Lights, camera, pack-up

January 25, 2006

Seriously, that is my message to many film makers. Before clearing my stand that this is not a rant about the present day movie industry, blah blah, I would like to make it clear that I have certain expectations, and they better live upto them if they want me to shell out some money and watch their movie.

Certain issues that really bother and deter me (and people of my clan) from watching movies are (and these apply not just to Bollywood, but also Hollywood):

(*) Factor of expectability: Once a movie follows a particular course, or tends to follow a proven formula, or makes guessing the next step a child's play, there goes my $8 ticket or $2 rental fee. If I were to know the ending, then I could have saved that money and I could have dreamt of that plot. I do not say that period films or true stories have to be distorted, but the way a movie is taken should be enough to make you sit and and engage your intellect (I would prefer challenging my intellect, but oh, lets get practical).

Say for instance, hardly anyone could have even bleakly guessed the ending of the movie called Saw, Saw II was okay (and still good ending), the way Memento was taken was more brilliant than the plot, the way Wicker Park revelead the plot was better than the way Crash revelead its theme, the way Ocean's Eleven revelead the heist in the very ending was worth, and ofcourse it was all classy, you get my point? And I need not tell about Usual Suspects, the way the audiences are fooled is worth the money (though I did not pay for the movie).

(*) Stop using known actors:This argument does not fit very well for Hollywood movies as actors are not stereotyped for a particular image unlike in India (I still admire Indian movies but..). For instance, if Chiranjevi is to act in a movie, I know the story the day they anounce the project: he is THE hero, he has 2 heroines, there HAS to be comedian. Somebody hurts the hero, he seeketh revenge, and they live happily ever after.. till another plot and another movie is played. It tends to depart from being a movie to being a long soap opera, released at regular intervals, with the same subset of actors, with trite storylines. Samay was a well made movie (I agree inspired, made from Se7en, but well adapted), Aankhen was a class in its own, there are some handful like Teen Deewarein and others that are nice. Directors/audiences are definitely getting smarter, but then, sometimes they take movies like Zinda and I lose confidence.

(*)Be different:Ram Gopal Varma tends to be different, though occasionally he tends to give in. But he experiments with fresh talent, two reasons: they are cheap, and they dont have any associated image held with them, no pre-conceived notions about the character they tend to potray, and hence the movie is more interesting than having an air of expectability. I mean c'mon, I dont tend to be supporting the underdog but isnt it enough of Sharukh Khan, Chopra family and batallion, give chance to other newcomers, there is an ocean of fresh talent that is lying untapped, so go out and explore. But no, if you want to make money, stick to standard (ISO 9001 comppliant) formulae, and success shall kiss your ass. Their point is understandable, but somebody has to dare.

I dont say dont show unrealistically big mansions, and too much glittery that is zillions of light years away form reality, but do have some air of credibility, some air of suspense, and something to learn, and most importantly something to think about, that yeah that could have been you, or that was some nasty stuff.. something to relate to..

So if every new movie were to have new people, then what about them after a movie or two? Why should I be concerned about their unemployment? I dont mean that, but should change and variety dictate the movies? they should opt for different roles, play villain, try comedy, try something new, learn and explore, but please dont get typecasted so that I know the moment you are there that you must be the villain, the bad guy who dies in the end. Nana Patekar played hero, villain, comedian, so has Paresh Rawal.. so has Amitabh, and so has Shahrukh (but later got stagnant).

What do I want to keep shut? Make a movie off this skeletal work. And dont forget, you dont require a prescription for Aspirin, and if you really need one, its on me!


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