When your main pastime is watching films — and if you’re the kind that sheds more tears in the confines of a theatre than outside — the lines between cinema and real life invariably begin to blur. As Jake Sully says in Avatar , “Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here is the dream.” Like for Ved in Tamasha , reality becomes a bit too monotonous, a bit too predictable, when pitted against the thrill and excitement of a well-written story. And who are we, if not the protagonists of the story that is our life? So, when the humdrum of everyday life becomes too tiresome, sometimes, you try to spice it up with cinematic associations.
When the traffic policeman asks you for a bribe, you briefly consider humiliating him like Kamal Haasan did in Indian . When you see an ambulance stuck in a traffic jam, you imagine yourself rescuing the patient by carrying him and running atop the stationary vehicles. You, of course, picture yourself being the toast of the entire city later that evening, like Arjun in Mudhalvan . When a female member of your family makes a casual reference to being teased earlier in the day, you throw a quick glance at your brother and wonder if it’s time to say, “ Ulle po !” When a friend calls at your doorstep at midnight to wish you a happy birthday, you hear the opening beats of Thalapathy ’s ‘Kattu Kuyilu’. When a girlfriend suggests a drive on ECR, your mind-voice instinctively sings, ‘Siragugal neeludhe’.
It isn’t difficult to recognise the type of people who are prone to this, shall we say, tendency to add filmy flavour to spice up their lives. They’re the ones who complain, in all seriousness, about life not having background music. They’re the ones who can be found looking longingly at the scene in Inception that shows old men idling away their lives in machine-created dreams. They’re the ones who look enchanted during that scene in American Beauty that shows a plastic cover dancing in the wind. They’re the ones who, after seeing that scene in Up that shows Ellie and Carl discussing cloud shapes, can’t wait to go to their terraces and do the same with their beloved.
And they are all around us. I’m sure you know of that one person who’s reasonably confident that a letter from Hogwarts is imminent; who is certain that owing to some cruel twist of fate, it has been delayed. How about that person who, after coming into contact with a spider, checks their fingers later in the day — perhaps when they’re alone — in the off-chance — you know, just in case — that they may have turned into Spiderman ? I recently had the good fortune of interacting with a person who, while seriously discussing the floor plan of a project he was considering purchasing, suddenly looked under the table, while humming Anirudh’s background music that kicks in every time Vijay in Kaththi begins analysing the drainage plans. That’s the kind I’m talking about. The ones who mix the drink of reality with a healthy dose of cinema to make it go easier down their throat. Oh, and did I tell you of my long-term goal to live by an exotic beach? Remember that last scene in The Shawshank Redemption?