One good thing about multiplexes is that you can go to see a film alone, without attracting any attention. That is, being a woman. I don’t do it too often though, only when I want to see a film badly enough. It’s not that I am uncomfortable being alone, but one of the best parts of seeing a film is coming out of it, then talking about it, bitching about it, dreaming about how you would have done things better, if only a producer trusted you enough.
When Dhanno was little, I thought she would be scarred forever by the film discussions between Teja and me. She’d sit through a film, trusting enough, enjoying herself, come out happy; and then would start our griping about the film in the car. She would get more and more miserable, not understanding why we couldn’t just enjoy ourselves like she had. Then, she learned to argue with us about why we should have liked the film. Often I’d tell her, for nothing else but to lessen her misery that we did enjoy the film, but we just couldn’t help ourselves, we needed to discuss it like that, it was part of our job. That pacified her a little.
Now, she either tunes off when we start discussing a film, or she joins in with a vengeance, depending on which end of her adolescent mood swings she happens to be.
Whenever I do go to see a film alone, I remember my Kaki Shirin. A gentle soul, thoroughly dominated by her husband, her one pleasure was to sneak off after lunch for a film at Maratha Mandir, sometimes with my mother who was equally film-crazy, sometimes alone when she didn’t want to invite any comments from her husband about leaving home, and housework and going off to the movies.
Today, I saw ‘Valu’ by the way. If you understand even a little bit of Marathi, see it. It’s delightful.