After watching, first Aashiqui 2 again and then a few days later, Raanjhana, I found myself contemplating. Contemplating what? I'm not exactly certain yet. I mean, yes it was me who was contemplating so of course, if anyone would know, it ought to be me. But these are thoughts as varied and abstract as...well, as thoughts usually are. Or, as mine are, at the very least.
But I want to explore these thoughts, to put some meaning to them, to clarify what it is that I have been thinking...hence here I am.
First of all, with Aashiqui 2, we all know what an unexpected explosion this release has caused. Songs gone viral, and the movie... Well, there's that. The movie is certainly one that belongs in a special favourite corner of mine. I agree, there was nothing truly new about the plot, aside from a new chemistry and casting. But there is something absolutely new about how it has been perceived.
Love stories are overdosing the world, running rampant. It seems, everywhere I look every other person is writing love stories, love poems. It's enough to make me - me! a confirmed hopeless romantic! - gag. I'm so tired and sick of the way every other person seems to think they are the experts at love, or well at the very least, at writing love stories that are supposed to make people swoon and melt and go mushy all over.
I admit, I like things understated. I hate when something goes super-popular, especially if that something is that which I myself like. I don't know, it isn't just a possessiveness,...it just takes away from the novelty of the entity. When it's all over the place, you just kind of get over it, too quickly and too easily.
That may explain why for the large part, I was yawning to myself while watching Raanjhana. The first three-quarters is just slow. It is your usual love story, and yes I understand all that is crucial to laying the groundwork of why what happens eventually happens. I appreciate that. But again, it was your usual boy-girl romance.
Now, if you've seen these movies, you'll know what they have in common. And interestingly, this commonality is a persistent factor in many of what I consider, my favourite movies. Yes, people die.
Am I really so morbid that I enjoy people dying? I wouldn't say so, but yes, death seems to be a harbinger of deeper emotions and the concrete essence of loss. I couldn't say why but if I list these movies for you, you can see the pattern...Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Devdas, Kal Ho Na Ho, Tere Naam, Ankahee, Gangster, Rockstar, Aashiqui 2 and Raanjhana.
The irrefutable. Death. That's something that can never be changed (unless, of course this being "Bollywood", seat of RGV, they come back to life... ). They are gone. Now what?
I always asked myself: what would change had this character not died? What would Anjali have done had Rahul not found her after his wife Tina died? What would Paro have done had she ran to the gates to find, not a dead Devdas, but one just unconscious? Would Nadaan Parinde have been so powerful in Rockstar without death?
Death seems to climb deep inside us and spread its poison of melancholy and grief. That's pretty much why these movies are made by their deaths.
The first time I watched Aashiqui 2, I was already hating on the 'so-called' hero...and the movie wasn't ruined for me yet, so when he did what he did, and died....I vented fury. I was so furious at him. I abused his weakness and cowardness.
Then I recently watched it again. And for some reason, I didn't feel that anger at him. I observed the story in a different way, focused on him. I tried to understand where he's coming from, why he's doing what he is...and although I still can't understand completely, I don't know... maybe I understand somewhat.
At first, I couldn't understand how a man who would profess to love so much wouldn't be able to love enough to conquer his own weaknesses for the sake of his love. That's what we're always fed in the bottom line of love stories, isn't it. That love conquers all. And yet....it didn't happen. Maybe that's why I hated it, hated him for that.
And then, you've got Raanjhana. Which in such a different way, he gives his life for his love. And yet,.... well maybe I could keep going on at the futility of so much loss -- but then again, this is why the story was made.
And yes, I know. They are only movies. They are only stories. But who is to say which story isn't a true one somewhere out there? Who knows how little or how much might be happening in some parallel for someone else? Certainly I may be pushing the boundary of logic, but I always find that it's the emotions which transcend.... they don't have to belong to one person the way a set of DNA does. Grief, gratitude, pleasure, need, loneliness, love...they go on without a label and without a body attached...