Spoiling a movie..
My wife is always amazed by my ability to casually walk past the living room and in passing guess the movie that is on the screen by watching it for less than 30 seconds. Two things have contributed to this..
1. I have spent many lonely years as a graduate student watching TV in the USA
2. The cable TV channels have a habit of repeating the same movies over and over again so that I have covered a full cross section of movies from the 60's to the late nineties. This movie watching fevour did not stop after I got married. The wife was as avid a moviegoer as I was, if not more. We even got a "moviewatcher" card at the local theater where you get one movie free for every 5 you watch. We had 200 points within a year ! (4 a movie, and that means "at least" a movie a week). Only after Jr.'s birth did movies take a backseat !
I have not really covered all the Hindi and Tamizh movies simply because 90% of them are rehashed from the English movies or cannibalized from older Tamizh or Hindi movies. (The sole exception is Priydarshan who copies his own malayalam movies as well).
Recently almost always, the wife and mother-in-law bring some hindi movie from the local grocery store and sit down to watch it. I try to join them and within a few minutes, I say something and piss them off. Either I have already predicted the punchline or told them the name of the original movie. Of course, I have been proven wrong, (as irony would have it) by some "creative" directors who take two hit english movies and mix them up !!
Examples:( I dont necessarily remember the Hindi titles)
1. Amitabh movie where he is some ex-military type goes after kidnapper of small girl he is taking care of.. Well this was a copy of "man on fire" except for the last scene(Amitabh survives, Denzel doesnt in the original). The english subtitles on the movie were actually the original dialogues in the english film !! it was sickening to see someone take credit for the story and screenplay !
2. they got another movie about a guy who takes money to give his ex girlfriend who claims to be terminally ill. this was a copy of another Denzel movie Out of Time!
3. I come to watch this movie and paresh rawal is telling is wife that someone in the village bought a winning lottery from him but he doesnt know who it is .. I just blurted out that the guy who got the ticket would have died of shock (it was obviously the Hindi version of Waking Ned Devine) and they both threw me out of the room! Funny thing is my wife draws a complete blank. It was she who had seen the trailer for Ned Devine while watching "the Full monty" and insisted on renting it !
4. Last week they were watching this mivie where a bunch of guys are fighting over an antique gun !! (well 30 seconds was more than enough to see it was a copy of "lock stock and two smoking barells").
In short, almost every movie they bring with a rave review is lifted straight from some english movie I have seen..
5. I sit down to watch Thenali and within the first two scenes it becomes obvious it is a copy of "what about bob"!
Here is the best part !
6. A movie with Nana patekar (my wife thought this was a copy of the Tom Cruise movie Collateral).. I walk in halfway through the movie watch a scene and tell them it is a scene by scene remake of "Changing lanes". Here is the ensuing converstaion:
Me : this is a copy of changing lanes (the samuel jackson movie)
wife and MIL : What changing lanes ?
Me : You and me we saw it in the theaters. and you(addressing MIL), I got it for you from the public library last year. you even said "good movie".
W and MIL :(both upset) This movie is very well made and we dont remember the english version(?!). So dont spoil it for us. Go back to sleep !
Me : I never knew a bad memory could be a blessing .. whatever!!!
Anyways, they went and watched the latest Kamal Hassan movie last night (all shows were sold out, they had to get online tickets in advance). They have given the movie "4 thumbs up"!! They have also told me that it resembles an episode of CSI Miami. I asked my wife if Kamal does Horatio Caine type one liners. Thankfully she has said "no. it is different, just like any other Kamal movie"!
Yours truly has tickets to watch it tomorrow provided god, kids, health all co-operate. The last few Kamal movies have been original (they remind you of PGW's Jeeves or Psmith stuff but still are very creative).I am really hoping that I dont find it is a remake of some other movie I have seen !