Of Stories, Tales, and Movies

I am a huge movie buff. Or, to be more precise, I am a story buff. I am absolutely, positively, indubitably, and unquestioningly in love with stories. Use whatever medium possible to tell me a tale – movies, television, books, short stories, magazines, podcasts, even good, old-fashioned swapping of anecdotes around a campfire – and you will have a very enthralled person on your hands.

Listening to storiesFrom short stories to hair-raising thrillers to Aesop’s fables to fiction to drama – almost anything will grab my attention and pull me into a parallel universe that I will enter with big round eyes, lost expression, and a goofy smile – not very different from the look on the face of an opium addict high on his favorite medley of hallucinogens.

Anyway, while books remain an all-time favourite for me, movies come a close second. The first thing I do when I wake up on Wednesdays is to grab HT City – the supplement newspaper – and look at the last page that features all the movies to be released on Friday. Then, I grab Hindustan Times on Saturday – the main paper this time – and lap up critics’ reviews for all the movies released the day before.

Mind you, I am not in the least bit influenced by the expert reviews I read. Regardless of how bad the movie might be, I will turn a blind eye to Mr. So-and-So’s criticism and go right ahead and watch the movie I want. On the same lines, all the glorious reviews on the planet (and pleading, cajoling, and threats from my friends) cannot drag me for a movie I don’t want to watch. I can get pretty stubborn that way.

Movie buffSo why do I read the reviews then? Well, for one, it makes for an enjoyable pastime. Second, I get a small amount of satisfaction in pitting my “superior appreciation” of movies against that of the reviewer. If he and I are in concurrence about a certain movie, then I will congratulate him on having a sound opinion. Indeed, he is blessed that he sees things the same way I do.

If on the other hand, he happens to give a movie too much (or not enough) credit, I will simply shake my head and pity the poor fellow for not knowing better. Perhaps he’s a fledgeling and lacks an understanding of the film industry. In any case, I dismiss him without any hard feelings (this is his learning curve, after all) and hope he gets his act together before he pens his next review.

Why am I telling you all this? No particular reason, to be honest. I could offer up the weak excuse that it will help you understand where I am coming from, but that flim-flam is hardly going to pass muster. The truth is, I am famous for digressing, so please bear with me.

Now, most people I know are able to rattle off a list of their favourite movies without batting an eyelid. Me too, for that matter; but, that’s not my aim today. I want to tell you about how my love affair with the silver screen started and that is precisely what I shall do. I refuse to get sidetracked again, so shut up and listen.

I’d like to talk to you about the very first movie I watched. This is a movie that is imprinted on my mind and soul. It stands for everything that my childhood was about. Some of my best memories are associated with it and if you were to ask me to name my favourite movies in my sleep, I mutter this name subconsciously, without even batting an eyelid. Literally.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Sound of Music – the one movie that thrills and excites me today the same way that it did 25 years ago. Every time I watch it, I feel like I am reliving the novelty of the experience. And the best part is, I get to do so as many times as I want. I get to be a kid over and over again. Wheee, what fun! Perhaps that’s why The Sound of Music holds a special place in my heart – now and forever.

I will talk some more about this movie in a later post. It merits a more detailed walk-through; a special dedication as it were, befitting the influence it has had on my life. In the meanwhile, why don’t you look at this movie poster of The Sound of Music and drool in anticipation. Don’t worry, it won’t be too long a wait. Promise.

Sound of Music Poster

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