Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Experiments with Sathyam

The tryst with Sathyam, I mean, Sathyam Cinemas, started way back in the 90s. In those days, we used to watch a volley of Tamil films. Hindi was a strict no-no 'cos none of us in the family knew the language except for 'mein' and 'tu'. English movies were filtered so as to ensure that I watched 'safe' ones such as Jurassic Park, Lost World, E.T. and so on in that genre.

It was a long time before I was allowed to go along with friends to watch movies, and then, started the experiments! The trip to Sathyam Cinemas for me and my friend (let's call her M) became a holiday ritual. Initially a triplex, Sathyam, in the 2000s, expanded into a multiplex of six theaters, not being able to withstand our demand for variety. The experimentation had to necessarily be restricted to Sathyam 'cos our respective families would not have taken too kindly to the idea of our going to any other theater in the city. But, we too had 'strict' filters for the kind of movies we frequented, mind you! It had to be in one of the three languages that we had at least heard viz. Tamil, Hindi and English. Already, Hindi would be a major fight, but viewing something in Telugu would have been disastrous in those years, 'cos we did not have any idea of even what 'cheppandi' meant. But, M and I mostly ended up seeing English films (usually animated), occasionally Hindi films and avoided Tamil as long as we had the former two options. Not that we thought it was not cool to see Tamil movies, but more so that we could see those with our parents and the rest by ourselves and hence maximize the fun factor!

Once, to break the monotony of animations, we tried to experiment a bit more. A movie by the name of
"House of Wax" had released that very day or a couple of days back and hence, we did not have any idea what the movie was all about. We had most conveniently missed to see the promos as well. Hence, from the name of the movie, we hazarded a guess that it would be a fun movie, as the name somehow reminded us of doll houses and kids. Little did we know that it was a horror flick loosely based on a 1953 movie of the same name. And, once we started getting 'involved' in the movie, we realized that it was no usual horror; it was too yuck to even be a thriller of any kind. When we got out of the theater and went back to M's place, their parents exclaimed how weather beaten our faces looked and chided us for having gone in for a movie without even bothering to find out what genre it came under!

Next time, to be on the safer side, we tried a well known Hindi movie,
"Lakshya". At least the stars looked familiar and I am a die-hard Hrithik fan after all. But, we conveniently seemed to have forgotten that we had advanced not much in the knowledge of our National language. The movie turned out to be another disaster, with each of us trying to guess what the previous scene could have been all about and ending up with translations vastly divergent from one another. The movie having quite a number of lengthy dialogues did not help the cause too much.

But, our never-say-die attitude continued, ranging from Shrek-2 to a couple of more Hindi movies to some Tamil flicks as well, till the end when we had to part in order to continue pursuing our respective masters'.

But, my tryst with Sathyam still did not end. A term holiday would never be complete without a movie in Sathyam, good or bad, Tamil or Hindi or English, with mom or with friends. The experiments might have failed many a time; but my experiences with Sathyam have always been a relish.

Today, I saw
"Sarkaar Raj", a Hindi movie. Here again, the experiment proved to be grossly wrong, but the Sathyam experience has, as always, been delightful to say the least.


Balaji Vasan said...

I have not read the "My experiments with Truth (the traditional Sathyam!)" a it was too long for my patience with books. But this is good and concise (had it been too big, I would not have had the enthu to finish reading it!)

Well, now to some actual comments, that brings up nostalgic chennai feel! To be frank, I have always held the opinion that Sathyam is a "high-class" audience, the ticket cost is never deceiving to this idea of mine. Being a big time fan of mass movies, I have always loved Udhayam and Devi to Sathyam! but still Sathyam stands apart! and a nicely penned article!

P.S, romba vetti-a irukkiyo? juz kidding, continue blogging, I get some breaks by reading yours!

kavity said...

@bv: have no idea bout how a mass movie is treated in a theater.. have cleverly avoided theaters during screenings of such movies:)
but, otherwise, yes, Sathyam in a sense is too class a theater were all types of audiences stop at a limit with clapping and whistling.. odd in some way but suits some film goers like me!