June 13, 2005

the butler did it!

on rainy afternoons, i am seized by the urge to sit in bed with a soft blanket, a bowl of chips (preferably budhani's cheese flavoured) and read a murder mystery.

i enjoy detective fiction, without pretending that its anything other than comfort-reading. one cannot always mortify the flesh with kafka, can one?
agatha christie frinstance, has so many prejudices, cliches and stereotypes thrown in, that i absorb without a murmur of protest.
but when i see that kind of schtuff ("ineffable twaddle!", as watson once remarked) on stage, i feel angry and cheated.

i just saw a play that i thought was terrible- i'd rather be poked in the eye while listening to britney spears terrible. the acting was poor. and the enunciation vos werry baad. and the chappie's attempt to seem mysterious and evil was for some reason expressed as an irritating snivel. if i was closer to the stage, i'd have thrown a hanky at him- blow your nose man, and continue! and (one last whine) they adapted the upper westside type lines and set the play in jayanagar. but forgot to tell the chap that noone wears suspenders in bangalore! again, if i was closer, i might just have snapped em.

but meelard, as they said in those 70s courtroom dramas, i've watched well acted and produced thriller type plays too (including the mousetrap), and not really enjoyed them.

does one need a movie or a book to suspend disbelief long enough to develop what is essentially an anachronistic, highly stylised genre?

ooh, beeg beeg words.
but i stand by my thesis.


Gaurav said...


Aarti said...

well how about the music video genre... MJ for instance, nice lil twist in the plot, the creaking door, evil laugh, no snivelling and lots of svivelling...

Orcaella brevirostris said...

just realised that my argument doesnt have a leg to stand on. the play was about as long as a movie (though it felt like so much longer). so it's not duration. it's just my own low threshold for theatrical pain.

Ludwig said...

How about TV whodunits? How do you react? What's the threshold? Those inscrutable DD dramas from the 80s. "Shoestring", "Old Fox", "Karamchand", "Barrister Vinod" and so on.

"Byomkesh Bakshi", I thought, was pretty good. If you saw a guy in Jaynagar in suspenders on TV, would that be different from seeing him on stage? Would it? Eh? Would it?

Orcaella brevirostris said...

tv whodunnits.. karamchand was more of a "riproaring laugh riot" than a crime thriller for me. and old fox to me was an obscure devoid of foxes german black and white show. oh wait, our tv was black and white.

the only ones i really watched were holmes and poirot. loved the first,with its whole foggy baker street look and of course jeremy brett as holmes was where the heart lies.
poirot though-i thought david suchet coulda done with more magnificent moustaches. and hastings was even wishy washier than strictly necessary.

so tv gets a mixed bag rating.

i would snap the unwary suspenderwearer in jayanagar. or i'd wanna, but walk past looking inscrutable.

arty, my lil grey cells tell me you only mentioned music videos so you could bring up mj, because i never returned your "thriller" tape.

Orcaella brevirostris said...

one excellent tective show was "ek shunya shunya". shivaji satam. i still remember the first episode when they find a skull while playing football.
good stuff.
and there was another marathi tv show that started out v well but dragged after a while (dont they all?) with vikram gokhale who was trying to make his wife think she was crazy, a la gaslight.

does a la really mean what i make it mean?

art said...

a la is a note to follow so.

I knew there was a reason I was still thinking about mj, aside from recent happenings. though 80s music videos are nostalgic no?