Jack is a cute 5 year old kid from “Room”, a movie based on the novel “Room”. He has been isolated with his mother in a room since his birth. And one day, suddenly, he gets out in the open, the ‘World’. You can read some of the interesting conversations in the movie here. The movie has beautifully expressed a child’s emotional rollercoaster while viewing the ‘World’, through Jack’s monologues. Most of them and directed to his mother. I am compiling them here because I want everyone to read them and be ‘awww’ed…
“Once upon a time, before I came, you cried and cried and watched TV all day, untill you were a zombie; but then I zoomed down from heaven through Skylight into Room. And I was kicking you from the inside. And then I shot onto Rug with my eyes wide open, and you cut the cord and said “Hello Jack..!”
Egg snake is our longest friend and fanciest. Meltedy spoon’s the best to eat with because he’s more blobbier. Labrynth is twistiest. And she hides things so I don’t know where they are. Toilet’s the best at disappearing poo. Lamp’s the brightest, except when the power is out. You (ma) are the best at reading, and songs, and lots, except if you’re having a ‘gone day’. I am the best at drawing, jumping, growing, and nearly everything!
I’ve been in the World for 37 hours. I’ve seen and cakes and stairs and birds and windows and hundreds of cars and clouds and police and doctors and grandma and grandpa… But ma says they don’t live together in the hammock house anymore. Grandma lives there with her friend Leo now and grandpa lives far away.
I have seen persons with different faces and bigness and smells, talking all together. The world is like all TV planets on at the same time (TV planets – TV channels). So I don’t know which way to look and listen. There is doors and more doors. and behind all the doors there is another inside and another outside and things happen, happening. It never stops..
Plus, the world is always changing brightness and hotness.And there is invisible James floating everywhere. When I was small I only knew small things. But now I am five, I know everything.
There is so much of place in the world. There is less time, because the time has to be spread extra thin over all the places, like butter. So all the persons say, “hurry up, let’s get going..”, “pick up the pace finish up now..” Ma was in a hurry to go boing up to heaven. But she forgot me, dumbo ma! So the aliens through her back down. And broke her.
when I was four, I didn’t even know about the world. And now me and ma are going to live in it forever and ever, until we are dead. This is a street in a city in a country called America. And Earth, that’s a blue and green planet, always spinning, so I don’t know why we don’t fall off. When there is outer space. And nobody knows where is heaven.
Ma and I have decided that because we don’t know what we like, we get to try everything. There are so many things out there. And sometimes it’s scary, but that’s ok, because it’s still just you and me..”
‘Room’ is a movie based on a novel ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue. This beautiful movie has a cute 5 year old kid named Jack who had been isolated with his mom in ‘Room’, and one day they break out of that to the ‘World’ – watch the movie (available on Netflix and YouTube) trailer here. This blog is a compilation of the conversations in the movie.
“Where do we go when we are asleep?” Right here in Room. “But dreams.. do we go to, into TV for dreaming?” We are never anywhere but here..
“Jack, do you remember the mouse? Do you know where he is? He is on the other side of this wall..” What other side? “Jack, there’s two sides to everything” But not at octagon.. octagon has 8 sides.. “Yeah, but.. a wall.. a wall like this, we’re on the inside and the mouse is on the outside” You mean, in the outer space? “No.. in the world. It’s much closer than the outer space” I can’t see the outside-side.. “Where do you think old Nick gets our food?” From TV, by magic! “There is no magic. What you see on TV, those are pictures of real things, of real people. It’s real stuff..” So… Dora is real for real? “No, that’s a drawing. Dora is a drawing. But other people, they have faces like us. Those are pictures of real things and all the other stuff that you see on TV that’s real too.. that’s real ocean, real trees, reat cats, dogs..” No way! Where do they all fit! “They just do. They just fit out in the World.”
