Monday, 12 January 2009

Pune International Film Festival 2009: before the screen lights up...


The razor moves like a snail over my chin. 

Passport photographs; somewhere between a blink and a smile. 

Two beautiful bored college girls hand me the schedule booklet and a photo ID to dangle around the neck.

They let us in, a tiny crowd, 15 minutes before the screening. Sunk in soft seats, in semi darkness with nothing but a blank screen to stare at, the audience reacts in various ways.

An old man nervously plays with the ID card strung around the neck. 

A woman gently taps the encroaching hand of her male companion. 

Four college students, A, B, C and D discuss if there will be uncensored sex scenes in the movie.
Student A reacts, “It is an animation movie, you moron.”

Student B fires, “So what, you fool?” 

It gets tense, just moments ago they had been laughing together. Abuses on various aspects of the human anatomy follow. C and D intervene and an uneasy silence prevails

Meanwhile, two beautiful bored girls appear before the screen and needlessly read out the movie name, duration and the director’s name, just like reading from those textbooks in school because the teacher asked them to. Strictly factual, not even a smile… 

I am in a sarcastic, ' laugh at every opportunity' mood. 
So when one of the bored girls says, "We request you to enjoy the movie," I smile widely. It seemed like a subtle command - You have no option but to enjoy.... 
Don't get it? 
Never mind. 

Mercifully, somebody decides to start the projector. 


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