I aint Givin a Damn!

“To be is to do.” – Socrates.

“To do is to be.” – Plato.

“Do be do be do.” – Sinatra.

These three lines, when seen separately, make little sense. They are powerful quotes on their own (especially the first two); but when combined with the third one, give the picture of a person who is ruining his life, and knows it.

These are the first lines of the movie “No Smoking”- a powerful depiction of the evils of the ‘evil’ habits (smoking, in particular). Agreed, requires lot of patience to understand it, but it’s hard to think of anything once you manage to do so. One of the scariest movies you’ll ever see (a close third to Das Experiment and Requiem for a dream). Not ‘scary’ in the usual lingo- but the thoughts the narration manages to evoke aren’t going to let your normal thought process run in the way it should- especially if you can relate yourself to the subject.

The first two lines explain what a typical smoker (named ‘K’ in the movie) goes through. He wants to quit because of some reasons (health, family, concerns about his future…). He knows cigarettes aren’t the way to go. He knows that cigarettes will not solve his problems, and tries to quit- but fails miserably- because of his attitude (captured in the third line) - carefree, least bothered about everything that was/is/will be affected by his smoking.

He never blames smoking for the things that go wrong (“What’s loving your wife got to do with Smoking?”) but deep down, he knows cigarettes are culprits. And when threatened with the lives of his loved ones, he looks shaken- but the guilt is nowhere to be seen when another cigarette is lit. The blame is passed on to others (“he forced me to smoke”) when he could have easily avoided the place. He looks remorse, but the effects vanish as soon as another cigarette is placed in front.

P.S: the description is more on the personal side- but going through the details (the director’s description of hell, and how the worst punishment given has no impact on the man) makes little sense. You might disagree; I’m least bothered.

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