“There’s a leaf. Do you see that?” Dumb Ma! That’s not a leaf. Leaves are green.. “Yeah, but on trees. But then they fall and they rot, like salad in the fridge.” Where’s all the stuff you said? Trees and dogs, cats and grass.. “We can’t see it from here because skylight looks upwards instead of sideways.” You’re just tricking me.. Liar, liar, pants on fire! “Jack! I couldn’t explain it before because you were too small.. You were too small to understand, so I had to make up a story, but now I’m doing the opposite. I’m doing the opposite of lying, I’m un-lying, because you’re five now. You’re old enough to understand what the World is. You have to understand. We can’t keep living like this.” I want to be four again..
“Do you remember how Alice wasn’t always in Wonderland?” She fell down. Deep in a hole. “I wasn’t always in the Room. I’m like Alice. I was a girl named Joy. And I lived in a house with my mom and dad.” What house? “A house. It’s in the World” A TV house? “No, a real house. Not TV. Are you even Listening to me?” I want a different story. THIS STORY IS BORING..! “NO! This is the story that you get… I’ve been locked here in Room for 7 years, do you understand? Jack, the World is so big, it’s so big, you won’t even belive it… And Room is just, one stinky part of it.” Room is not stinky! Only when you do a fart. I don’t believe in your stinky world.
“No, you’re not sorry! You have no idea what’s going on in my head. You don’t need me, you’ve been doing just fine without me.” How can you say that? Do you think you’re the only one whose life was destroyed? “Actually, that’s exactly how I feel.” Really? How would you feel of somebody took Jack away from you? Look at him! You should be thinking about him.. “Don’t you tell me how to look after my son. I’m sorry that I’m not ‘nice’ anymore. But you know what? Maybe if your voice saying BE NICE hadn’t been in my head, I wouldn’t have helped the guy with the f****** sick dog!”
Nothing.. Just a bunch of dialogues from the movie Puzzle.
“You’re so much more comfortable when you’re solving puzzles, aren’t you? Why?” “You ask a lot of questions..” “Yeah.. that’s how you get to knowsomeone” “But I don’t ask you any questions..” “Go ahead!” “I can’t think of a question right now..” “That’s my point. You’re uncomfortable around me..” “Well.. I don’t know you, but it’s not just that.. I’m not comfortable generally, because I.. Normally my mind is.. I don’t know..” “Because normally your mind moves so fast, you don’t really know where it is going. There is nowhere for you to express your mind. No one to express it to.. It makes you nervous.. So you focus on menial tasks.. Puzzles are menial task for you so you can focus. The results are aesthetically pleasing, and you like it..”
“Do you know what it’s like to spend all day, not doing what you’re good at?” “So what would you rather do? What are you good at?” “I don’t think I’m good at anything.. I want to cook mom..” “What?” “I watched you cook my whole life.. I watch cooking shows when no one’s home. I think I’d be happy doing what you do, not what dad does..” “But I don’t do anything..” “Are you f***ing kidding me? Mom, you do a million things, and you’re good at all of them..!”
“..And I never wanted kids anyway” “Why not?” “Frankly, I don’t like kids” “How can you say that? You were a kid yourself once!” “Right. And I hated it.. Not everyone’s supposed to have kids you know.. And not for only selfish reasons. Sometimes it’s for the kid’s sake. In this town, kids are an ornament, a fashion statement, an accessory, a check box.. Honestly, I never felt the need. Does that make me weird?” –Ziggy’s phone call– “Was that your son?” “Yes. My oldest ‘accessory’.. And no, it doesn’t make you weird. Just different. Different from everybody I’ve ever met..”
“Why are we wasting our time doing puzzles? It’s a childish hobby for bored people..” “You know that’s not true.” “Tell me you are not a bored rich guy.. Tell me I am not a childish housewife” “No that’s not what we are..” “You have much more important things to do. You are a man of ideas, why do you do this stupid puzzles?” “It’s a way to control the chaos–“ “That’s ridiculous” “Come on Mata you are missing the point.. Life is messy, it doesn’t make any God damn sense.. Sorry to break the news to you, life is just random.. Everything is just, random, my success, you here now; there is nothing we can do to control anything. But when you complete a puzzle, when you finish it, you know that you have made all the right choices. No matter how many wrong pieces you tried to fit into wrong places; at the very end, everything makes one perfect picture. What other pursuits can give you that kind of perfection? Faith? Ambition? Wealth…? Love…? No. Not even love can do that, Mata. Not completely..”
