I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Banning Da Vinci Code

As you would have figured out from the title, I am commenting upon Da latest controversy. Needless, for all of us do know that Mick Foley is God.

A few days back, I had covered Water, which I thought would not get released in India. I had also looked at the posters of that nun movie, found them distasteful and wondered whether the movie would attract attention. It did. However, I frankly didn't expect that a movie on the book which has been available in every street corner for the last few months would generate heat. Are Goa elections close by?

By the way, a lot of what I wanted to say has been said by many. That's the peril of coming to the party late. So, I won't go ahead and tell you why it's silly to watch every movie along with the clergy or the military before passing it. Instead, I will take you into Mahadev Auditorium for a ball-by-ball coverage of what happened.

Peeve Ranjan Das, Valson Pompeii of the National Minorities Commission, Assistant Archbishop of Delhi Bishop Mickey D'Soja and his father Donald D'Soja are met by Ramleela Tagore at the gate. The movie had already started and hence, Tagore was visibly shaken. She didn't want the five people in India who would get the chance to watch the movie to miss even a minute.

They rushed in. The hall was pitch-dark and the movie had started. There was this chase scene where the two people who looked like the protagonists were running away from something while trying to save some old man or something. It was all confusing.

Pompeii spoke up, "The LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.... Clearly, over here, many people are driving out the two inspite of chariots of iron... This is immensely hurtful as it misrepresents the Bible..."
Pompeii was stopped in his tracks by Tagore. For the two had turned the tide and were quite succesful in achieving whatever their objective was. Plus, she couldn't bear the thought of listening to Gospel every two minutes. If watching the movie with these three strangers wasn't bad enough in the first place.

Suddenly, somehow the threat of police loomed. Then there were some super chases, some people died. Most lived. Protagonists seemed to be getting tired. However, they were constantly solving some puzzle or the other. It was engrossing for Das, who was drawing parallels with his Daily Sudoku challenge. Actually, this might be a movie worth watching for other Sudoku lovers, he thought.

Somewhere, the two also broke into a safe or something. However, the key was always there for the asking. That taught all the watchers the meaning of life. Except for

For according to Pompeii, one of the protagonists seemed to covet more than he should. There was this occasional glance of this mysterious melancholy smile. Which hid more than it showed. This smile was coveted the most.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. This is too much. How much can a man covet? Why do we want to find the secret of the virgin widow? Let it be. One more hurtful slap at my brethren"

When they recovered from such meanings of life and smiles (and mostly from Pompeii's speech), the scene had moved to this rather idyllic country house. After various fights, escapes and narrow misses, this seemed like peace.
... the earth abideth for ever." said Pompeii and didn't make sense to anyone.
... the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." countered D'Soja senior. He also didn't make sense but was ironically right. The idyll was just a small break in action. For, out of nowhere, a tall guy made some moves and all hell broke loose again.

Then, suddenly a tall guy died. He had been helping the other for a while now. But somehow the other managed to make sure that no shadow of doubt was looming over him. Nuts!
...he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more... May the Lord.." prayed senior D'Soja.
...the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth...." countered junior D'Soja.
Tagore and Das continued to watch enraptured.

Das again asked for silence. He was quite enjoying the spectacle and didn't want
Pompeii or the D'Soja to spoil the fun. Anyway, tomorrow the film will be banned.

Action has shifted to the climatic scene where this old handicapped man and this other young chap, desperately in need of a shave, were trying to fight.
Pompeii was undeterred in his commentary.
..thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe... and clearly, the man is fighting here against this handicap inspite of obvious advantages.. That is the Lord's word. This isn't blasphemy. However, we shall still ban the movie."
Elder D'Soja countered, "..ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.. Nay, this is blasphemy. And yes, we shall still ban the movie."
Das was getting fed up. "Why don't you keep quiet? Looks like police is here."

The final scene had the opposite sex meeting properly instead of rushing through all the drama.

Both looked tired, melancholy but ultimately satisfied in having found each other. This looked just like a Hindi film. Suddenly, they hugged. On screen. Pompeii went again, "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham... so, it's okay that this hunk (hank?) got tempted.." While saying this Pompeii made a note to watch that Shiney Ahuja movie he had been postponing for long.
D'Soja woke up the senior, for whom it was nap-time. D'Soja senior started, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. Blasphemy. Blasphemy. Please read your scriptures rightly" and disappeared into a puff of Biblical contradiction.

Then there were four of them. They were taken aback and quickly decided to ban the movie in the old man's memory.

'The End' came on screen. Followed by the credits. "Directed by Ramesh Sippy, Writing credits, Salim-Javed...." The four who were five earlier had just banned Sholay.


By the way, please join hands with me to start a Mick Foley committee. I am trying to drum up enough support to help clarify Congress’ position regarding minority issues in a “sensitive and timely” manner.

Update: What they want is "sustained and lingering disclaimer saying that this movie is fiction". Question I have is how will they define lingering? Does the Bible have anything to say about this?
By the way, there's another show today at Mahadev Road auditorium. So, I guess Peeve Ranjan wants others to solve the puzzles too.


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