Thursday, 4 October 2012

How Woody Allen is always spot-on, and why that is ruining my love life.

It starts in the idyllic countryside. It always starts in the idyllic countryside- minor detail of Rome, Paris or Barcelona, notwithstanding.
The city is central to the story, always a fourth character.

In fact, if I buy into the socio- industrial complex which is supposed to rule the world, then Woody’s next biopic is set in Greece. No one needs an economic overhaul more than those guys.

But, I digress.

Woody Allen has ruined my love life.

Do I disagree with the version of love he shows? No.

The problem is, I agree and relate to it, altogether too much.
(I’ll draw inferences from his last three movies to illustrate my point and general grumpiness)

 Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona- There is a little bit of Vicky and a lot of Cristina in the girls I know. The thing is, putting this beautiful conflict of  Calculated Compromise vs.  Hopeless Search for Perfection or being Sensible vs Being You on celluloid, is not making our decisions any easier.

Sure, so many of us will speak like characters from the movie for some time to come. Sure, its heart wrenchingly beautiful to agree with, “ Maria Elena used to say that only unfulfilled love can be romantic. " However, the problem and the debates remain unresolved

There’s Karan Johar, who simplified love for us- stop being a tomboy and maybe you get a second chance., Woody could have done that. But, no siree. He went and romanticised a painful struggle. My painful struggle, and if you’ve read so far, then clearly yours too.

I call it Allen’s romanticised version, because unlike my hero Cristina, none of us continue searching indefinitely.  We throw in the towel and do our best, much like our hard working predecessors did. After all, who knows if Cristina grows up to be a frustrated cat-lady who reads on a rocking chair?

Midnight, In Paris- An epic romance, where once again Allen highlights dissatisfaction beautifully. In delicately beaded flapper dresses, the women highlight what Owen Wilson learns only too late- you’re never going to be satisfied.
 Guess what, Woods? I knew that.
We all know that.
I don’t need to see postcard perfect cinematography to tell me that. I don’t want to be told that there is nothing ahead but permanent dissatisfaction and rueful chin rubbing of what could have been, what should have been.

To Rome, With Love- I entered the cinema hall, begging and hoping for it to be an eternal love affair between a woman and good ol’ Mozarella . It turned out to be, a tumbling, fumbling montage of lies, decadent coincidences, serendipitous misfortunes and delightful cynicism. To Rome with Love, will teach you, that life is real, and frumpy around the edges and mostly you should be careful what you wish for.

Every time I enter the theatre,  I’m hoping that this time, Mr Allen will have solved my problem. That an hour post the interval, a character WILL stand up and say, “ You see, Kakul, this is why you have to do what you’re planning to do.” It does not help, that the only thing that happens is a beautiful depiction of every conflict, all of us have ever faced.

To make matters worse, in reality these conflicts are messy and always prone to bad judgement calls. There is no ironical lament, well-padded with excellent puns, soft lighting or Norah Jones-esque soundtrack.

So, this is my ultimatum, Dear Mr Allen Sir.

Either solve my problems and give answers
Give me a job writing for you. At least then I’m the one messing with other people’s heads !


  1. Hahahah super cute! Aww my dear Kakul, this eternal dissatisfaction makes life so much more exciting! Yes its hard to keep searching, but if we are satisfied, we'll get complacent. Where's the fun in something as mundane as a steady life?

  2. I completely agree- but I want a light at the end of the tunnel, an indication of an end to the dissatisfaction, some time.