Yesterday I watched a Kannada movie here in Singapore! Amazing isn’t it? It’s rare that I voluntarily go to watch a Kannada movie back in Bangalore and here I was, watching it in S’pore. And as the title suggests, it was the one which has been in the news for quite sometime now – mungaaru maLe.
The Kannada-Sangha out here in S’pore – ‘singara’ it is called, does organize such shows regularly for the Kannada lovers, especially when there have been relatively good movies hitting the silver screen back home. This was one such occasion.
So that’s how, early Sunday morning saw me and a friend at the Shaw-Bugis cine-complex. There were quite a few fellow movie-goers who were trickling into the building early. After checking out the time by when they’d let us in (I was delighted to be met by a typical old fashioned ajji, complete with a 50-ps coin sized powder-kumkuma adorning her forehead, and another girl selling karaoke CDs and stuff), we decided to quickly grab some grub and coffee. After gobbling it down when we went up, what did we see? The foyer outside the hall entrance was teeming with people, all waiting to get in. The comfort feeling on getting to hear voices talk in a familiar tongue is inexplicable!
We were soon let inside and settled ourselves comfortably. Being one of the halls in a cineplex, I’d expected it to be like the small halls we have back in PVR and INOX. But I was in for a surprise. This was like the old-fashioned theatre, huge screen and hundreds of seats arranged in a sloped fashion aka an auditorium. And know what? Under 10 minutes the entire place was filled and people were still pouring in, trying to find their seats! I was left wondering – are there really so many Kannadigas here in S’pore?!! Where were they all hiding? I very rarely bump into any Kannada speaking folks while on the streets or in the MRT or in the shopping areas etc.
The movie itself was ok, nothing which hasn’t already been seen, though the ending, I must say took me by surprise; a good time-pass kinda movie. The cute li’l bunny, Anant Nag’s acting (he is one actor who has aged gracefully and has given no reason to complain about his choice of roles over the years; even today his comic timing and charm are fantastic!), the two songs – anisutide and munagaaru maLeye – sung mellifluously by my favourite singer, Sonu Nigam (it’s amazing, the way he sings, with exactly those emotions and expressions which adds that extra something to the song and makes it special, though he might not understand what he’s singing!) and some dialogues that were genuinely funny – were all that I liked about the movie.
But for once I wasn’t bothered about how good or bad the movie itself was – I simply loved the atmosphere – it was like being back in Bangalore – at Cauvery or Urvashi – the crowd – the families, li’l kids walking up and down the aisles, the guys whistling when there was a particularly funny/ punchy dialogue and one didn’t have to think about the language before talking to anyone!
The Singapore Health department were giving away jute bags with brochures containing health tips and manuals – placed at every seat, as a promotion. So yesterday, if you were in S’pore and happened to spot someone with a brown jute bag, with SingHealth written all over it, you know now, it was a Kannadiga, happy having watched a Kannada movie and better still, in the company of birds of the same flock 🙂