Kabhi Alvida Naa KehnaI might have watched hundreds of movies in scores of theatres across the country. From the ramshackle ones with silver screens which didn’t look silver – just dirty yellow with stains all over – bedbug infested coir padded seats, to the glitzy multiplexes with Dolby Digital, padded floors, reclining comfy chairs. Ticket prices ranged from Rs 1.60 (that was for the second class or front stall in Shillong theatres in the eighties and the nineties) to close to Rs. 200. But, never did I get my money back. Until yesterday. A notice projected on the larger than usual screen at Aerens R Imax at Rap Adlabs, Ghaziabad gave details of the refund rules in case of a power failure. Even those tent-like theatres had diesel generators to take care of the whistling and yelling clientele during load shedding (you dirty minds, keep those alternative meanings buried inside – your head). The rules stated that if you already watched 45 minutes of the movie and the hall went dark, hard luck. But if you were the lucky ones, like us, who were only 20-25 minutes into the show you are entitled to a full refund. I rushed to the box office, and got my money back before the angry jostling crowd behind me made the money-back process a long drawn one. Perhaps the sophisticated Imax technology wasn’t made for power-starved people like me.

Undeterred, we went to a nearby PVR and waited a few hours for the next show. The mall had some fancy dress competition going on, and being Janmashtami most of the kids were dressed a little Krishna. The hours went by watching them, especially a diaper clad, 18 month old Kanhaiya, who was enjoying all the feminine attention.

Now to the movie – even though it does not demand and deserve such a determined zeal for viewing – Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never say goodbye) is just another flick from Shah Rukh smitten Karan Johar. And it is a blue film. No, not for the love scene (it was just another nothing shown but everything done type). But because Rani Mukherjee’s character loved the colour blue. Therefore the screen went all blue with characters donning blue costumes and later Shah Rukh opens his mouth (which was otherwise just used for yelling) to proudly display a blue chewing gum. Though Karan uses orange, green, voilet, black to break the monotony, but the blue stays.

In four words the movie is about ‘finding love beyond marriage.’ But one should not unnecessarily delve into the whys and the whats and the rights and the wrongs. That part was quite uninteresting, what was interesting in the movie was the comedy in the first half, lead from the front by the Sexy Sam aka Samarjit Singh Talwar played by Amitabh Bachchan, who leads a Hugh Hefner lifestyle, just because his late wife asked him to do things which he couldn’t when she was alive. He also gives Chandigarh an alternative meaning (in case you don’t want to watch the movie to find out what – which is quite probable – it is in reference to Kiron Kher’s behind). The other interest was the lines, not in the script but in the wardrobe. The necklines went plunging into Hudson river and the hemlines competed with the Empire State Building. But that shouldn’t be interpreted as liberties of the New York locale; even the filmi gaon ki goris flaunt an equivalent if not more flesh draped in ghagras and miniscule cholis.

The worst was the end; you wait exasperatedly for 45 minutes for the end titles to come scrolling, but Mr. Johar keeps his characters incessantly going and going and going and finally meeting (where else but a railway station with a departing train et al). And I was getting the blues (again proving the blue film point). As I finally exited, I was wondering if I could get a refund again – at least for the last 45 minutes.

Moral of the story: Keep your free advice to yourself, or you’ll have to pay by a broken leg, a broken marriage and ending up with the benefactor of your original piece of advice.

PS: Two weddings were onscreen, one should follow the climax (therefore half), with the distant possibility of a third. The divorces were mutual and the death was perhaps as a result of too much bed breaking activity.