Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blogging Bommarillu: Part One

Hi, people! Now that NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close (and I'm nowhere near 50k words...but I'm still finishing my novel, just not on time. :( ), I'm going to start blogging again. And I'm going to blog this one Telugu movie that I watched on Saturday (in parts, because I'm too lazy to blog the whole thing all at once). Want to know what it was about? Well, then, CONTINUE READING!
Translation: A dollhouse (Wikipedia for the win!)
Better Translation: You can let go of my hand now, Dad. [It's symbolic, I swear!]
The movie starts off with a scene of a dad holding his one?-year-old child's hand as the child tries to walk. The narrator talks about how this is the first father-son conflict/rift. He doesn't really explain how, though. He just says, "The kid wants to walk. That's cool. The dad wants to makes sure the child doesn't fall, so he holds the kid's hand. That's fine, too. But when the dad continues holding the child's hand for twenty-four years, then we have a problem." (See! I told you the title was symbolic!)
Cut to a road in Andra Pradesh, India. The narrator, the main character named Siddharth (Siddhu), is telling bad things about dads to this one old guy who is probably also a dad. That doesn't make a lot of sense. It seems to be most logical to rant about dads to your best friends who aren't dads yet but who have dads, so they can understand his predicament. That's like ranting to your teacher about teachers:

Student: Teachers suck so bad! I mean, I tell a teacher that I have two million other tests that one day and he still schedules his test on that day! And sometimes, they don't even teach well! Plus, they're boring! And they smell like old people. But of course, you wouldn't understand. You're a teacher yourself.
Teacher: Exactly. So why are you telling me this, again?

By the way, Siddhu isn't drunk. He's saying this with a sober mind...I think. Maybe. Or it is possible that he boozed right before the camera started rolling.

He goes on to say that his dad gives him way too much, and of course the random old guy is confused and thinks of Siddhu as an ungrateful little brat. But Sid explains. Apparently, his dad doesn't let him choose his own clothes, play carom board all by himself (his dad always tells him how to pocket a "puck")...basically, poor Sid's not allowed to do anything by himself, period. But he swears that he will choose his wife and his career, if nothing else.
The next day, Siddhu is woken up by Satti, the good servant. I like Satti. Maybe he is a superhero! He tossed his scarf over his neck rather heroically. His superhero name would be... "Satti, the Good Servant."

He then walks into the kitchen to hear his mother singing a Telugu song. He tells her that she would be awesome as a singer, which of course his mother denies.
The family eats. The domineering dad asks him if he wants to work in the office today. Sid says that he wants to wait three more months, which pisses his Domineering Dad off because Sid has been delaying office work for a year now to complete his computer engineering degree (yes, kids, it's true. India does produce more engineers than snake charmers.). Siddhu had some excuse for delaying office work for three months, but it's clear (to us viewers, anyway) that he just wants to be able to choose his own job and that he doesn't intend to work in the office. And then, his dad tells him that the family has chosen a prospective wife for him and that he is to meet this wife today.
Wait, what?
Sid hasn't been told anything about his family's six-month process choosing a wife for him. But the way I've always understood Indian arranged marriages, the boy advertises himself on the newspapers, with degrees, jobs, income, et cetera, and girls send in their biodata (which is their height, weight, photos, degrees, jobs, income, skills, et cetera) for the boy to pick about ten brides-to-be. (That's how my dad did it, anyway.) Then, the boy goes with his family to meet all the girls who he handpicked and interviews them (yes, I do mean what I said! He interviews them!) to see if they'd be a good match. The whole process is pretty ridiculous, in my opinion. The boy is looking for a marriage partner, not an employee for crying out loud!
I can just imagine a sample poster:

Now Hiring!
A good Indian wife needed.
Must have a degree of some sort (M.B.B.S. [medical degree] or B.Tech (or B.S.?) [computer engineering degree]) Also, must have good family of same caste. Must have good cooking skills. Must be able to care for children well. Must be good-looking, too.
My qualifications: an engineering degree, income 1 lakh (10,000) rupees per month [I hope that's a high enough number], steady job, might even work in America!, super handsome

So, Siddhu is supposed to be able to choose his wife. His family can't just choose his marriage partner without his consent!
Anyhow, Siddhu is dragged to his wife-to-be's house to see if he likes the wife his family has chosen for him. He doesn't really have an excuse not to like said girl--he's not in love with anyone else--so there isn't much of a point in asking him. Domineering Dad isn't willing to let the two talk in private--"we're really open here!"--but he relents and the two go into a room. Siddhu tries to get the girl to talk, but every sentence she says starts with "Daddy told me" or "Daddy says." This girl is a real bore. I feel sorry for Siddhu. Since the girl's name isn't mentioned at this point in the movie, I'm going to call her Daddy-Told-Me. 
Daddy-Told-Me is going to have problems later in life if she goes on like this, though.

Fifty years later...
Daddy-Told-Me: Daddy told me that I shouldn't eat until I starve and join him in heaven.
Sid: I hate to break this to you...but your dad's dead.
Daddy-Told-Me: So?
Sid: So...he can't really tell you what to do...
Daddy-Told-Me: But he told me to! I saw him! I swear by my daddy!
Sid:...Are you feeling okay?
Daddy-Told-Me: Stop looking at me like that! I'M NOT CRAZY! THE VOICES IN MY HEAD TOLD ME SO! AND SO DID DADDY!

Life sure isn't looking up for Siddhu.
So, what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Want to throw tomatoes at it? Please give me your feedback! 

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