed it!

I liked 'jab we met'...clean movie with melodious songs!

Movies have come inside homes via TV. So, 'love' is the main word of discussion in these movies. So people tend to imitate the characters! Sensible ones differentiate between 'screen love' and 'real life love' and live happily ever after!

Good analysis!

Rachit Aggarwal said...

Nice post. It is really sad that the defeating attitudes is really inspiring our younger generations to follow the same lines but i believe sooner or later everybody realized this
is something possible in reel life and not in real life and the purpose of the cinema is to entertain. Let them realize this way.
Also, think if cinema go on showing the real life every time on cinema, It really gets boring and kills the creativity. Art has no limits and so is the creativity.

Take the example of the movie 'darr' starring shahrukh khan and sunny deol, Although the story is quite bizarre, still the movie is super-hit and entertaining or what they say paisa wasool.

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