The critically falling standards of Indian cinema – Part III

Dry as the Sahara…drier than Torres’s goal record…drier that my dry cough! Well that has been the state of this blog lately, and I can’t push the blame on lack of time. So lets pull another reason…I was lazy, well doesn’t sound too encouraging right? Hence let’s say I was busy 😀

Coming to the post…This is a much awaited, anticipated and disputed final post of the series – The critically falling standards of Indian cinema! Enough hype already…so lets get started with the middle, ring and little finger – Actors, Production and Audience

Actors –

These guys are, so to speak, the most important aspect of a film. They are the guys who with their emotions and skills bring ideas to life on the silver screen. They are the eye candy, the money boosters, the publicity icons and the torch bearers of a movie. But is that all? Their importance undoubtedly makes them the middle finger of the five finger theory! And frankly speaking, actors have been showing it (the finger) a lot to us lately! The actors are the difference making unit of a film…can’t argue with that. Their charm, charisma and a whole lot of crap can drive people nuts… it is driving the fans so crazy that they have lost the minimum sense to differentiate between a good and a shit movie! In an interview Mr. Kamal Hassan rightly pointed out that the outlook of heroes towards the medium has greatly changed. The golden days of Indian cinema were those days when actors obeyed their ethics, rehearsed their roles as diligently as a KG student does his homework, were as punctual as a clock. When you look at it, you can easily realize where they got their grit from – The stage plays! Most actors of that time belonged to the now endangered or even extinct Drama Companys. Unlike movies, you do not have the opportunity to do a retake or to make a delay on a stage play… you have to be at your best every moment or ul get the verdict on the spot. Unfortunately, the cinema slowly but steadily has wiped out this beautiful tradition, at least in our country and with it wiping away great ethics that the stage plays boasted of. Alas, those were good days…especially for Telugu cinema. Then started the nepotism in Telugu Industry – Balayya, Nag, Venky and off the track Chiru… I don’t curse their work ethics but looking at the present day actors makes me feel…there was something that definitely went wrong somewhere during their time! This story is somewhat similar in the case of Bollywood. But to be fair to them, their youngsters seem to be more talented than what Tollywood has on offering. Evidence? Watch Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (Hindi) and Josh(telugu) Ul know it!

Today’s heroes seem to act better in leaked videos and paparazzi than in actual films! They are more worried about setting/breaking industry records than meeting industry standards…I don’t find one big hero who relies on his own strength and is resolved to prove himself of the stature that he is given. Even the best and biggest names in our acting field seem to be fall short coming to many aspects of acting. Some have really bad sense of dialogues, some can’t dance, a few over dance… and only a few actors can actually act! Looks are definitely important but not more than art itself… Now-a-days six packs rule the screen. Idiotic actors with six pack…what a combination! They bank on the fame of their earlier generations and they have nothing to show for themselves even after 30 years in the Industry. Final verdict…We need to get back old acting habits…Burn down the egos, get in multi starres if needed, Put everyone through good acting schools! Actors aren’t gods…we fans need to remember that they are paid employees, employees who aren’t able to perform their duties to the right end.

You thought this is over? Yeah looking at the modern movies, who wouldn’t? No mention of heroines and you thought the show is over and you’re happy with it! Pretty much like Telugu movies! The day wouldn’t be too far when heroines are replaced by Item gals. 3 item songs per movie with one hero intro song is all that a feminine role come to! Leaving the extreme ends like Mantra or a few other heroine centric movies…can you name one decent movie in which a female had to play a decent role in the movie? This is so pathetic! Coz women are those who shape a man’s life and the roles they play in a movie that portrays a man’s life is shown to be so insignificant! Who is to blame? The directors or the scripts or the actresses? All of them. The actresses of yester years… Let’s name a few (very limited list, no offense to others) – Savitri, Jamuna, Sridevi, Soundarya etc. And today’s heroines – Item girl 1, Item girl 2, Item girl 3…so on. The older actors could really act and they were beautiful too! Today actresses… beautiful? My foot! They can act? My sideys’s foot! All they can do is stand there as models and smile or move their hips. And there is a serious problem in the way females are being portrayed in Telugu movies too…as insignificant eye candies! The directors must widen their gaze and hunt for more local talents who can understand the language and sensitivities of the medium. Someone said that Nayanataara doesn’t compare to Anjali Devi ni SRR. Damn how can you compare them? Look at the roles the great Anjali Devi sported before that role she got in Lava Kusha (the movie release in 1963, and she started professional films in 1948…almost 15 years into her career, nowadays a career of 15 years for a heroine is like a life time achievement). Look at their experience and the absolute difference in emotions! Heroines of present day have a very very feeble role and they seem quite content with it! They are earning big bucks but the tradeoff is huge and unmistakably unhygienic for the industry’s future!

Let me kill this with an example – There is this girl called Natalie Portman, who started acting in 1994 and bagged a great role in 1999 as a part of the epic Star Wars saga, won a heck load of awards in her career and had recently received the Academy Award in 2011 for her wonderful performance in The Black Swan…and the second to next movie that she acts in after Black Swan is a comedy, by no means and epic one, in which hers is a kind of limited role – a movie called Your highness! This is what I am talking about… judging a role by its merit and not the pay, or costars…what do u say Kareena!? Is this enough or do I need to talk about diCaprio – probably the most talented actor of this generation yet to receive an OSCAR and Mohan Babu ( Dialogue King – ROFLMAO) who disgraced himself and the industry by tryn to call himself a legend! (ROFLMAO again!) Whats the missing factor? All of you have heard of this word – CHARACTER!