There is a huge excitement among Indian audience of Netflix in the first week of this month. After the Netflix India’s two original movies Love per Square foot and Lust stories, the first ever Netflix original Indian web series released on 6th July: Sacred Games, directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane and adapted by Varun Grover, Smita Singh and Vasant Nath from Vikram Chandra’s thriller novel having the same name.
The significance of this series had already started building up from the trailer. Firstly because of the cast-Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Saif Ali Khan, Radhika Apte, along with the toppings of Neeraj Kabi and Marathi big shots Jitendra Joshi, Girish Kulkarni all together in the same place!-and secondly, because it is the first Indian Netflix original thrillerseries, curiosity was at is peak. From the trailer (I haven’t read the novel), the plot looked simple-same old story of a gangster’s rise and fall; a rather monotonous one, dealt quite a lot with in Bollywood. But while/after watching it, one can’t resist to get attached to it and want more of it. Its influence thrives per episode, and in the end of the season we are left with dumbstruck awe. It breaks a lot of stereotypes, which makes it a unique creation.
The season is entirely based in Mumbai. Saif Ali Khan, as the protagonist police inspector Sartaaj Singh who is honest but not very successful in investigations, is presented in an entirely different role which stands out from his usual carrier surface, apart from his notable contributions in movies such as Rangoon and Kalakandi. The so-called antagonist, Ganesh Gaitonde is portayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who has not only done an extraordinary job of acting, but also has owned the series in the way he says-”Kabhi kabhi lagta hai apun hi bhagwan hai”!. He tells us (actually, Sartaaj) his story in the entire season. He gives Sartaaj a big mystery to solve, which has a long list of sub questions-what is their connection? What’s going to happen in the next 25 days? Why and how was he betrayed? Was he scared? Where was he in the last 15-20 years? Why his third Baap is so important? and so on.. The episodes solve some of these and add a few new mysteries thereby making the viewers stick to their screens. It becomes interesting and thrilling because of his death in the very first episode. In each of the episodes we get introduced to different mythological terms–after which the episodes are named-from Mahabharat withrespect to the characters in this story, which is a good change from the bombardment of foreign mythological series.
Four women play an important role in Ganesh’s life choices. First, his mother (Vibhawari Deshpande)-though for a very short duration-has a significant impact leading him to the first ever crime he committed. His infatuation with Kukoo (Kubra Sait) despite her secrets, leads him to the rivalry with Sulaiman Isa and his gang. His wife Subhadra (Rajshri Deshpande) has a small but major part in his life, her death makes him murder 80 random innocent people, which fuels the riots in 1992 and leads him to suffer in jail. Kantabaai was Ganesh’s strong acquaintance and a sort of guide in Mumbai (portrayed by Shalini Vatsa). All these women rise bright and strong, and even dominate over Gaitonde’s being. Whereas Sartaaj Singh is initially isolated and distorted by his divorce. He eventually evolves as a person bold enough to even risk his job by diving deep into Gaitonde’s case. Saif Ali Khan has done his homework well for this character so it doesn’t, at any point, look forced.
One of the appealing features of this season was supposed to be Anjali Mathur (Radhika Apte)-the RAW agent-who is shown continuously fighting the demons of patriarchy in the line of work and the tragic closure of the case of her missing father. Looking at the strong female characters Radhika has portrayed earlier, we might develop some expectations from Anjali, her being a female RAW agent. She is ‘shown’ to have been complaining that female agents, despite their abilities, are forced to do desk work rather than field work. At the same time, she is portrayed to be quite inadequate for her job-not vigilant enough-making her death look dumb. Whether it is the requirement of the character or not is another matter; but RAW certainly trains the agents well, so it’s not convincing enough. Same with Constable-and a friendly colleague of Sartaaj-Katekar’s (Jitendra Joshi) death, it looks slightly out-of-place (not so smart); but along with his family, he makes a significant presence in the season. His journey from the cop who is unenthusiastic about the missing Muslim boy to the cop who tells his wife, ”आज खूप दिवसांनी खऱ्या पोलिसासारखं वागलो (Today, I acted as a true policeman after a long time)” with satisfaction, is overwhelming.
