I stumbled upon this pure genius on Netflix by serendipity. And I don’t think I have laughed as much on anything else. This is the kind of absurd humour that I enjoy the most – I wonder what that says about me, sometimes.
This genre is somewhat hard to find, though. For a long time, it was only the Monty Pythons that worked on this genre. Then I stumbled upon Douglas Adams and haven’t looked back since. I think Douglas Adams is the absolute epitome of this genre. There are so many instances in the hitch hiker’s book that I still reminisce and laugh over. Dirk Gently, incidentally, is from Douglas Adams too.
I have longed for this genre in Tamil. There have been a few over time, but mostly in bits and pieces. I think Crazy Mohan’s “Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam” is the first one that comes to my mind. There were instances in movies like “Kaasedan Kadavulada” and “Kadhalikka Neramillai” etc. But nothing that went all the way. Even “Thillu Mullu” has a few brilliant absurdist moments. I think the first film I remember was “Mumbai Xpress”. Things changed recently though – Neram, Soodhu Kavvum, Moodar Koodam and Sutta Kadhai. I have watched Moodar Koodam half a dozen times!
Frankly, I think this genre takes a genius to write. Most forms of humour are based on day to day behavioural observations or stereotyping. A few people transcend this level to create humour that builds on criticism. But absurdist humour requires us to create something that doesn’t exist. It’s so silly that you need to think like a child to come up with this stuff. Most of us are logical beings. The basis of absurdist humour is illogical. And that requires a fair amount of genius for an ordinary person to create.