Sunday, 9 March 2014


Update: I disown this post but I'll leave it here to remind myself how not to write.

Finally got around to seeing Nebraska. Had to drive 50-odd miles to find a theater that was showing it still. But it was worth it. In more ways than one. The film itself was good, watching it on a big screen was better, but watching it at this particular cinema hall was the best. Let me try to describe the experience.

Late Afternoon. I pull into the parking lot of this derelict looking mall at Google Maps' behest with exactly 5 minutes to spare before showtime. I rush out of the car and walk in to find myself in a mall that time forgot. It looks like it belongs in a different era. And it is quite quite deserted. Not a soul in sight. But looking perfectly immaculate. I do a double take and look out then back in, feeling every bit like a new companion stepping into the TARDIS for the first time. I shake it off, recollect my purpose and look in vain for some sign of the theater.

Just as I'm about to give up any hopes of watching this movie today, I spot a map of the place. And there is the theater I'm looking for - on the second floor, way at the back on the other end of the mall. I dash up the stairs, hurry to the opposite end all out of breath and find a movie theater that is itself straight outta the movies of yore.

Old school confections, a screen more raised than is usual with curtains, good old plush red seats, long lamps that looked more like lanterns, the works. If Hawthorne (the fictional Nebraska town in the film) had a movie theater, I'm sure it would've looked exactly like this one. Hawthorne when it was in colour, that is, before it became black and white. That's why it was special watching this movie here. Special, but also eerie.

Special, but also eerie, is also how I would describe the film itself. I won't attempt to paint a more detailed picture than that. Others have done that far far better than I ever could. I will, however, say that while Her made me feel as I was watching it, Nebraska made me think after I was done watching it. And one of the thoughts that came to me was in the form of this beautifully defiant poem of Bharathi's.

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