Production –

The ring finger, beautiful and makes the expensive look even better! Who are producers? Ask a common Indian viewer, the answer would be – A guy who has money and wishes to spend lots of it! Looking at the beautiful and utterly out of context Switzerland/ Australia sequences in songs and shots in movies one really comes to believe that definition. A producer, in reality is the guy in charge of maintaining the deadlines of the movie. “The ideal situation is that a director wants infinite time for the movie to come out as he wants it” – Jeff Jose (my mentor). True, and it is the production department that keeps check on the deadlines of the work setting short term work related goals. Our producers seem to be happy enough to put in money into random crap just because they have money…no other reason! And they are happy to see their big movies go into the drain and they are content to commit suicide attempts. They production house culture has to hit a rise in the industry. Few individuals/companies pooling in money and raising the value of actors should be avoided! Sounds confusing? Why the hell do you need to pay a newbie 5 crores for a movie? 5 crores…that is jaw dropping amount of money! If I had it…I’d seriously not move a muscle in my body for the rest of my life! Producers have to invest more carefully and yeah they have to take more disaster management classes if the present trend continues.

When I asked a certain someone –“Will there ever be a movie like Lord of the Rings in India?” He said –“You already have a LOTR, why do you need another one?” and everyone laughed…But what I saw in that sarcastic comment was not mockery…It was a fear…a fear so strong that we do not even consider the possibility of making such movies! Our production houses are happy to spend crores on movies like Ra.one with all fancy out of country shootings but they refuse to come together and pool up money for film which could really mean something. Wise decisions have to be made by the production unit. If they spend big, then they must ask the artists to work their asses off for it! Pretty lil Piggy chops does not like a few stills/costumes and a few shots in her upcoming movie. Even after a director okays a shot, she orders another retake and what do the producers do? Smile and comply, pay her even more for the seeming extra bit that she has put in! You know why Transformers 3 did not have the ultra giga hot Megan Fox, who was quite literally the USP of the franchise? Just try finding out and youl know the difference in standards of our units and Hollywood units…Someone in the comments section said it was the money. Its not just the money my friend! Its something more…something very fundamental…something called character -again! Hollywood gets the recognition it has because the character of their production blocks not their money!

Audience –

“If one wants to find the guilty, one only needs to look at a mirror!” – V for Vendetta

Need I say more? We, the people who complain, criticize, mock, ridicule and scream out on the movie men fail to obey the one basic rule that asks us to look at ourselves before pointing out at others! We are the audience that rejected actors like Madhavan for guys like Abhishek Bacchan, films like Vedam and Prasthnam for projects like Simha and Adhurs! What is wrong with us? We are the guys who have sat ages watching Endamavulu and Chakravakam…but coming to movies, we seem to have developed this abnormal lack of patience and tolerance. We have begun to treat movies as a filthy form of entertainment rather than the rich form of art that it is. Two reasons for this downfall of the intellect of present day audience are the mob tendency and the unnecessary fan-notion. Firstly, the mob tendency, this is one factor that affects all classes of audience…the theatre goin ones as well as the piracy viewers! Walking out of the college auditorium in BITS after the first day screening of AOD (anukokunda O dheerudu, as my friend put it! :D) I was a bit disappointed coz I had come to expect a lot of the Walt Disney banner, the theme song and the promo and the movie did not meet my expectations…but by no means was the movie bad! There was this one guy from a group making his pedantic assessments about the movie, which by the way I knew were shit but the guys around him somehow seemed to switch off their own brains and went on with what all he was sayn and the final verdict was that it was a movie not even worth a penny! Cmon, have you seen the amazing camera sequences when they show the witch’s castle? Have you ever before seen such amazing graphics in a Telugu movie? The fight with the crow people and all…I know the story was weak…but it had its key areas, which the entire group was happy to ignore! You might think this wouldn’t affect the outcome of a movie on a larger scale but we are blinded to the fact that this is the exact scenario that happens around us. Some ‘critics’ express their ‘expert opinion’ on movies and tag the movie as good or bad! How can you rely on someone’s review? The review of a guy who does not know you and doesn’t care if you watch a good movie and he doesn’t even care to opt for objectivity at times! They are guys who tell you that a movie is bad coz they were insensitive to a movie. Some just try to be different from others by disagreeing with the majority to spread their views. By all this I don’t say you gotta watch every movie even though it is not worth it…I’m just saying that you need to decide if a movie is worth your time and money or not! And how do you do that? Look at the posters, the trailers and some very reliable sources and only then you can decide if a movie is good.

The second problem of fan bases. Hmmm…This is probably the most senseless issue that has raised and peaked in the recent times. Watch our hero’s movie just for the sake of community! We hear that all the time. Don’t we? Crap movies are turned into commercial successes overnight and crappier movies are being sustained by the fans’ money. A movie needs to survive on its own merit, not on the money thrown in by fans. I couldn’t stop laughing after readin a poster in a cinema hall saying “The introduction of Naga Chaitanya is a boon to the Telugu industry!” Coming to think of it, he was one of the reasons that I decided to write this post! This is the utter insanity of these fan-communities. Fans…fans for what reason? Are these actors war heroes? Are these guys serving the society? Are they religious leaders leading you to salvation? True that they specialize in a very attractive and widespread medium of entertainment, but at the end of the day… It is just another form of entertainment! Another business and what we have today are businessmen who can’t deal right! So the audience needs to rethink their own loyalties and must support the betterment of the industry.

I would like to end this long testament/assessment/opinion/critique with a couple of statements.

For the film fraternity – “If you stay true to your trade, you will never fail”

For the viewers- “Movies are a business yes, but they are a way of life for many. Please support it or at least respect it”

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