The Joy Of Crying At The Movies

Posted: April 21, 2012 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, film
Tags: , , ,

This post was suppose to be on something else. But as it happens with hindi films and matters of heart, mostly we land up somewhere else. And it started with the gorgeous Namesake tribute video posted below. Jahan Bakshi writes on the matters of heart and the magic of silver screen that let the salty waters flow.

Watch the video first and then read the post.

Ever since I posted the video tribute to Mira Nair’s beautiful adaptation of ‘The Namesake’ on Twitter and Facebook, at least 7-8 people wrote back to me with thanks, saying how it made them cry. One of them had recently lost his father. In fact, as I was watching it myself with what seemed like a boulder in my throat, a friend of mine who also lost his father a year back sat quietly, tears streaming down his face. It was absolutely heartbreaking.

One of the many great things cinema has to offer us is a sense of catharsis, and that is a special feeling that becomes increasingly difficult to experience as one watches a lot films and reads a lot about them, becoming more aware of their manipulations and craft. It becomes even harder for a film to overwhelm you when you see it with all the distractions and thoughts that accompany you watching a film at home. I try to watch most films in theatres these days for this very reason, but like we all know, sadly and most often, the only option we cine-buffs have is this.

I miss crying at the movies. I think the last time I sat teary-eyed at a cinema hall was watching ‘The Help’ on an evening that found me in a particularly vulnerable emotional state. I was walking down the road outside my house when a group of guys I don’t know began calling me some names (which I’ll not bother mentioning here).

Not a big deal, really- but for some reason it just deeply upset me. Part of the reason is that while I am no saint or an Aamir Khan, I have never really understood the desire in human beings to hurt others deliberately for no reason at all. All bitching and snarky talk aside, and at the risk of sounding righteous and all, the urge to harm someone is something I have genuinely never felt in my life.

I know this sounds idiotic but while watching the film I thought a lot about why people want to hurt other people, about why people are hated just for being who they are and the general injustice of it all and blah, blah.

It also reminded me of my own nanny, my Didi, who literally brought me up along with my mother as a child, giving me more time than her own children perhaps. I remembered resenting my mother a little when she would tell her off because of anything. Of course my mother cared for her too, and still does, but for me she wasn’t hired domestic help. She was my second mother.

Till date, MilkaDidi– as I call her- sends me a Rakhi every year by post, and sends me birthday cards that probably cost her a lot. I remember her every now and then and think of calling her, but unlike my mother who speaks to her every now and then, I conveniently forget to. Maybe it’s also because I’ve grown up too much and find it hard to make conversation with her as effortlessly as my mother can. Right now, again I am feeling those familiar pangs of guilt. Maybe after I write this, I’ll call her. Maybe… if I haven’t forgotten to store her number again or something.

Now some of you might figure one of the many reasons I love Swades so much.

Anyway, when I came back from the film, I let out all the tears that I was trying to hold back at the movie theatre or as Subhash K Jha would put it: all the liquid contents of my eyes spilled out in a torrential tumble of tantalizing tears.

And I felt lighter. TheHelp is not a ‘great’ movie. It has one of the most cringe worthy scenes I’ve seen in a film in some time, won’t even figure in my Top 15 films of last year. But it made me cry, and for that I am grateful.

At other times when I am not feeling so low and my defenses are not as down like when I wrote this post (Yes, shameless plug, bitchezz!), I’m not as lucky. I saw Weekend recently, an outstanding film that I cannot recommend enough and that I intend on writing about soon. The film is beautiful and heartbreaking… but it didn’t make me cry. It should have, really. Sitting next to me was a friend who doesn’t watch too many films and probably didn’t ‘appreciate’ the film(making) as much as I did. But he had tears in his eyes.

I could have given anything to have that, I tell ya.

PS: Apologies to Kaka…

So when was the last time you cried at the movies?

  1. A says:

    I think it has a lot to do with relating the film to your own life (however far fetched it may be). Sometime a movie scene reminds us of a failed love affair, times when we have hurt someone, childhood friendships which are not as close to our hearts anymore,…its all about touching that one chord on a personal level and the tears wont stop!

  2. @Rohwit says:


    I have never really understood the desire in human beings to hurt others deliberately for no reason at all


    Well, I was wondering the same when I met some mad haters who I thought didnt exist in the normal world. Kuch hee din pehley ki baat hai.


  3. fattiemama says:

    We are most beautiful when vulnerable. I wish we had more courage to have our defenses down more often, especially in public. Life would be so much more beautiful then. Beautiful post.

  4. The last time i cried at movies was 50-50. The scene just before he his taken in for the surgery…i kept holding on but at that point i just gave in and cried. Last couple of years have been very tough medically for me and i could very much relate to it……

    • kapil shivarkar says:

      I cried at the same scene…though I did not have anything to relate to from personal experience..maybe I was too low and vulnerable which made me feel more for the character or maybe I just wanted to get it out…brilliant scene

  5. and yes great post JSB 🙂 .

  6. i cried last time watching paan singh tomar

  7. SJ says:

    I am trying to remember the first time I cried watching a movie and I think it was Anand. Prolly it will be the same for a lot of people. One of the best Hrishikesh Da’s movie. I think Baghban made me cry as well. Pursuit of Happyness I cried and I saw of lot of people in the theater crying. I think there are quite a lot of movies. I know a lot of people who I cried at Kal Ho Naa Ho & Kuch Kuch Hota Hain as well but many may not find them to fit the bill which requires ones to cry.

  8. @navjotalive says:

    Good Post Sir JSB. I cried watching Abhimaan the other day n before that it was TZP..nothing in between..Iam Kalam and 50-50 did leave me with moist eyes. The most wonderful feeling it is..Dil ko touch karne wali badi kam piccharein banti hain by god.

    P.S- Talking about the last 5 years wonly!

  9. kapil shivarkar says:

    Akele hum akele tum, Pursuit of Happyness, TZP, 50-50

  10. Beautiful write-up! Luka Chuppi and the visuals from RDB, maybe deserved a mention here. One of the most moving.

  11. Joshua says:

    Nice ready man,
    Stanley ka dhabba was quite an emotional ride for me .. kudos to the boy ( Amol Gupte’s son) a brilliant performance by him.. Yeah, that was the last time I cired.

  12. Rony says:

    At times you find yourself crying at the most unxpected scenes in a movie. Something about that moment on screen finds a connection with your emotions stored somewhere in the brain and tears start flowing. Just yesterday quite unexpectedly while watching Vicky Donor the moment i saw tears in the eyes of biji my eyes welled up. I am still trying to figure out what was it about that moment that made me cry. I love crying at the movies and your post celebrates it.

  13. Jigna Kothari says:

    Rockstar! It made me cry so much, and prior to that it was Swades especially in that scene where SRK goes to collect rent from the farmer.

  14. Di says:

    The Japanese wife. Cannot relate to my life but the movie made me cry. TZP: THE song made me cry

  15. desipsycho says:

    Easily one of the best articles I’ve read so far.Keep it up,mate.

  16. fattiemama says:

    Today when Hugo says to the police Inspector, ‘You don’t understand! I don’t understand why my father died. Why I am alone.’

  17. […] rolled, the magic stayed with me. A few weeks ago, Jahan Bakshi wrote a beautiful post on ‘The Joy of Crying at the Movies’ and I could not agree more… this weekend when I watched Hugo, after almost giving up on the […]

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