BITTEN BY THE BLURB:
the dvd film synopsis as comedy routine
you've rented a Bollywood DVD lately, the title of this short
ramble requires no explanation. But for those of you who haven't,
consider the synopsis on the back of the official Eros DVD
package for ARMAAN (2003):
is a family drama that allows one to explore the complexity
of human relationships and exposes the vulnerability of individuals
in those relationships and the choices made by them."
impressive display of verbosity, no? But what is it actually
saying? Well, straight off, the innocent video store
browser knows she's in for an unusual and stimulating movie:
one featuring individuals involved in gasp human
relationships! What a novel idea, you say. But wait,
it gets better. Not only does the film feature characters in
relationships with other human beings, it "exposes...the
choices made by them." Armaan, it seems, is the stuff of
high drama indeed.
who are these fascinating characters who live such unique and
exciting lives? Well, one of our main characters is Dr. Sinha,
who "dreams of running a state-of-the-art hospital in which
patients will be given indiscriminate treatment, despite having
to struggle with the harsh reality of each disease daily."
Indiscriminate treatment? So, ginger ale for everyone,
from the SARS patients to the hemophiliacs?
Dr. Sinha is a humanitarian who wants to take on patients indiscriminately,
regardless of each patient's financial status but if, for
a moment, you thought ARMAAN was the tale of the Indian Dr. Kevorkian,
congratulations: you've just had a "Bitten by the Blurb"
it's these moments which make us at BollyWHAT? so fond of Indian
DVD companies. The quality of the transfer might be crap, the
picture might pixelize at odd moments, and the orchestra might
drown out the dialogue. But these priceless blurbs keep us coming
back for more. If you think ARMAAN's blurb is bad, just check
out the following:
the official EROS DVD of Dil Se (1998):
Arabic literature classifies love into seven different
eyes meet, it is like a touch....a spark...Attraction.
we get that one.
touch of the eyes was as if, it was infatuation
flame of her body is felt, his breath starts igniting...love.
igniting?? Who is this guy, Puff the Magic Dragon?
Somebody get a fire extinguisher!
touches him like whisper, as if silence is mixed in her
eyes....he prays, knelt down on the floor, a little consciously
& a little unconsciously...
mixed with what? Punk rock? Also, "a little
conscious" ? Is the boy drooling at the mouth? comatose?
asleep? No? Then he's conscious. End of story.
This next blurb is so bad that one internet vendor posted a disclaimer
on his site to state that the synopsis was copied verbatim from
the manufacturer's DVD cover. Keep
in mind while reading it that "pagal" means "crazy."
the official SKY DVD of Ek Aur Vishpot (2002):
Hero of this film is honest muncipal commissioner, who is very
strict about his rules & regulations. The villian belongs
with the evil deeds. Their illegal construction are destroyed
by our hero with the help of law & order. The villians plan
in such a way our hero taken into the court. Court declares
that our hero is pagal and taken to mental asylum.
the mental asylum, he observed three characters (Anjan Srivastava,
Kiran Kumar, Anees Khan) and escaped from the asylum. By mistake
Asrani (Mad Doctor) joined in the mission, our hero uses all
the four mads like weapon and all the mad characters kill one
after another. If pagal kill a person, no punishment.
hero again taken to court. Hero argued in the court:
I am murderer, I could not be Pagal
2.But the same court given the judgement that I am a pagal
3.If I am a pagal I am not a murderer.
Judgement still awaited.
the errors that make these blurbs so bizarre are due to someone
having literally translated from Hindi to English. (Armaan, we
attribute to an overzealous Henry James fan.) The true mystery
is why, when there are countless Indians for whom English is a
first language, the companies can't hire an English-fluent copy
again, most of these DVD companies operate out of the US, Canada,
and UK, where almost everybody speaks English (including, we've
no doubt, most of the company employees). Thus a few conspiracy
theories have arisen to explain the DVD manufacturers' insistence
on gramatically bizarre blurbs, the most popular of which holds
the blurbs to be cryptograms created by a covert Indian intelligence
agency to communicate with its undercover operatives abroad. So,
next time you're in the video store and someone looks over your
shoulder to read the blurb on the DVD you're holding, stay cool.
You may just be doing your bit to help save the free world.
filmi ramble was
written by Meredith.
a film that got you thinking? Then BollyWHAT?
invites you to send your own ramblings, along with a brief