|Inside jokes, and missing them
||[Mar. 25th, 2011|11:01 pm]
|||||Dulha Mil Gaya: Magar Meri Jaan||]|
I came across the blog of another fantasy author who likes Hindi movies awhile ago, and one of her recommendations for newcomers was Om Shanti Om, a movie about a movie extra in love with a top actress (at least at first). Overall, it's a pretty awesome movie--very well-made, with good songs and a good script. However, this recommendation struck me as strange. This movie is FULL of in-jokes and references, both to the Hindi film industry in general and specifically to the lead actor's previous movies. There's a song that's roughly nine minutes long that's nothing but a series of cameos by other actors and actresses, and the assumption is that the viewer will already know who every single one of these people is. (I do, but there were a few I didn't know the first time I saw it.) I'd never recommend this particular movie to a newcomer because of how much they'll miss.
So I guess I'm wondering how important it is, when watching/reading something that's filled with in-jokes like that, to be "in the know." I'm actually torn because I was in the position of semi-outsider the first time I saw the bulk of Futurama, which is one of my favorite shows--I'd never seen Star Trek. That's something that has now been remedied, and when I rewatch the episodes I'm stunned at the extra jokes that I missed the first few million times because I lacked that background knowledge. It's definitely enriched my experience of the episodes.
But it didn't just become a favorite show within the past year or so (which is when I saw ST:TOS). I fell in love with Fry, Leela, Professor Farnsworth, and all the other characters in the first episode (which I saw when it first premiered). So why is it so hard to imagine that someone could feel the same way about Om, Shanti, and Om?
This isn't a perfect example because Futurama's premise isn't based around Star Trek (although the plots of some of the episodes certainly are) while Om Shanti Om's is definitely focused on poking fun at the industry. I wish I could think of a better example. But I can't, so I'm throwing the question out to anyone who cares to you all: how important is it for you to get all the in-jokes in a particular book/movie/TV show? Do you go back and rewatch things once you've acquired new background knowledge (the way I did with Futurama)?
In other news, I tried to watch Dulha Mil Gaya the other day. I only made it through the first five minutes before giving up, but I have to say that I'm really digging the music. But then that's not much of a surprise, since a lot of my favorite songs were by Jatin-Lalit, and Lalit Pandit did the music for this travesty. I have to say, though, that even before I knew who did the music I kept thinking this song reminded me a LOT of Des Rangila from Fanaa. And now I know why, lol.