By Gémina Gil Flores
Feeding the creative mind
This SCAB is a bit special.
It’s the Christmas one, so I am not writing it in the studio or in my London room, but at my auntie in “Le Roc Saint André” a (very) small village in Brittany, France. My family is downstairs, cooking for New year’s eve and I am upstairs, forced to watch a movie I don’t wanna watch. I realised SCA is a special place where we do special things when I tried to explain my family that one of my pieces of homework for the holidays is to do something I do want do and then write about it. They looked dubious.
Anyway, I really love this idea. Doing something I don’t want to do is something I wanted to do since few weeks. Yeah. I like new experiences and I know that keeping doing the same things isn’t good for the creative mind.
I hesitated between two kind of movies : horror or Bollywood.
They both are really far from what I usually watch. I love drama movies, with aesthetics and well-worked light. My favourite producer is Gaspard Noé with Irreversible. Among my classics; Kill Bill, Godfather, Nightcrawler, Seven, Inglorious Bastards, Léon, Drive, The Neon Demon, American History X and Interstellar with the beautiful Matthew McConaughey, which is definitely my favourite actor. So yeah, those have almost nothing in common with horror or Bollywood movies.
I finally decided to choose a Bollywood movie, Jab we met, because the problem with horror movies is that they really scares me so I wouldn’t have looked even half of it.
I want to get out the most of this experience, so I decided not just watching the movie in a classic way, but to add a bit of a challenge to it as well. I will watch it in original version (Hindi) without subtitle. I want to see if aesthetic and visual code as well as body language will be enough to understand a story.
I am ready, let’s see what’s gonna happen. See you in 2:24 hours 🙂
I just finished it. First of all, I will not lie: after 15 minutes listening Hindi and understanding nothing, I decided to turn on the subtitles. I did that because I really wanted to analyse the movie and realised that the script is a very important part to understand what kind of movie it is through the vocabulary they use.
The story takes place in India, in a time I couldn’t define. Everything is about love. And sings. The movie start showing a 40 years old successful guy, Aditya, who is unhappy and look like he wants to commit suicide. Everything is overplay: if you don’t understand that he is depressed, you are stupid. The guy decide to take a train, with no destination in mind. And guess what? He meets a crazy and beautiful girl in the train, Geet, which is full of life and seems really happy. Boum. This is where everything begins.
What follows is a sequence of events with no credibility (but let’s say that it’s ok because it’s a movie). The guy literally falls in love with the girl but she loves another man. After being ejected of the train, (I still don’t know why) they start a journey through India to bring Geet in her family house. Aditya is supposed to be a rich entrepreneur but instead of taking a plane, a car, or just waiting for the next train, they walk for days and sleep in
shabby hotels. A lot of adventures happened, a lot a songs are sung and they finally arrived in Geet house. During her absence, her family arranged her a marriage, of course with a man she didn’t like. So just arrived, they have to run again, because Geet wants to meet the guy she really loves, who lives in the mountains. Our 40 years old depressed entrepreneur accepted the situation and goes with her to her boyfriends house. Then go back to his business life. His depression is gone and after a magnificent speech front of all his associates, he is ready to go back to work. But of course, he can’t live without Geet. And she realised that he is the man she really loves. And everything ends with love, songs, dances and the long-awaited kiss. Beautiful.
In a personal view, I haven’t really appreciated this movie: too long, doubtful special effect due to a small budget, too many songs, a superficial story with no depth and a script clearly not written by Shakespeare. But I still have loved, learned and noticed some things.
First, I was surprised by the aesthetic of certain scenes thanks to interesting lights, framing and composition. It was inspiring and I thought that this kind of environment could be nice for some video clips. Then, I learned that Hindi language is full of English words, fact I didn’t know before. I also realised that Indian people drive on the left and have the same red buses we see in London: it makes me remember that India is an old English colony and I did some research about that.
I also was surprised in a negative way by the place of women’s in this movie, and so in India. A scene was showing Geet alone in a station by night, and she was harassed by a lot of men who clearly was talking about raping her. When she finally found a security guy, he says to her that “women’s who travel alone are like an open jewel box”. Nice metaphor. It reminds me a discussion I had few month ago with Camille, a girl I met in Montreal who had studied Cinema in India. She talks me about insecurity for Indian women. New Delhi is one of the most dangerous cities for girls, with almost 3000 rape deposition every year.
Sadly, we can see in Jab we met that rape culture is normalised and that it’s Geet fault if she is in danger, because she travels alone. As we know, education goes through culture and trivialising something as serious as a rape in a public movie is a bad way to raise awareness the young generation. The road is still long to women’s rights and safety all around the world.
Camille did a short film about that called Arche that you can watch here: https:// vimeo.com/255193662 .
Finally, I noticed that Indian people speak really, really fast. Tarun, I understand you better now.
Happy New Year! Gem 🎊