Hello India!!!

Hello India!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cinema Halls in India – National Anthem, assigned seats, and no subtitles

I was waiting for “Dhobi Ghat” to begin. I had paid Rs.230 (approximately $5) to watch Aamir Khan’s new movie at the FAME cinema at the mall. Everyone had their popcorn and soft drink (yes, I just said soft drink instead of pop) in their possession. Suddenly a big orange, green and white flag with a wheel in the center billowed on the big screen. “What is the Indian flag doing there?” I thought to myself. I looked around and everyone around me was already standing up showing their allegiance to the flag. I understood right away that I must get up and “do what they do.” The India National Anthem (I think) came on; we were all standing for about two minutes. It was so strange. I’ve never had to do anything like that at the movie theaters in the U.S.

The more shocking thing about India cinemas was the fact that we had assigned seats! When you buy your ticket at the booth you are given a choice on the seating chart where you want to sit and which seats are available. This was also a strange concept to me. I kept comparing my experience here with my U.S. movie theater experience. Back at home I just needed to pay the ticket (between $5 (R.s.230) to $12(Rs.650)) and pick my own seat in the theater.

Another interesting comparison was the language used in the movie. Of course back in the U.S. there are no subtitles with the movie. Same here. Which made the experience so much more complicated and also enriching. I was able to understand the English speaking parts of “Dhobi Ghat” and make out some of the body language. Without understanding the dialogues it was hard to put the puzzles together is a graceful way. I could make out the story and gist of it all – but it would have been more complete and elaborant if I had understood the language. Overall going to the cinema was interesting. I’m learning little by little what India’s all about.

1 comment:

  1. Haha. Same Experience in Thailand too. Sometimes your going to have to watch movies that comes with "English Subtitles", or else go to thee black market and buy some pirated DVD's.