Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hasee To Phasee: the film that arouses the 'mad' in you

Just saw Hasee to Phasee. A very fresh movie directed by Vinil Mathew and produced by the likes of Karan Johar, Vikramaditya Motwani, Anurag Kashyap and others. 

If the name Vinil Mathew doesn't ring a bell, let me let you all that he's the guy behind some of the most amazing ads in the recent times - the Shubharambh series of ads of Cadbury, the Surf excel ads where kids dirty their clothes. (More of his ads can be seen at this site

If you remember the ads, a common theme that emerges out slowly is the madness, the small things that we often overlook, things that appear kiddish, unsophisticated, things that make the difference between being boring versus ridiculous, coming to which I've to quote a line of Marilyn Monroe's - madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. (Sorry Sharmin Ali for plagiarizing this quotation you've used in your book and which I've been quoting almost everywhere since I've read your book)

This movie is not for you, if you don't like madness. Parineeti's character is total mad. She's shown to be a chemical engineer from IIT (perhaps the best ever portrayal of an IITian in Hindi movies) who leaves her home to pursue her dream research for which her father declines to give any money. She gets into drugs, does crazy things in China to fund herself, returns to India to arrange (read steal) 1 million bucks, and she's also romantic, falls in love in a very unusual way, brings some order in the life of a guy who has failed almost everywhere, but who never fails to dream, think big, aspire for more, never loses hope even after his girlfriend of seven years has broken up with him every month, in his own words, like bank EMIs.

This simple movie harps on a very important thing we all overlook. Don't kill the madness in you. And if you are not mad, God save you.

I've always felt that it's madness which fuels creativity, both is arts or business or spirituality or any other sphere. This particular movie may be a over simplified depiction of the madness I'm talking about. I'm not sure what exactly the writer and the director intended to depict or convey, but for me it did resonate with my thought of madness.

Steve Job was a mad, whatever the world may call him or remember by. So was Dhirubhai Ambani, when he thought of having a company of his own like Shell, where he worked in middle east in a lowly job. Having started his entrepreneurial journey with supply crankshafts to local cycle manufacturers in the Punjab, it was just madness when Sunil Mittal thought of creating a company like SingTel and the world knows the rest about Airtel. Though may not be put in the same league, but Swami Vivekananda was no doubt mad when he figured out that not a single person was available to represent Hinduism at the Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 and he himself embarked on a journey alone to the US to address the sisters and brothers of America on behalf of the "most ancient order of monks in the world.... mother of religions.... and  millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects". Mahatma Gandhi would have been mad too when he saw the sufferings of India. Ditto with a young prince of Kapilavastu after seeing people suffering from various problems. He eventually attained enlightenment and became the Buddha. But at the core was a madness, a pagalpan.

Any act of madness evokes suspicion from other people who can't be mad. Madness is not always on the right track. Often madness leads to destruction, but ignoring madness for that would be like throwing the baby along with the bath water. We often fail to attain something big because we can't be mad, because we don't have the guts to be mad. 

I feel it's essential to realize the madness in you, arouse the mad in you.

Go and watch, be mad.

Things to look for: 
  • Parineeta and Siddhart's roles, for sure. Both are just fabulous.
  • Great dialogues.
  • The relation between Parineeti and her father. This was a very subtle aspect of the entire movie and may be ignored totally. "She is so much like me," says her father toward the end of the movie. "I could have stayed back in Surat and runa  small sari shop. But I came to Bombay..." It's very important to see how the movie ends with such a positive note, the father almost accepting all the weird things his daughter did. Perhaps he was the only person in the family who had been mad too.
  • The overall positive way the main protagonists look at everything in the world. It's a very matured behavior which we seldom see in Hindi movies.

No comments: