Friday, October 29

Your Moment Is Waiting

The highly impressive "Your Moment Is Waiting" ad for Kerala Tourism (watch the ad on raises several questions when it comes to documenting something, when an ad purports to recreate an authentic feeling or emotion: how justified is a filmmaker?

The ad in question is probably the only tourism ad worth its salt I've seen in all my existence till now for any part of the world: it pushes the boundaries of both film as art and film as spectacle, and it resonates with a traveller's emotions, his/her seeking of merging with an unknown. It also manages to give glimpses of Kerala to some extent, though trying to understand, comprehend, portray, and learn India can be an extremely difficult task. It is worth mentioning that instead of a local music score, director Prakash Varma has gone for a Senegalese composer's mystery-evoking piece, and of course the lead model, Miriam Llorah, blends in beautifully: she looks a discoverer at the same time as in harmony with her surroundings. In sum, it's one of those rare beautiful ads which come once in many years.

However, Kerala is not at all lonely: it is the unloneliest spot, even when you are in the thickest of forests and for miles there is no one, of India. There is something so bustling in the air itself, there is such a sense of life having explored every nook of this place, that, except probably to some extent for the Ananthapura lava plains, where man feels lonely in terms of free and floating in the sky rather than drifting, that feeling of lonely searching which the ad evokes is not there at all. Rather, Kerala represents a paradox of one feeling connected with oneself and yet being participatory in the world: one connects with oneself as part of the world, not as the individual detached from it, and yet the connection is the only thing that stresses and implies the individuality. From a director's work viewpoint, the film is stunning in that it is highly consistent, too: the exact shade of the sunlight while Miriam is floating on the Alapuzha backwaters is not only just so reminiscient and authentic, but also brings on again that feeling of searching; yet, Kerala makes you open the doors to the world and your heart registers every beat and every drop of water, and it is that openness that I miss in the ad. It's a wonderful ad, yet it is not Kerala: the international gloss added should not deprive something of its spirit. In India's and Kerala's case particularly, it is the happiness and the oneness with which an Indian lives, a resolution of everything. To come to India, and to Kerala, is to be liberated: and find all the missing connections.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the most sensible criticism of this beautiful film i have read. Great point about kerala is not being lonely as shown in the ad.

However the attempt of the filmmaker may be to show what happens internally to a visitor while experiencing the magic of kerala. It may not be possible to show if you show the protagonist as part of a crowd. To show something internal happening to a person you have to show them alone....i think they handled this challenge so well by using a treatment which is unique space between real and unreal.

1:22 pm  
Anonymous Bindhu Unny said...

Among all the discussion on and controversies surrounding the ad, this review is different.

6:11 pm  

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