F1 Ra.One Bar One
...That which is for me through the medium of money – that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy) – that am I myself, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money's properties are my – the possessor's – properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore, I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness – its deterrent power – is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore, its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am brainless, but money is the real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless? Besides, he can buy clever people for himself, and is he who has power over the clever not more clever than the clever? Do not I, who, thanks to money, am capable of all that the human heart longs for, possess all human capacities? Does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their contrary?
If money is the bond binding me to human life, binding society to me, connecting me with nature and man, is not money the bond of all bonds? Can it not dissolve and bind all ties? Is it not, therefore, also the universal agent of separation? It is the coin that really separates as well as the real binding agent – the...chemical power of society...
Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
Capitalism is an infinite race on the fast track. The faster you run, the more stationary you are. In backward capitalism, as in India with its equally infinite poverty line, with a deadly cocktail of neoliberal affluence and archaic remains of feudalism, it is like a patient constantly in need of ecstatic drugs and quick painkillers. It's the addiction of an artificial high, driven by the insatiable greed for money, more money, profit, more profit, more ecstasy and excitement; the more you have it, the less you are; the more you possesses, the less you become.
It is infinite, this thirst, like a multi-storied building which goes up in the sky like a rope trick and never ends, and you don't know which floor you must sleep in to be closest to heaven, to god, to divinity. Money makes you feel like god, you are god, and godliness flows like the death wish of an obsessive
social climber; the higher you go, the more distant you are from the next peak.
After cash-rich IPL with sundry film stars jumping and dancing, cheergirls doing armpit bombing, endless fashion shows of emaciated, anorexic women walking that terrible angular walk, and after all the flag-waving and patriotic high, and moronic television revolutions, the neo-capitalists and their sidekicks have found a new drug to drug the upwardly mobile masses. If stupid cinema goers were compelled to take painkillers the moment super-flop Ra.One floated on thousands of screens, Formula 1 (F1) arrived like yet another hallucinatory drug of sundry celebrities, tycoons, cricketers, models, grid girls, and all those fat cats who float on a high with fat wallets and big money. Oh, what a super-fast kick, with the glitterati and chatterati hooked, as if clinging on to their first chance of true greatness. The corporate media, true to character, joined the race like possessed creatures caught in an epidemic. Oh, what an incurable disease!
However, Marx has been proved wrong. Money can't buy you everything, not always. Ask that mediocre method actor who now looks like an unedited, repetitive comic strip. Indeed, the Rs 150 crore super dud, with a desperate Rs 45 crore ad/brand campaign in the death overs, could not save Ra.One in the cash registers. The Facebook joke is that this is the shortest Rajnikant film of two minutes, where this ageing bore does a cameo of two-and-a-half hours. The other joke is more down to earth – Ra.One: Rs 200. Bar One: Rs 10! The choice is all yours.
(For those not in the loop, Bar One is one of the cheapest chocolates in town.)