Thursday, May 1, 2014

To Be or Not to Be?

If you haven’t yet seen the Ron Howard British-German biopic Rush, immediately do so, especially if you are in the middle of Two States and feeling stuck between a rock (Arjun Kapoor’s expressions) and a hard place (an abysmal script).

For those who haven’t heard of Rush, please go join Manchester United, because that’s where you belong. Apparently they are hiring losers. Again.

For the rest of you, before you dismiss it as yet another movie about some obscure game which you don’t follow, wait, take a break from IPL and give it a chance. The premise may be a 1970s rivalry between two Formula I drivers, but trust me it’s so much more than that. I know I am asking you to commit national treachery here: I mean who watches movies about boxing (Raging Bull, Ali, Cinderella Man), Rugby (Invictus), Baseball (Moneyball) and now Formula I, when we already have so many stories to share about cricket? Still, even as an ardent cricket fan, I suggest that you go watch Rush.

Rush is not just a good sports movie, but it addresses a very deep rooted psychological disease that most of us suffer from: especially people who have tasted success, who have managed to make a mark and who have a standing in the world. We often harp on how difficult it is to become successful or how hard you need to work to get there, but what we overlook is how tough it is to actually let go of it, once you have achieved everything you could have ever imagined. Ask a successful actor, artist or a sportsman about the hardest decision of their lives and more often than not the answer would be, “When should I retire?” Case in point: our very own Sachin Tendulkar.

While a major part of the movie is a roller-coaster ride of witty dialogues and fast-paced Grand Prix chase sequences as it follows the lives of two talented rivals with diametrically opposite personalities, in the end it leaves you with one question that each of us asks ourself at some point in life: “To be or not to be?”

It may be a little too early for me to answer that question, but it just makes me wary that ten years later, I may just end up being rushed into a life that I never even wanted…

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