Saturday, July 21, 2012

No spoiler alert

As The Dark Knight Rises movie mades it way into the theaters, I stayed away from Twitter and Facebook, and the grim prospect of knowing the spoilers before watching the movie put me on high alert.  Even if I opened Facebook by mistake or by habit (both are the same now), the news feed was getting filled with how epic the movie was, and how it bettered the prequel in all aspect.

Talking about spoilers, I am really scared of spoiler alerts, for it just alters the movie watching experience.  And, if it's a suspense or a mystery movie, you're in for big trouble.  Most of the Hindi movies at the time I grew up had a pretty straightforward formula - the hero and the heroine fall in love, there is a villain lurking in somewhere, the hero bashes up the bad guys and finally walks away with the girl.  There was nothing unpredictable with the movies.  Everything was laid out perfectly, and as a viewer, you knew exactly the sequence, albeit in different settings.  There was no scope for any suspense whatsoever.

Things changed a bit in the late nineties and the early 2000s.  When I had finished my tenth grade, there was this Hindi movie, titled Gupt, doing the rounds.  It was a murder mystery, and since it was different from the usual Hindi movie, a lot of people were flocking to the theaters and were trying their level best to not hear the killer's name.  You go to the men's room, you literally had to close your eyes and relieve lest you notice the names scribbled on the walls, school and college compound walls had the names, bills and posters were not spared as well, and of course, you abhorred socializing until you watched the movie.  And those days, social media was not as prevalent as what it is today.  In spite of that, there were so many barriers to cross to go watch the movie without knowing the ending.  Anyway, this Hindi movie had one of my favorite actors, Kajol, the versatile beauty from Bollywood.  

Whenever I see people pleading with their friends not to reveal the spoilers, I get reminded of an incident that happened to one of my friends when he went to watch this movie.  He told me he was going for the evening show one of the days.  He was pretty excited about it.  He had also taken elaborate pains to not participate in any conversation that was centered on the movie.  I told him to enjoy the movie whole heartedly.

The next day, when I met him, I asked him "Dude, how did it go? Did you enjoy the movie?"

"Oh, it was awesome.  I really enjoyed the movie.  Kajol is awesome."

But, noticing his glum look, I couldn't resist interrogating him further.

"Why are you looking as though you didn't get the tickets for the movie? What happened?"

"My friend and I were late to catch up at the bus stop.  So, we decided to take the auto rickshaw to go to the theater."

"So, you are upset that your net cost of the movie watching experience was more than expected?" I interrupted.

"Wait, you idiot.  Just listen", and he continued.  "We reached the theater with at least ten minutes in advance.  The auto rickshaw guy was a very pesky guy.  He wanted twenty bucks more for the ride.  And, we refused."

I already had an inkling of things to come, and was ready to burst into laughter.

"As we paid the actual amount and got out of the auto rickshaw, he shouted at us."

If that wasn't enough, he also screamed "You guys go and have a good time in the theater.  Kajol is the killer."

"That kind of ruined our whole experience."

When I heard this, I was in splits.  I didn't care that I knew the killer, but the auto rickshaw driver had certainly exacted his revenge.