Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

Many many years back (almost 8 or 9) I had seen a French movie called 'The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie'. I saw it for three reasons - it was made by Luis Bunuel, it was French and it was the in thing to do for a film buff.

I saw the film out of sheer reverence for the director. It made no sense to me. I had all my mind to switch it off many times but continued watching it just to see what the end would be. As all world classics, this one too had an end which only the super elite can decipher. For a lay person like me, it was a waste of 100 odd minutes.

However, it did leave me feeling a little.....what should I say...a little unfulfilled. It is like you search you whole C Drive for a document and don't find it till the end. I didn't know why I felt that emptiness.

Many years passed by. Google happened and so did Wikipedia. I searched for it again. I found out why I was restless after seeing the film. It was as if the document was sitting pretty on the desktop while I searched the whole drive.

The film is about 6 people who, through bizarrely linked scenes, sit down for a meal but are interrupted every time and have to get up without having a morsel. Dreams within dreams confuse you by ending with an aborted meal in every sequence. These are so subtly strung together that one is left feeling extremely hungry by the end of the film just by seeing the plight of the characters.

I was happy I finally understood the film and why Bunuel is considered so great.

What I couldn't understand was why would he want to make such a movie and how this was relevant to anybody to be able to sit through it.

At almost 11pm today, a lightning struck me to explain this very feeling that he had tried to depict. The feeling of 'waiting the whole day to grab something which is right in front of you. You want to wait till the right moment. But when the time comes, it gently slips away as you reach out for it'.

Deprivation of the privileged.
Starving of the bountiful.

Every-time a much envied city settles down to its peaceful co-existence, someone comes and rocks it.

I understand you today, Bunuel.
Mumbai had to get up once again from the dinner table this evening.

6 comments:

  1. Sounds to be an interesting movie.

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  2. I didn't think like that when I was watching it but in hindsight I think it was a masterpiece. Any movie that can handhold you into feeling what it wants you to feel is!

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  3. 'The feeling of 'waiting the whole day to grab something which is right in front of you. You want to wait till the right moment. But when the time comes, it gently slips away as you reach out for it'.

    Sad na ? And it happens so many times...in life. And still I don't learn my lessons...hmmm

    When can I see the movie ?

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  4. If we learnt in one mistake, it won't happen again. You can see the movie by ordering the DVD from a library or rajan. The movie in itself isn't so great but for what it leaves you with as a residual feeling. That feeling is bang on!!!

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  5. deadly read!! movie's on my mind!!

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  6. yes it is such kind of a film

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