Thursday, November 13, 2008

Husbands and Wives…

A few weeks back Mouli introduced me to the works of Woody Allen. Initially I was a bit skeptical to experiment. Isn’t our very own Mrinal Sen enough? Just add a little pun intended comedy to it…Why go through another set of high dose intellectual-society bashing crap? How wrong I was!

I thank America, as these weren’t easily available in my country (and Mouli of course!) to give me the chance to experience such masterpieces like Love and Death, Manhattan, Crimes and Misdemeanors etc but I’ll leave the details of these movies for some other day.

Today, I’ll talk about this film of his that I saw last week. Husbands and Wives. Oh yeah, the name is intriguing and more challenging is its characters. The people that can totally engulf you and throw you to this crazy world of love-hate-expectations-disappointments-second thoughts-resolutions-insecurity-infamy…the list can go on. This world called ‘marriage’ that almost all of us experience at some point in our lives.

In this film, we get to witness the trajectory of two married couples: nice and happy, established in their respective fields, working hard and partying harder with their fellow society elements.

One fine day, evening rather one of the couples, Sally and Jack happily announce that they are getting separated as they both want to relive their bachelor days. Their friends Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy (Mia Farrow) are naturally shell-shocked and they couldn’t believe that such a crucial decision could be taken in such flippant manner! All three other than Judy try to rationalize and re-rationalize the situation, ultimately confusing it even more. Judy in the meanwhile shuts herself off traumatized.

In effect, this incident opens up all the four concerned individuals’ mind-eyes and they begin to analyze their conjugal existence in a different light. The newly separated couple Sally and Jack, just to prove a point, start dating their new-found interests respectively, people who are completely different from their earlier partners, making themselves miserable in the process and always turning green seeing or hearing about their partners’ roaring romance.

On the other hand, Gabe realizes that he always envied his fellow professors for leading a promiscuous life, flirting and sleeping with young, bright and beautiful students whereas he only admired them from a distance, being faithful to the sanctity of marriage. So at this point, the morality-rope snaps and he finds himself getting closer to a worshipping pupil.

Gale’s wife Judy tries to bring some excitement to Sally’s life by introducing her colleague, only to realize that she herself has fallen for his chivalrous charms.

Amid, much psychobabbles, self-introspection, spouse-reflection and frequent visits to the shrink, the separated couples get together and the filial part their ways.

So, do I call it a happy ending? Did they get what they wanted? If yes, then why started the drama in the beginning? If no, then why chose an inconsequential definitive? The story doesn’t tell and you know what, husbands and wives are the last people to be able to throw some light on it!!