The Hunched Back of Notre Mimi

My post in reply to ageha-chan in [The Face That Launched a Thousand Meows] sparked an interest in re-watching Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan (2010)… at 1 AM… with my headphones on so as to not disturb the neighbors. I like to watch my movies loud. And by loud, I mean LOUD, so the headphones are simply a safety precaution for the edgy, forty-something Caucasian couple next door.

I could have done without so much screaming, chopped limbs’ing, bullet-ridden’ing, and grenade-launching, but they were there and could not be extracted and would probably sound horribly vicious to the untamed ear, so I basically bandaged the noise out of fear of my neighbors, who sometimes look at me with an expression that is saying, “What if she’s a terrorist?” But I’d rather sacrifice my neighbors’ good opinion of me in lieu of a (dare I say it?) decent Indian film.

Anyway, so there I was hunched over in the dark on one end of the sofa, cradling my headphones, when Dev (played by “oh my gawd he actually looks pretty cute for once in his career even with his shirt tucked lamely into his jeans” Prithviraj) burst into the abandoned shack where Ragini (the ethereally gorgeous Aishwarya Rai) had previously been stored in after being kidnapped by Veera (the pleasurably raw and animal-like Vikram) – a scene which segues into the prelude to the song Kalvare Kalvare where Dev reminisces an intimate (but chaste) memory of he and his wife – when my sister creeps up from behind like a lioness pouncing on the jugulars of a baby gazelle. Except this lioness has a look of absolute horror etched onto her face, as if someone had been scratching their nails across a chalkboard, crippling kittens, or walking into her husband doing Gangnam Style across the living room… Oh, wait, the one “etched in horror” at the sight of that wasn’t her, but me, opening my bedroom door to find him and my nephew prancing across the floor, while my sister is clapping like a maniac, and then myself, stupefied, having to quietly retreat back into the safety of my own room. It was the kind of expression that I took to mean, “Is that a porno flick?!”

Stiletto grabs onto Mimi’s shoulder.

Mimi gasps and turns sharply around and stares into the face of death.

Exit Mimi, clutching at her heart, feeling like liquefied rabbit food on the couch, mouth flapping tremulously open and closed but unable to utter a single word.

Fortunately, the song and scenes of children dancing – and not the suspected orgy – came on to ease the tension. At first I was going to rebuke her. I mean, come on, big sis. They were both fully dressed! But on further consideration, her behavior was totally understandable.

Growing up, our parents never even held hands in front of us. When I was thirteen or fourteen, I was completely shocked to walk into the living room to find them embracing. It ended up being a total “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Too graphic, parental units! I’m going to puke!” slash feigns dying of a heart attack on the floor sort of moment. I know, pretty immature for a teenager, right? But when you’re deprived of it in childhood, that sort of open display of affection can be really traumatizing.

Besides, I bet I looked totally suspicious. I mean, if I walked out into the living room at one in the morning to find myself huddled over one corner of the sofa in the dark, zeroed in on the portable DVD player screen like a madwoman, and the screen lit up showing an image of a man embracing a woman in a suggestive posture on a bed, I would probably suspect me too.

But still! It looked pretty tame. Not exactly like a scene lifted out of – say – Kama Sutra 3D.

Call me crazy, but as much as I hate public displays of affection and on-screen kissing, the simple intimacy shared between a husband and wife just melts my cold, stone heart. *sighs wistfully*

Despite what other people think, this silly foreigner gives Raavanan (the Tamil version) a solid 6/10 for straightforward, sometimes-pretentious cinema with absolutely stunning visuals.

Oh, and thank you guys who recommending Indian films for me to watch. I actually found a few of them on Netflix and will be watching them shortly. 🙂

As for the releases, we’d like to announce an exciting new joint chapter with Blue Flor for Anata no Koto wa Sorehodo, by Ikuemi Ryo. Unfortunately, this will be our last chapter working with them on the project before flying solo with it. Grab it here: Chapter 1

And of course, another chapter of Natsuyuki Rendezvous as well: Chapter 16