Gather 'round, children, and hear the wondrous tale of the Girl Who Watched All of Drona!
Decades ago, in the prairie heartland of America, amid torrential rains, a girl was born. But not just any girl. For lo! she was destined to undertake a quest few had managed: to watch, in entirety, a film...in a tongue she did not know...from across the seven seas...from the future: Drona! Unaware of her fate, our heroine ambled through vast expanses of films, plucking Shashi-like blooms and reveling in Rani rays of sunshine. Until one fateful day, when she read of a new film, something unlike Bollywood had ever produced before, something that set loose a disenchantment and unhappiness across the movie-loving lands of Filmistan. That night, sleeping fitfully, she was haunted by a familiar yet distant narratorial voice that insisted she had been chosen for a special task. She must watch Drona, she must try to figure out what went wrong, and she must, above all, find something of merit in it, at least in the hero himself. "No...no...!" she cried out in her sleep. "It's only playing in Chicago...gas is $4 a gallon! I cannot do it!" "Then ye may wait for DVD," boomed the Voice, "but ye must complete this task!"
Days, weeks, passed, and the mysterious dream slipped from her mind. But just as unexpectedly as the dream had come, it was brought to mind again in a flash of blinking lights as the Voice once more rattled through her head. "An arena of cheering fans can't be wrong," she thought. "The Voice must be trusted. But where will I find the Silvery Saucer? It cannot be obtained in my college cow town!" Only by heeding the lure of the text that appeared, at random, constantly, in the Glowing Fruit did she learn to consult the Bottomless Source of Films. Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of the Voice in other incarnations could prevent its acquisition!
The Silvery Saucer safely in hand, she began her quest into the unknown. But alas! out of the darkness sprang a fury of voices, waylaying her progress. "Silence, harpies!" she cried, jabbing the air with any button she could find. After endless minutes of struggle, and only with a magic combination of Pause! Stop! Menu! Play! could they be vanquished. She proceeded into the darkness.
One after another, she was confronted with seemingly impassable, implausible scenes.
A man so cheerful and kind becomes so glum!
A woman so angry wins his heart!
A villain so comical manages to threaten the safety of the whole world!
The defenders' fortress - full of fast cars and strong men! - is so easily violated and destroyed!
A major star and classic Ma is dressed in such ill-fitting costumes!
A well-established force of good is used for evil!
Ominous soldiers look familiar!
Crashingly boring, literal depictions illustrate the steps of the monomyth!
Exotic flavors are so whimsically evoked!
And yet allies did appear amid all the trials. So surprised was she at their presence that our heroine almost did not recognize them as friends. But friends they were, providing encouragement and inspiration to continue.
The beloved Abhishek trying his best to be Fred Astaire!
An enchanting, beautiful City of Secrets!
The Secret-Keeper worked amid giant books!
A woman fought! In clothing that visually suited her combat!
Gorgeous usage of colors underscored how off-kilter the world had become as the villain seemed to triumph!
The villain was at times so weird that he seemed much more menacing than he would if he had simply been purely malevolent!
Did Kay Kay Menon not channel Richard E. Grant in a most astonishing way? He was fab! Also, discuss: was the statue of Jaya as effective as Jaya herself?
Our heroine was tempted to abandon her quest. Oh, how she was tempted. Tempted by visions from some other film, some other time, some other world!
How could she choose this interminable, inexplicable quest over such a temptation!
But somehow she persisted, struggling on through the passionless hero, magic pyramids, and Very Special Grain of Rice until she faced the ultimate ordeal. This film, for which she had already given up so much of her brain, her heart, her soul, her weekend, now challenged her to the most arduous fight of all: she must accept that the elixir of life is guarded by...oh, children, it pains me even to recount this to you. It is guarded by this:
The secret of the universe has been bedazzled by a 9-year-old with a love of ponies and hot glue.
"Nahiiiiiiiin!" our heroine cried out in disbelief! "I can take no more!"
But then she remembered the Voice, and its echoes called her still forward. "You must continue," it said, "for the sake of the good citizens of Filmistan. They need you." So onward she stumbled, accepting in turn a horse with a purple birthmark, the Warrior Woman forgotten in favor of an awkward, uninspired, boys-only battle,
near-deaths overcome, boring flash-forwards grudgingly admitted, and unwanted sequels implied.
Her reward for this journey, these trials,this suffering?
"Mmm, that's nice," she said, still in a daze from what she had suffered. But the image faded, and she gradually awoke from her trance. "Woe! All my efforts have not succeeded!" she cried out to the Voice. "I cannot explain to anyone why this film failed so spectacularly! I cannot define the problem with any single element! I know only that they were combined into an Epic Mess!"
"Ah," replied the Voice. "But you have come away with Real Understanding. You have learned IITS and to beware of those who ply it. It was not the Stars that ran this mighty vessel against the rocks - 'twas the Director."
"The Director," she whispered.... "The secret is the Director." And thus she was once again at peace, her hard-won knowledge safely tucked away, where she would remember it, ready to accept its guidance and wisdom henceforward for evermore.
Or is she?
An excellent hero myth site is here.