Sunday, July 02, 2006

'Que' mannars

We were visiting Hoover Dam, It was hot afternoon and we decided to have some soda and Ice Cream at the cafetaria. It was a small place and there were only 2 people behind the counter. There was a long Que of some 15-20 people and person taking order was not particularly quick.We had to wait for some 30 mts. before we were at the counter.she took some time to get what we wanted and more to calculate the charge and change to be paid to us .But during this entire period, people after us in the Que were waiting calmly,talking among themselves,joking. There was no murmur of protest, nothing.

We had gone to Naaz 8 to see 'Chup Chup Ke'. It was weekend and 'Krrish' was just released. There was a long Que, as tickets for Krrish were sold out for all the shows that day, line was of people who wanted to pick up their tickets booked by phone or on net. But there were few who wanted to see other movies running there and their showtime was fast approaching. Only one ticket counter was open but there was no protest and everyone waited for their turn at ticket window. when we entered the moviehall,we had missed the begining.

Imagine situation at Andheri station ticket window. There are 3 ticket windows,the line has some 10-12 people. Ticket clark sitting in poorly lit and poorly vantilated room where temp. is around 38-40 C (110+) has to give ticket for stations between Andheri and Churchgate and Dahanu Rd. on W.R.. Andheri and C.S.T. by main line and Harbour line,Andheri and Karjat,Khapoli,Kasara and Belapur-Panvel.One way or return for all different lines. He has to exactlly know the location of the station,its fare, calculate 'orally' the amount to be collected and change to be paid.He issues the ticket and gives the change. This takes about 15-20 secs. This is what actually happens every day.

But what's the reaction of people in the Que?

" Abe, Haath jaldi chala."
" Saala, soya hua hai kya"
" Chal Fatafat,deri ho rahela hai"

And it goes on.Ticket clark ignores all these barbs and continues to issue ticket nonchalantly.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cinema Theatres in US

While taking part in discussion on Movei expirience in Single screen and Multiplexes in India, I felt strong urge to pen my expirience-as a visitor from India- about Movie expirience in USA. During my stay in LA and San Jose I saw six movies-4 Bollywood movies and 2 produced in Hollywood and realesed in US.

Hollywood movies were realesed with lots of pre realese advt./actors being invited to talk shows of Jay Leno & co. Trailors on almost all news channels giving some detail of the storyline.Jokes about the storyline by stand up comics etc.I did not come across any "critical" reveiews of the movie in any newspaper or on News channel, may be I missed it. Only thing I could know was 1st week's collection and it's standing in just realesed movies- at present 'Click' starring Adam Sandlar is in 1st position. Theatres are usually in big malls and have multiple screens. They are nice with jazzy lights and very good ambience.Unlike our multiplexes inMumbai, only basic snacks are available. Tickits are checked at the entrance and there are no assigned seats no. or screen no. is printed, so theoratically one can see any movie screened there and as often as one wants to.Sound is good so is picture quality. Its enjoyable expirience.But this account is incomplete as I was persuaded not to go to Theatre in UV Village near USC,as crowd there is not good(?).

For Bollywood movies there is only one theatre-Naaz 8. I saw movie in Naaz8 of Artesia and in Fremont. Its really difficult to differentiate the two though they are some 400 miles apart. Its collection of 8 single screen theatres!Naaz8 reminded of Chandan and Chitra and Naaz(remember it?) in Mumbai. Dimly lit(Subdude lighting!) entrance and corridors with very poor ambience. Walls had posters of forthcoming movies mounted in old wooden frames, clenliness was not high on the list and Naaz in Fremont had such small Mens Restroom with just 2 urinals!!Men! was it dirty? Though sound and picture quality was ok,it was not great expirience. Unfortunatelly 'Desis'-well behaved everywhere- were transported to India. Popcorns littered the floor,Children were running around and shouting,few laughed so loudly and for so long that it would drown Paresh Rawal's comedy. In the interval the Indian Chai and Samosas were as bad as it used to be some 10 yrs back in India.I almost felt that I was watching movie in single screen theatre in India.Same callous attitude of theatre owners toward their customer. Same run down, poorly lit,dingy and dirty theatre.If i had encountered a rat or two, the expirience would have been complete. My host said that this is better than nothing,so we have to tolerate it. This is the only place we can see Indian movie so....

Should it be like this? Will Indian producers like yashRaj films,Karan Johar and Rakesh Roshan insist on Hindi movies to be exhibited in good theatres-mainstream theatres? May be a show or two daily or on weekends.Naaz8 charges are not less than other theatres, its just making more profit by exploiting Indian viewers.Indians in US can and will pay more to watch Hindi movie in good theatres.Who knows they will make more money as Hindi movies will be realeased in more theatres and for more shows.