Monday, October 29, 2007

'No Smoking' - The meaning behind the movie

'No-Smoking' is one of those outlandish movies, which are far away from the direct reality and require interpretation by the individual audience. When the show ended, I was not among the disappointed crowed that yelled and yawned over their money and time. I was fairly impressed with the flick, and decided to fork a thought process on its latent meaning. It took me more than a day to brood over and come up with the following content.
To do is to be.
- Socrates.
To be is to do.
- Plato.
Do be do be do.
- Sinatra
It is to be noted that the words in these lines are almost the same, but are permuted and combined to have individual interpretations.
The movie - 'No Smoking' begins with these three quotes. The intent behind quoting them is to convey that this movie can be viewed with different frame of references. It is up to an individual to develop his own rendering on what has been presented, since every element in the movie has an implicit symbolic meaning.
Whatever that 'K'- a chain smoker, went through was nothing but his imagination. His rich and flamboyant life had made him deaf ears to his well wishers. The proposal of divorce by his wife instilled a thought process in his mind that he might gradually lose everything. Too afraid to foresee the consequences, his mind cooked up weird sequences in his dreams which went through the dirty Dharavi basements (diametrical to his existing life), a military camp in Siberia (which indicates unwilling discipline), and frequent escapades to his bath-tub (the only place where he could be with himself).
All the smokers who had quit smoking or were in the process of quitting - donned hearing aids. The hearing aids signified that these people had actually started paying attention to what their near and dear ones were saying. A deaf man is more attentive and tries to be more receptive when interacting with others. These smokers were on the path of quitting an addiction, and were gradually coming back to their senses.
K's friend goes through a rehabilitation therapy to quit smoking and loses his two fingers. It is to be noted that by the loss of these fingers, smoking a cigarette had become almost impossible. He gained his fingers back when he referred people about the therapy. This referral indicated that he was now completely out of addiction, and happy enough to recommend the fellow smokers about the treatment. He had gained the wisdom to utilize his fingers for a more meaningful purpose rather than using them for holding cigarettes.
Throughout his dream, K learnt lessons.
K learnt that 'attitude' doesn’t work everywhere. He ignored the loud-mouth eunuch at the traffic signal who offered him coins in lieu of change. He could never ever manage to pay a humble amount of 1 Rupee to the quack as a part of fee for his rehabilitation therapy.
K started noticing and valuing the presence of other people around him. This happened when he realized that he was being followed by the same person in different disguises. It made him more alert and allowed him to get rid of his nonchalant attitude.
Finally, K wakes up from his dream. But then, he feels that the dream was worthwhile. He's ready to 'lose-his-fingers' till he learns to quit smoking forever.