Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Voyage of the Ship of Theseus

If I remember correctly, it was almost a year back, in September 2012, my friend and I were working on the Take '12 TV Episodes for the Film Society of my college, when he showed me the trailer of an upcoming film. He showed it to me for the amazing editing concept applied in it and for the unusual production house name- Recyclewala. The trailer had some very quick cut shots. I could hardly grasp the meaning of the entire thing. What kind of a film is this and who is going to watch it? I thought. It was the trailer of 'Ship of Theseus'.


A long time has passed since then. A couple of months ago the release date for the film was revealed- 19th of July. 'Ye film to dekhni hai...' that was the buzz amongst my film-loving friends at MBICEM...I recalled my earliest encounter regarding the film. And I was certain that I was going to watch this film, however not-cheap and not-spread it might be. So as soon as I reached Delhi, a week after the film's release, I was checking the showtimes and prices. Considering it was a limited theatre release, there weren't many options where I could watch it.


After a little early end of classes this Monday, I made my way to DT Cinemas at DLF Promenade to book tickets and watch the 6 PM show of the film, now in its 5th and probably last week in theatres. As I left MCRC, I told one of my batchmates about this and he asked me, "Is this some new release?" I wasn't  surprised. Not many people have heard about this film. And even the ones who know, have not seen the film yet.




As I entered the auditorium and got seated, I wasn't surprised to see almost half of it was empty. This is not a film for everyone, I thought and smiled. I was glad I was spending money on this rather than a film like Chennai Express. The censor board certificate of 'Hinglish' as the language of the film surprised me. I had thought it was just the reviewers who had chosen to write it that way.

Let me be frank and clear here, about my thoughts and expectations from the film from all that I had heard and read about it in the past few weeks. I expected this was going to be something unlike I have ever seen, something that would force my brain to think, something that won't let me sleep for a few days. And yes, I had decided it early on, I shall be writing a blog entry about this film for sure. I knew the story, I knew what Ship of Theseus meant, I had already read too much on the concept. When my sister mentioned if this concept was the same as that in the Trojan wars, I was surprised, I had no clue about the war. She as a literature student would know better. I concentrated on the film.

As the film began, I had another thought- at the end of the film I am going to request everyone present in the audi to have a discussion regarding the film once we step out. (It didn't happen, read on to find why)




The film is indeed different. The hand-held camera movements specially in the first half bring out a sense of reality, actuality, rawness, a feeling very similar to the Paranormal Activity series.  The dialogue-intense script is such that you don't want to miss even a single word, fearing you would be loosing out on something important. The capturing of the amazing scenes in the long shots with the heavy this-is-a-moment-to-think background music make you wonder what is that connotative meaning that the filmmaker is trying to convey but probably you are missing out on?

The three stories in the film are all left with an open ending initially when they are shown, forcing you to think 'what happened next?' Had it not been for the last scene that gets all the three major characters together, I would have been cursing my decision of watching the film. Because it is that last scene which truly answers questions while opening the stage for debate and discussion, opening up a huge array of thoughts. (I tried to find the meaning of the cave reference and yes, I found something deep- Allegory of the Cave by Plato)

As the film ended and the credits started to roll, I was thoughtless, I mean truly, completely thoughtless. There was nothing going on in my mind. No heavy thinking. No serious dilemmas. Not a 'wow' factor. But I was certain and happy about a few things...

No filmmaker had ever dared to make a film like this one. At least not one I have heard of. This is a film that has shown grave realities of life, without any stark revelations or 'OMG!' moments. But yeah, even without these, it has managed to raise questions, to force us to see what we have ignored in our conscious thoughts.

As the auditorium emptied, I sat there and waited for all the credits to roll. There were at least two names here of people who I personally know. Guneet Monga, the business manager and K. Harish Singh, directorial intern, both alumni from my college. It feels amazing and proud to see such names there.

As I left the now empty hall, I decided to drop the discussion idea. Everyone had already left and I had actually no clue about what I had just seen. I was totally thoughtless. I regretted having missed the opportunity to interact with the director, Anand Gandhi, a few days ago when he was here in Delhi and in this very auditorium. My conscience made the decision of writing about what I felt on my blog, so I could let the red carpet roll for all the discussions to come in.

And so I take this opportunity to invite anyone and everyone who has seen the film, heard about it, read about it or is interested in it in any way, and of course for everyone who thought it would be worthwhile to read this blog entry of mine, to share their thoughts, ideas, experiences pertaining to the film, the concept of the Theseus paradox and of course about the future of films like this one in a country where people watch films which are competing to find a place in the '100 crore club'!

PS: If you are interested in knowing more about the film do check out the official facebook page. Also check their Youtube channel for deleted scenes from the film.

5 comments :

  1. How could you not mention that I almost slept during the first story though i still know what it was!

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    Replies
    1. Hahahaha...because I knew you would mention it yourself! :P :D

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  2. Intrigued. I shall be checking it out on iTunes or Google Play when it gets released for sale.

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    Replies
    1. You must!
      In case you are in Delhi, the film is on for its 6th week starting today.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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