Sartaaj and Ganesh Gaitonde, both are not originally from Mumbai, but still want to cherish it in their own ways. Ganesh’s character might remind us of the Joker from Batman, but later we realise that he is more than just a villain or anti-hero. They have done a nice job in showing the time evolution of Ganesh’s spirit, thought process and ambitions; but apart from that, we don’t get much visual input about what he is and does (i.e., details about his work and contribution to the world around him and his rivalries-which were important because he is a gangster). He talks big things through the narratives but looks idle except for the sex and killing scenes. Also, his contribution in maintaining the spirit of his gang crews is left up to viewers’ imagination. But in a way it helps in highlighting the psychology behind his choices and their consequences-the thing that’s worked out brilliantly through the narratives by Nawazuddin-without idolizing the antagonist. We also get a look at the history (of four decades) from his point of view. It is quite challenging to construct a fictional character taking part in actual history without molding it and constantly switching from flashbacks to present, but the directors and writers are successful in making it look natural.
The interesting fact is, Ganesh Gaitonde is a Brahmin by birth (with a pundit father having low self-esteem who does nothing but begs and a mother with extra marital affair-family background that is never shown for a Brahmin character in Indian fiction) and knows exactly how to meddle with and manipulate people’s religious sentiments, or if not, he doesn’t take additional efforts to sort the mess he made.
Whether the actual villain on a greater scale is Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) or Malcom Murad (Luke Kenny) is an intelligent question. Guruji resembles the string of (Hindu) manipulators who trap people in the vicious mesh of religion. Malcom is a cold blooded and impassive assasin. Their connection with each other and with Gaitonde and his network is yet to be presented in details (their desription in season 1 is vague). So it is going to be a thrilling experience to see how these two characters evolve and use Gaitonde as a pawn leading him to his own-and possibly, the city’s too-destruction (all this will be decided only when the next season arrives!). The series would bloom if they elaborate the ‘sacred’ games between these parties. They released all the 8 episodes at the same time, so the viewers can do nothing but wonder about the next season till it comes; because the end of season 1 has put up a new list of questions!
Neeraj Kabi-DCP Parulkar-has efficiently portrayed a selfish and partial character. Girish Kulkarni, as usual, does a fantastic job even in the small duration of his role, to show the journey from a local bootlicking political aspirant to a gluttonous Home Minister. One more big difference is, the characters are not talking in Hindi forcibly-they talk in their respective languages (Punjabi/Marathi) among their respective peeps. This, along with the frank swearing helps in enriching the series’ authenticity and grip. After the epics like Masaan and Gangs of Wasseypur, watching Sacred Games is exhilarating. Those who berate it for containing inappropriate language and scenes, are possibly not evolved enough as sapiens to understand that these are the least important among all other positive elements of the series.
The overall experience is wonderful and such experiments are needed to be done more often. I’d say, everyone-who is bored to watch Indian serial drama and who is bored with foreign crime drama with hero-antihero crisis (Sherlock-Moriarty, Hannibal-Graham, Batman-Joker etc..)-should watch a good work of fiction like this.
PS: The translation into English, and the subtitles in Hindi are in-depth..! (In Hindi, they are very elaborate in letting us know when there is ‘कबूतरों की गुटरगूँ’, ‘रहस्यमय संगीत’, ‘रोमांचकारी संगीत’ or ‘रहस्यमय संगीत जारी है’; and in English the cursing seems as natural as it was in Hindi..!)