I have been waiting forever to see this. I kept thinking the video store would get it, but no, and it was never in at the grocery store. So, after an esteemed advisor told me he thought I would love it, I just gave in and bought it. And zowee was he right.
What a beautiful, touching movie - full of color and light, choices and love, footsteps and anklets, murals and puppets. No particular time, no particular schedule, just gently and with care telling this lovely story, watching what happens when individuals make choices. It raised so many interesting questions but never threw them in your face; instead, options played out, drenched in sun and color and quiet yet dearly-felt emotions. Whom should you choose: the one who loves you but might be too good to be true? or the one who is completely real but blunders, not knowing anything and probably too afraid to try? the accountant you know or the ghost you don't?
And what a miserable, dreadful ending. I don't think I've ever been so angry at a Bollywood ending.
me: What about Kishen, you selfish, presumptuous bhoot?
bhoot: Eh? Didn't you want me to end up with Lachchi? C'mon, you know you did.
me: No! No, I didn't! I wanted all three of you to get to choose what you were going to do! Especially her. Here she is, years after making an extraordinary choice, then having a chance to reevaluate and decide whether or not to continue with the choice. We should all be so lucky to have such an opportunity, and you robbed everyone of some interesting conversation.
bhoot: You didn't really think Kishen could love her, did you?
me: I don't know! But you didn't let him try! You essentially killed him off. He made very thoughtful use of the only piece of information he had about her; maybe he would have done just fine, now that he was home, he knew his family loved him, his uncle was back, and the house was filled with happiness - and he knew how to stand up for what he thought was right. Ordinary people have an extraordinary capacity to love, so you just bugger off and let him try! And anyway, just because you have all the charisma of SRK doesn't mean you get to go around eliminating people from other people's lives! And go shave that mustache.
I know I will very happily watch all but the last few minutes of this again and again, lost in this golden, twirling, almost whimsical world.
A few unorganized little points:
1) Farah Khan, brava! How can one person be responsible for so much greatness? I would love you forever even if you had only done MHN and this puppet dance, but there's so much more!
2) Puppets! Puppets puppets puppets! I loved them! They reminded me of weird filmstrips from childhood and greatly added to the fairy-tale feel.
3) Is Kirron Kher the voice of the puppet queen?
4) Who played the ghost when he was talking to Lachchi before becoming Kishen? That actor looked very familiar. Was he in Hulchul, maybe?
5) I watched this with a friend who's been going through some incredibly difficult times. She was as taken as I was, but we disagreed over the ghost, her rooting for him to win Lachchi's heart permanently and me for letting Kishen have his turn now that he knew a bit more about who he was. Part of my argument was that the ghost was so many different layers of not real, reminding her that, as Bridget Jones says, "being imaginary is a character flaw that cannot be overlooked." She immediately tossed back "That's better than so many different layers of disappointment, which is what I have now." I laughed so hard, gasping for breath and almost falling off the sofa. Point taken. Which is the lesser of two sadnesses: imaginary or disappointing?
And in other news, I saw someone looking at Kandoukondain Kandoukondain at the video store and, having just lent my copy to Abby, leaned in to her and said "That's really good. You should definitely get that." I think I scared her a little. So apparently I've become that person. Great.