The Ship of Theseus

By Sunil Kumar

The meandering lanes of Mumbai have been shown relentlessly in the movies. In fact; done to death. Meeting somebody last year who called the “Ship of Theseus” banal and pretentious intellectual pseudo-babble made me semi-interested in watching it.

English: Shri 1008 Mahavir Swami

Visit English: Shri 1008 Mahavir Swami (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So; here’s my verdict! Interesting cinematography; slow plodding story. Not entertaining in the normal sense of the word. India‘s so called “thinking” film-makers(whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean) have called it cerebral, inspired. I know the director is an auteur; the captain of his ship; the visionary who steers the movie boat into the direction he wants it in.

But; long scenes definitely lessen the magic in my opinion. Life’s a mixture of emotions; as we all know; and what people actually like is beyond me. But; here’s a quick primer(101); I thought most of the Indian audience may not connect with the “Ship of Theseus”. The metaphor sounds profound as Theseus is from Greek mythology; the European version of life; gods and minotaurs who are definitely less introspective, contemplative and philosophically complex than India.

In a nod to the filmmaker’s heritage; we have the wandering Jain mendicant. Dear director; as I have gone to Jainism‘s holiest places in Rajasthan and Gujarat myself; coupled with the fact that Mahavira, the last Tirthankara was from as usual; the North; the appeal of the Jain way of life was not lost on me.

Symbol of Jainism, white and golden version.

Visit Symbol of Jainism, white and golden version. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

M.K Gandhi was also influenced by some of his onion-abjuring teachers. Granted; you wanted to make a point about organ donation and life with respect to the “Ship of Theseus” plank debate. But; how easily accessible is that fact to the normal “bicep” driven public; pray? Or was your cerebrum afflicted by the last “undhiyu” or beer and beef. I honestly don’t know what you eat; mate? (If you ever read this; that is?) But I know; the Gujaratis and the Marwaris are repressed experimenters. Keep your shrill “bens” under control.  Learn from the “balle balle”; come out in the open. If you guys are horny every day; trust me; I’m omnipresent; the world’s my oyster; I kind of know things.

Sincerely; the movie was different; trying to make a point. This was not easily decipherable; that’s my contention. But; then that’s creative eclecticism; you may say. With the wonderful cinematography; dirty sordid rotten Mumbai looked better. All the Bengalis; stay put in the national capital; respect that place; the oldest city in the country; more ancient than your repressed circuits which seem to revel in slums and sleaze sometimes. Even Satyajit Ray said; Kolkata is a relatively new upstart; compared to the Hastinapur-Indraprastha capital.

Back to the movie; The mountains of Himachal Pradesh looked more pristine; and Stockholm did not need a makeover. I watched the movie till the end! Achievement! Thanks to me for seeing it! My blog post for the day! Bhaag Milkha Bhaag better any day! Kudos to Rakesh Omprakash Mehra!


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