*This post was written some time before I went to India in Feb '07 - I forgot to put it up then.*
I saw this movie called Serendipity yesterday. I have seen the Tamil version of this movie, Jay Jay, and thought it was pretty bad. Now I realize that Jay Jay did not have any chance since the original itself is pretty bad to start with. In fact now I think I like Jay Jay better than the original.
Serendipity, if you didn't know, tells the story of two characters who believe that the whole universe has conspired to bring them together and hence suddenly decide that they need to chuck everything that they have already got in order to follow the "signs".
Sorry if the above statement makes it look as though the movie has a profound message - it does not. Kate Beckinsale (KB) as the female lead has a totally vacuous dumb-blondish look about her (though she is brunette in the movie). I don't think I have seen any other movie of hers though for some reason I did not think her to be quite in the same class of dumb-blond looker as Mandy Moore and such souls. Turns out she is.
It does not help that her character is supposed to be this vague, scatter-brained person who talks about signs, the universe and everything whenever she opens her mouth. I don't remember the name of the male lead (ML) though I have seen him in some other movies.
Anyways, when these two characters meet it is mutual like/love at first sight for them. Instead of doing something about it, since she is blessed with extraordinary brains, KB thinks that she needs a divine sign that ML is the man for her. This reminded me of a story.
An overly pious man is trapped on the roof of his house with flood waters swirling around it. He prays to God to help him - after all he has spent so many years in complete devotion. A boat comes by and the pious man says, "No, I am waiting for God to rescue me" and refuses to get in. Same thing happens with two other boats which come by. Finally the flood waters overtake the roof of his house and he is drowned and goes to heaven. He confronts God about God's failure to rescue him from his plight. God is puzzled and says, "But I sent you three boats."
Back to Serendipity. Essentially, meeting a person you are instantly attracted to and finding that the other person is also attracted to you is by itself a divine sign. So why does our dear KB think that she needs writing in golden letters across the sky (not really, but something close) before she decides to give it a shot? And of course, it is anyone's guess why ML would be attracted at first sight towards such an obviously batty character (who reminded me strongly of Madeline Basset in Wodehouse's Jeeves stories) however pretty on the outside she may be.
Anyways, KB and ML part ways, with KB believing that the "signs" will bring them together if they are meant to be and the movie progresses. A couple of years later, ML is about to be married. Yet he still remembers the batty character and thinks she is his soul mate. Never mind the other poor woman who thinks that ML actually loves her and wants to marry her. Anyways the rest of the story is how both ML and KB chuck all that they have at that time thinking that life will be a bed full of roses if and when they find each other again. It being a movie, they do find each other again eventually - yaaaaaawn.
The only way a movie with such an illogical story could have been rescued was if it had likable lead characters putting in scintillating performances. However neither KB nor ML fall into that category. I empathized more with all the supporting actors. In fact, KB's friend gives a pretty nice speech about how given that everything in life is so chaotic, it is kinda fun to take it head on rather than wake up everyday waiting for some "sign" on how to go about it.
Watching the movie by itself is a waste of time. The good part is it made me get a different perspective about the way I look at life. Essentially it reminded me to NOT be like the lead characters. Ever.
Update: I found a review for Serendipity here. Please scroll to the bottom of the page and check the contents under the header Vulgarity/Language. They actually have a list of swear words which occur in the movie and their count - ROFL :-D! And I thought I was vetti :-D!