Last Saturday I took my kids to watch Les Miserables. The younger two weren’t keen to watch a musical.but I convinced them that they won’t regret it. ( and a bit of bribe thrown in for good measure..popcorn for each..Normally I don’t buy popcorn because the cost of popcorn + drink is more than the cost of the ticket!)
Like I promised, my children didn’t regret watching Les Miserables. They loved it.
They talked and talked and talked about Hugh Jackman’s and Anne Hathaway’s acting on the drive back home. And I told them how important it is to not to have preconceived notions.. If they didn’t come for the movie because they thought musicals are boring, they would have missed out on a great movie. It would be their loss, no one else’s.
In the past few months we have seen a lot more Indians in Brisbane than before and I have noticed that my kids don’t even react when they see an Indian child of their age. Every time I see a lady wearing saree, I feel a sense of belonging,that we,the lady in saree and I share a common bond, even though I haven’t worn a saree for ages, the bond is still there, it will always be there. I constantly worry about my children’s sense of belonging. There was an episode in Akkara Kazhchakal, where the father wants to introduce the children to Kerala, by getting Mallu TV channels. I too felt that it is my duty to introduce my cultural background to my children. I thought the easiest way would be to watch something in Malayalam.
I refuse to have a satellite TV and the only option for me to watch something in Malayalam in on Youtube. The mallu association here often arranges screening of mallu movies in the local theater. My shorts wearing, english speaking kids would stick out like a sore thumb among the pious, gentle, fully clothed mallu kids. I refuse to humiliate my children.
Being the ever resourceful mother that I am, I told my children that we are going to watch a mallu movie on youtube. .
On Sunday, we had early dinner and I warned my children, Mallu movies are very long, there are songs and dance etc like les misarables ( what a crock eh??). I made popcorn and being the idiot that I am, without reading the review, I chose to watch Casanovva..purely because Mohan Lal was acting in it.
“Mom, were those guys attempting to do PK ( Parkour)?” “Fail” said my son.
“who in the world would have an affair with this old guy?” “disgusting” said Yaya.
“Is he mallu or Italian? ( after the graveyard scene where mohanlal kisses the old italian lady), but mom you told me this is Mallu movie, I am confused said my youngest.
So am I..not just confused, I feel betrayed.
In the past few weeks, my FB wall page has been flooded with posts about respecting our woman..Everyone talks about Indian culture and how we should teach our children to respect our women.. And here we have a middle aged hero..portraying himself as a womaniser and suggesting that woman are to be used and discarded..and a female idiot who fall in love because the boss has commanded!
I was trying to teach my children not to be prejudicial and then ended up having to explain to them that what they saw in the mallu movie is not real, that is not India and that isn’t how it works…Yet, I didn’t have to tell my children that Les Miserables was not real or those things never happened during French Revolution ! How bizarre..