Friday, 18 December 2009

Remembering Titanic

As the whole world gets ready to embrace the new James Cameron film, I decide to revisit a film which fascinated a child 11 years ago.

I was hardly five then. But to this day, the sunny April day of 1998 is as clear in my mind as anything else. A new English film had become the talk of the town. It had won 11 Oscars (I didn't know what an Oscar was) and became a global hit. (As though they were the only criteria for a good film) It had come to Kolkata and as expected, became an instant smash hit. People all over were rah-rah-ing about the film on the sinking ship.

My relationship with cinema till then was not very developed. I don't remember seeing many films before that. (You certainly wouldn't expect a five-year-old to appreciate Orson Welles or Satyajit Ray, would you?) I was taken to movie theatres a couple of times before but the experience at the cinema hall was nothing memorable to speak of.

We didn't know anything about this new movie except the fact that the protagonist was a sinking ship. I remember that Aunt managed to get five tickets for Mum, Dad, Sister, herself and well, that little child. I was very excited. I was going to watch a movie!

The day finally arrived and we were all ready to go to the movie theatre. Multiplexes were strangers to Kolkata until 2003. Single-screen halls were all we had then. We went to the Globe Cinema to see the movie called Titanic which was "edited to suit the family audiences in India". It was as clean and family-friendly as a five-year-old can possibly see.