Why the Matrix is never an Indian Movie ?
The Matrix is never really an Indian Movie. I mean, I know it is produced by Warner Bros and is made in Hollywood. The WB channel shows this movie every week 23 times. They recently created the record for screening the same movie the maximum number of times.
Back to the context. When I said the Matrix is never an Indian movie, I mean to say that the movie is not made for the Indian Audience. It is not the type of movies we would like to see; and it is definitely not the kind of movie we create. Ask anybody for the story of the Matrix and I am sure no two people land up with the same version. There will be a grand canyon of a variation between the two versions and each version will be as close to the truth as much as the distance between the planets Mercury and Pluto, multiplied by Sachin Tendulkar’s test runs aggregate. If at all you watch the movie, it is because of the action sequences (Of course, we fast forward the first half an hour). If at all you liked the movie, it is because your college time crush liked it too. I personally liked it for this reason only. And here goes my justification.
Nomenclature Mismatch -
Whenever you name nouns in Indian Cinema, Nomenclature is mighty important. If you get the nomenclature wrong, you are down 34/6 chasing a target of 435, and you have no VVS Laxman in your line up. Indian Cinema thrives on naming convention. Cars are named ‘Lakshmi’. Snakes are named ‘Ramu’. ‘Jimmy’ for dogs, ‘Rambo’ for tigers and ‘Jumbo’ for elephants. We will never name a ship the ‘Nebuchadnezzar’. I repeat. Never.Ever. It looks like you were trying to spell out ‘Nambiar’ but sneezed twice in between. If only Mendeleev was Indian, he would have named the periodic table elements Arsenic, Barium and Radium as Archana, Bama and Rasna respectively. This is the first place where the Matrix folks got it wrong.
Severe Character Naming Mismatch -
When was the last time a heroine in Indian Cinema had another name instead of ‘Priya’, ‘Panjavarnam’ or ‘Devi’? Anything is adjustable but ‘Trinity’ is simply unfathomable. I thought Trinity is Three ‘Nity’s coming together to solve a common purpose. (Something along the lines of Tripod, Triangle and Triveni Sangamam).
And ‘Neo’! It is more like a casual Palakkad Tamil interjection than anything else; leave alone be the name of the protagonist.
Example: Who took the Tumbler on the table? Neo? Nyaano? Tirupurasundario?
Concepts mismatch –
Before the film released, Morpheus was peer-to-peer file transfer software, which used to send more virus than files themselves. Oracle was a very expensive database product selling company, whose product was also called Oracle. The matrix itself was a mathematical concept where we wrote numbers within parenthesis with font size greater than 16. But once this film released, these words took completely different meanings. The characters in the film had names which had clear aberrations with their meanings in the real world. And this did not leave us with any impact.
Fourth Semester.DBMS. Class Test. 2 Marks.
Question: Define Oracle.
My Answer: The Oracle is a cigarette smoking, cooking making old woman who had the vision to look into the future and told people what they ‘needed to know’.
My internal marks for this subject were 10. My external marks were lesser.
Class XII. Math exam:
Question: What is the matrix?
My answer: Look around you. This is the matrix. The world is actually 2099, whereas the matrix has a 1999 setup……. I finished by asking if my school headmaster is ‘The One’!
My parents were summoned. My teacher thought I had a serious IQ problem. My headmaster in an open gathering compared me with Forrest Gump.
Imagine the below dialogue in the idly counter.
A: What do you want for idly? Sambhar (or) Chutney?
B: You have offered me a choice.
A: Precisely. But you have already chosen what you want, isn’t it?
B: That does not make my choice any superior. I know both of them are just special programmes written by a master programmer
A: Yes. They are computer programs. They don’t have any difference in taste. They are just programmed to be visually different.
B: Yes. Then how would one be different from the if they just taste the same?
A: Exactly. Which brings us back to the first question. Do you want Sambhar (or) Chutney?
If this was how your everyday conversation went about, would you not want to strangle yourself in front of the carnival steam cart counter? I would kill myself and everybody else within a 20 metre radius. This is how each and every conversation in the movie is made up. I can understand Null Key encryption. I can understand the RSA Algorithm. I can even understand the company appraisal Process. But I cannot understand a word of what they speak.
The sequence of the movie goes like:
Silence. Talk. Rain. Talk. Blue Pill or Red Pill.More Talk.Kung Fu.More Kung Fu.Villain Talk. Climax Fight. Hero Dies. Kiss. Hero alive. Villain eliminated. Kiss again. Credits.
Where is the flashback? Where is the Mother-losing-a-child-and-goes-around-the-world-searching sequence? Does any of the characters have a sister for a touchy brother-sister sentiment? Where is the scene where a person is stabbed right in the chest and he goes on speaking for 30 minutes before he dies? Where are the songs? Where are the pink dresses? Where are the group dancers? Where is the “aathaaa, naan pass aaiten!” sequence? Where is the hero-getting-face palmed-by-heroine sequence? I can go on and on and on… and still I will not be finished.
Do I stand justified? Do you still believe the Matrix is for the Indian Audience? Rajinikanth movies make sense. Gaptun movies make more sense. Non-sense makes the most sense. They are created for us. And it is the product we would also create, if given the chance. They have clichés. But it is exactly the clichés that we find endearing. There is nothing like a full blown Indian Masala movie. Kick out these black and white robots wearing tight suits with matching black sun-glasses, out of the window.
The Indian Movie Experience is a complete topic in itself and will be appearing another day. Probably.
P.S: I am going to talk in Matrix-English for the entirety of today. Excerpts below.
Manager: Have you finished your task for today?
Me: Mr. Manager, you have asked me a question to which you know the answer already. Yet, you have asked me a question, just to sense my reaction; for you know I am not human, but a computer program. What I am going to tell you might not be the truth. But I can only tell you what you need to know.
Manager: First-time swearing-in-public.