Well hello again! I’ve been a lil busy these days celebrating X mas with Naruto and a few other engagements. But now I’ve found time and so back to the topic. Last post I’ve left it, speaking things about few styles of film making and commenting on a few quotes. A little history and a few explanations should have set things on the go and that was what I wanted with the first post. That was just a tip of the ice berg…the main intention of that post was to get you ready for the coming ones! Here- a clash of opinions, a thrust of ideas, a pack of failures and the game of blames…The critically falling standards of Indian Cinema Part – II
The five pillars of cinema in general and specifically Indian cinema as I see are – Story, Technical Team, Actors, Production and Audience.
A boy (poor/different/psycho/rough/idiotic etc) fighting for the love of a girl (rich)! First half he impresses the heroine, second half he impresses her family and ends the movie with a senti scene! Simple, dumb and dull story, frankly…But wait, this has been the success factor for a whole lot of movies over the years. Need I speak more? As pathetic as it may seem, it is true. When a common viewer watches a movie, it is not the cinematography or direction he would appreciate. The primary thing people look for is a story (I’m talking about typical Indian cinema not out and out comedies) and by people I just don’t refer to the untrained viewers, even the trained people first look at the story! This is undoubtedly the index finger in the five finger theory. Even though everyone knows the importance of this factor, sadly now-a-days not many seem to put in real effort into the story! The most worrying behaviour of the present day is that writers are thinking about success formulae rather than concrete story lines. The stories that are being presented have very little mettle and are being written to suit the cast that sports the roles! Even if a writer stays true to his art and writes a good story, it is being mended for the sake of heroism. Crap!
Here, I would like to draw a comparison. Let’s look at Hollywood, many good movies that we often go back to are based on well established stories…be it novels, comics,plays or even video games! And many other big hits have exceptionally well worked stories costing immense time and effort on the part of the drafters! No wonder people like them. And yeah, I know people hold something against Hollywood so…let us look at our own epics… Have you ever heard of an epic like Ramayana or Mahabharata being a flop? Coz I never have. C’mon even Sri Rama Rajyam with all its short comings managed to make the cut! And India is a land of tales…I seriously can’t figure out how our writers fail to get the point here! Our modern day movies, especially telugu movies seem to have lost any genre specificity which once stood in the industry. All we see now are family dramas mixed with masala. I have not seen many good stories in recent times and with the few formulae in practice today and with producers not seeming to encourage new, creative stories it is tough to believe that the situation would get any better! The best thing to do now is, in my opinion to get hold of good established stories, read and research them, make amends and bring out the new even if the number of movies coming out decreases we wouldn’t have to sulk with movies like Shakti(tollywood) and Ra.One(bollywood)!
The thumb…the fattest, the fittest, the one finger that gives a unique shape to your hand! The technical team is a combination of every single person involved with the movie and who does not appear on screen: The directors, cinematographers, producers, music directors, choreographers and assistants. These are the people who make a film what it is. Let’s pick them one after the other. The director is the one who by all means has to wear the captain’s arm band. He is the one who needs to paint a clear picture in his head – about the script and the way it is going to be presented. He should be holding all threads and sailing the ship. Unfortunately, not many of today’s directors in our country seem to stand up for the task. Many are seeking only the glory behind the name and not the responsibility that comes with it. We do not have many directors who have their unique style of film making, their own trade mark. Cinematographers are mere puppets to the will of the directors…what one sees the other tries to show. This makes a director’s job even more complicated. Lately we see a lot of incoherence in the movies shown. Not very stark ones but even the subtle mistakes when repeated can cause great damage! Looking at the movie ‘Oy’(tollywood), remember the title song that Siddarth voiced? In the movie, the song was located in a closed pub with disco lights. Now imagine that song shot on a road, preferably with a lot of crowd, girls and boys with balloons and gleeful faces, jumping and dancing with joy! The song was all cheers depicting joy and it was shot in dark! Which film school did the director attend?! Makes me want to strike it off my options list! Many such irritating features in our modern films creep up to my mind but lets move onto screenplay – the art of sequencing. Bluntly putting it, screenplay has lost meaning as there aren’t many fresh ideas cropping out. The last I could remember was Sakhi and Yuva and not surprisingly they came from the same man! Nothing new is being tried out by the directors. It is understandable that the young and wanna-be biggies are scared to try new things, but what about the big names…The last movie I would have expected from a director like V.V.Vinayak was Badrinath. Alas, I had to bear it. And even with all these defects we are happy to complain about the lack of patience and no tolerance for character development on screen in today’s public…the same public which was patient enough to bear the wrath of ‘Kyuun ki saas bhi kabhi bahun thi’ for years…the same public that craves for a new episode of ‘friends’ every week, that public which spends hours…hhmmm u get the point right? U blame this public for no patience? Get real! Final word, I believe the directors must be more responsibility oriented and make actors listen to them and they themselves must listen to what the script demands. There is always scope for creative modifications in screenplay, cinematography etc. Freshness has to be the concern now! And by new and different, I don’t mean stupid! What say Ramu??
Production is for another schedule, so we’l move onto music. Surprisingly I don’t have many complaints here. The guys are trying and are working well. Bazingaa…I got you there haven’t I? Ha ha…look at the lyrics, they too are music aren’t they and what crap are people writing now-a-days? Especially telugu item songs, I believe they aren’t called item for no reason! The wordings are getting harsher on the ear and the tunes crappier to the head. It has gone to such an extent that people are happier listening to Tamil dubbed songs in place of original telugu scores! People are happy to ignore inefficiencies in their own music but readily point fingers about the tracks borrowed from other languages. I don’t have complaints about copied songs…we all know they are good, or they would not have been copied. The Ya-ali, the chatrapati BG score are all copied…no doubt but c’mon give the men some credit with the lyrics and all. 😐 I know that’s a weak argument but I have a point there! We do have good music though; good songs sweet to the tympanum.We have AR, yuvan, DSP, Shankar Ehsan Loy to name a few who score the majority of the tracks and in such a scenario repetitions are bound to exist. One moment you like a song and try to feel its freshness when you realise that a bit in this has been picked up from another song! Happens always with me…I’ve almost stopped complaining about this! This all is again formula oriented not music oriented it seems. Bolly music is pretty decent but coming to tollywood it is not exceptional…We donot have original scores that impress us or give us goose bumps. For a country that believes in Nadobramha, what we are seeing now is a mere shadow of what we need to do! The problem with music is…the things we are getting are not bad but looking back at the kind of songs we had…its kind of a shame- the road which we are heading. That’s all I’ve gotta say on this.
Phew…A big read, Isn’t it…and Im still just getting started! I believe there’s another sequel on its way in a couple of days to tear apart the middle, ring and little fingers of the five finger theory! Until then…tc