Monday, March 10, 2008

City of Meh

Just got back from watching Paulo Morelli's Cidade dos Homens, which is basically a Ram Gopal Varma film, only in Portuguese and with hotter men. Actually, it's more like a combination of a RGV film and one of those corny Hindi films from the late 70's where child actors had a distressing habit of growing up to become Amitabh Bachchan. No, seriously. Story about two kids growing up fatherless in poverty, ending up being best friends, close as brothers? Check. Love interests? Check. Love interest who turns out to be daughter / sister of hero's most hated enemy? Check. One friend betrayed by other? Check. Betrayed friend falling into wrong company and taking to crime? Check. Startling revelations about hero's parents? Check. Friends break up, end up on opposite sides and come close to killing each other? Check. Hell, they even have a scene with the two friends driving about on a motorbike (though mercifully without a sidecar). I swear I sat in the theater humming "Yeh Dosti" under my breath, I was that bored. If you watched City of God and liked it (as I did) Don't watch this film. On the other hand, if you really enjoyed Knocked Up and / or are still nostalgic for the lost era of films starring Shatrugan Sinha, this is the film for you.

The most entertaining part of the whole experience was actually the couple sitting two rows away (who made up, incidentally, 40% of the film's audience). They get to the hall fifteen minutes early. They change seats three times before the finally decide where they want to sit. They sit there for one minute. Then they go out to get popcorn. They come back. They sit for thirty seconds. Then the guy goes to get water. He comes back. They sit for thirty seconds. Then the woman decides she wants to a Coke. So she goes and gets that. They sit for forty-five seconds. Guy goes to the restroom, returns. They sit for thirty-eight seconds. Woman goes to the restroom returns. They sit for two minutes, with the guy complaining that the movie hasn't started even though it's ten seconds pas the time, while the woman has a loud conversation on her cellphone about what she plans to cook for dinner. Show starts. Woman turns off cellphone, guy sits up. They settle in to watch. They watch the first trailer. They watch the second trailer. They find the third trailer inexplicably funny. Halfway through the fourth trailer they start whispering to each other. The movie starts. They watch it for fifty six seconds. Then they walk out, taking popcorn / water / coke with them. One minute later they return, bringing back popcorn / water / coke. They go to place where they were first sitting. They go to place where they sat next. They clearly have no clue where they were sitting but want to go back there. They pause, watch another two minutes of the film. Then they start searching again. A-ha! they have found woman's coat. Woman puts on coat while guy holds popcorn / water / coke / cellphone. Finally, seven minutes into the film, they leave, taking popcorn / water / coke with them.


Anonymous said...

and whats the word that describes your activities here Falsie- Schadenfreude. You were sitting there and actually calculating and timing each and every move of the couple. Is nt that like revolting. Neverthless why wud you watch such a trashy movie in the first place.

??! said...

considering all your experiences with people in film/concert audiences, why don't you just write a book about them?

Or even better, a film about people in film theaters? I'm imagining long sweeping shots of weird activities in murky locations. A bit like Cinema Paradiso, but not exactly.

Anonymous said...



Falstaff said...

anon1: Hardly Schadenfreude. It's not like they were suffering.

And I was watching it because it was supposed to be the quasi-sequel to City of God, which I really liked. How was I to know it would turn out to be so ordinary.

??!: oh, but that's easy, isn't it. All you need is a mirror the size of a movie screen.

anon2: You're welcome.