Dear Dulquer Salmaan
There needs to be start-up kit for up-to-speeding on you.
The most roundabout way to find Dulquer Salmaan is to watch “OK Jaanu” in an uninspired indecision, and then have someone go Alaipayuthey on you. Alaipayuthey is that moment when you realize there is a solid gold Mani Rathnam original of this movie somewhere (in this case, OK Kanmani). After that, of course, as any self-respecting stalker would, I scanned all there was to scan on every conceivable piece of online real estate from 1234ramshyammovies. com to DARPA and MissMalini.com and Sonam Kapooor’s Instagram. I even searched on BING, for crying out loud.
So the idea of a general “All you need to know about Dulquer Salmaan” came to mind.
1. You had jobs in all those movies I saw
Regular, everyday, messed-up jobs. “Fighting-with-the-boss, having-drinks-after-work-in-workwear, showing-up-annoying-colleagues” kind of jobs. Some were borderline exciting like the gamer in OK Kanmani, or the political satire-cartoonist in 100 days of love, or the flotsam do-gooder in Charlie. Props just for not hanging around London and Paris and nearby cruises in search for love and kisses. Which sums up an 87% of the recent roles and entire scripts of Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh’s movies. No big grudge there, but it was like when your mom goes from yelling at you everyday for everything vs your mom leaving you a text saying, “Hey, am leaving for Mandalay today, don’t call me till September”. Extreme much? Basically the contrast between Rich People Problems We will Never Face to Real Stuff that could Happen to Me in some Alternate Reality.
2. Your movies turned out to be good movies
I was aware of regional cinema in so much as every Mahesh Babu movie is a Salman Khan movie waiting to be made. Or that Aparna Sen has not stopped making movies or that Karan Johar has bought the rights to Sairat (many rabbits was mildly offended in the making of this statement). But I was never invested till I became so woke to Malayalam cinema through your films. You shine no doubt, but nicely placed in a stellar constellation of great ensemble casts. What began more as a journey to not be on the next “You don’t know Fawad Khan which rock have you been living under” ignominy list, became 1) Oh my God, you are quite dishy looking, steadily moving to 2) Ok I did not see the acting chops coming to 3) Wow that movie which was a guilty pleasure had no business being that good. I ended up loving the movies, the set-up, the small deets, the winds, the seas, the accent walls.
3. And so, you have helped me discover regional Indian cinema
For someone raised on a rather unhealthy diet of Bollywood, all the vicissitudes of Hindi cinema have given me a major handicap in recognizing subtlety, artfulness and nuance. One day Jaya Bachchan’s heart is going Plonk-Boom-Thump because her son got off airplane on windy day (or was that the chopper?). Then Amit Trivedi is making awesome music, more or less. Then Sanjay Leela Bhansali is making movies that I cannot decide are good or bad because some intestinal sections are churning. My movie sensibilities meter goes completely off-kilter, like the abandoned guitar. And I am not about to watch A Clockwork Orange to set it right. I have reserved that for when I am cryogenically preserved in a hammock.
Long story short, watching your movies gives me a great fillip. That all is well in the world of our unique brand of movie-making. Its loud, but understated. The messages are delivered, unerringly, but with large helpings of emotive connectedness and “moments”. How wonderful to have a whole lifetime of movies to savour, constantly hedging off every big bad Hindi movie with these little diamonds. And as far as your movies are concerned, Point 2.1 still holds. You are dishy.
I follow you on Twitter.