November 17, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. Iyer

What is it about the wild and the unpredictable that inspires a kind of wonder? Is it an illusion that movies attempt to create just because, is different, curiously romantic perhaps or is life worth-while because of these strange, inexplicable moments created by a different class of men in a different set of situations? Consider the dependable husband who works nine to five and takes his wife out maybe on a Saturday to a movie, his attempt at the art of "romancing" - his character is often discarded as the mundane, the ho-hum role in a movie worth five minutes of screen time. That's understandable I guess because this poor guy's character is so common in life. Every second or third man probably does that. But then, consider the rash and undependable college chap who sports a never-shaven-before chin at all times and now you have a character worth focusing on (or at least used to be before that too became routine)!

Or consider the pensive, intelligent wild-life photographer who falls in love with a traditional Tamil Brahmin girl in Mr. & Mrs. Iyer. Now, we have a story! And what a story it is! The tangible chemistry that fills the space around them leaves me mesmerized each time I watch the movie. I watched the movie a second time today and it reminded me of Bridges of Madison County (a woman quite contended to be a wife to a husband who loves her the best he can, the only way he knows to love her and enter the "mystery-man" who she can relate to in a way she knows she never can with her husband - now, there's something that doesn't happen often in life or does it?)...what is it with wild life photographers anyway that make them so special? All the travel makes them perceptive, sensitive, intelligent in an irresistible sort of way(?). In movies at least.

The scene in the train when Rahul Bose leans towards Konkana Sen and she stutters and speaks incoherently while trying to mask her own feelings is so real...I can almost feel what she feels at that moment.


"That's not the way my name is pronounced, you know?"

"How is it pronounced dear?",
with a smile to kill.

"Meenakshi. Meen in Tamil means fish..."

"M e e n a k s h i...",
there can be beauty and tenderness even in the way a person says your name. And Rahul Bose says it the way a lover would to his beloved. A wistful sigh, a whispered melody, unsaid dreams, in that one word.

"I have that lens in my eye lens"

and we understand the turbulence, the conflicts Meenakshi experiences just by catching a glimpse of her eyes. Words cannot match what she emotes. Each time I watch that scene, I hold my breath wanting them to say something, anything at all, to hug tightly, to weep on each other's shoulders...

Or the other train sequence where he describes his next photography assignment to Meenakshi and she asks worriedly,

"Will you be alone?"

He watches her closely and asks, "Why do you want to know that?"

And she looks away unable to admit what she feels for him. A few minutes of conversation later, she asks the same question and he says,

"Alone. Unless you come with me..."

It takes a strong woman not to agree to go with him, that moment...(and somehow if she had agreed to go with him, the essence of the scene would have been lost).

Or the scene in the forest,

"The caretaker told me you had packed and left..."

And he asks calmly, "And did you believe him?"

Now, that's romance. Classic. Subtle. Powerful.


frissko said...

hmm...nicely written..made me play parts of the movie in my head again..

and yea the train scene is quite intense...the effort of the restraint they both exercise is so tangible on screen..i also loved her transformation they had depicted..from being a tam-bram who wouldnt drink water off the same bottle as a Muslim, to the one who is discreetly in love with him...

Venkatraman said...

You could be a good critique for movies...

Yes, the movie was an eyeopener in so many ways bringing out all the ethos and emotions of human kind and the strong bonds of romance. Throwing all the human built walls to air.

In very similar genre you should watch Gulzar's Ijaazat which is also very powerful in the message it brings thru

Parth said...

I distinctly remember the train scene as well. Perhaps the one thing that stuck with me through the movie. I agree with Venkatraman's comment as well. Chance encounters off the ordinary indeed!

IBH said...

It is a beautiful movie...and the romance is so subtle and tender that sometimes you wish you were the protagonist :)

I have had this ssecret crush for Rahul Bose right from his TV series Jhankar Beats..i felt he was the best...and with Chameli...I felt he is an awesome actor...:) have you watched Chameli? it is an excellent movie...u must if you havent already

RS said...

frissko - :) It's not like there are a lot of moments, it's not an out and out love story but the few moments there are stay back with us...

venkatraman - Ijaazat..., interesting movie name. Will definitely catch it sometime.

parth - The thing about these movies is the after-effect is surprisingly strong, the words spoken on screen, the scene itself play in my head many times after I have actually watched the Parineeta, DDLJ...

ibh - Hmm...would be a very hard life for the protagonist, don't you think? I did watch Chameli, I liked it then but maybe did not pay much attention since I watched it with friends...

Kat said...

RS -

Here are some snippets from the movie Ijaazat.

Chalte chalte mera saya, kabhi kabhi yoon karta hai,
Zaameen se uthke samne aakar, haath pakad ke kehta hai,
Ab ke baar mein aage aage chalta hoon,
Aur tu mera peecha karke dekh zara kya hota hai.

and clippings from the movie

RS said...

kat - hmm...looks somewhat like arth to me...

Vi said...

This is one of my favorite movies. Watching it never gets old. I'm glad there's someone out there that enjoys it as well. :)

RS said...

vi - :) The design of your blogspot is impressive - stark colors, powerful words...nice combination :)

Kavitha said...

wow it felt like i was reading off my own mind --the train sequences you so eloquently wrote.Poignant i say!

PS: Mosakutty :) such a cute name!

ANM said...

there can be beauty and tenderness even in the way a person says your name

Um. True. There can be.
But I don't think Rahul Bose got anywhere near that.

Most of the time he seemed disinterested, if not mildly annoyed. And other times, he seemed like he was trying REAL HARD to be interested. And these are when he's not the image of a pot-addled dimwit.

Or maybe I just don't like that guy :-/

The lady, however, was refreshing. I couldn't tell she was not Tamil... and that's a big deal for someone that's from the other side of the country. Her conflicted feelings about Bose's character came through extremely believably...
Or, maybe she was REALLY conflicted between doing her job well and genuine distaste for Bose's "acting"... :P

RS said...

kavitha - :)

anm - You are being so unfair to Rahul Bose, btw, he blogs too, or used to, you should read that sometime, maybe you'd like him better :p

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