Monday, June 20
Letter from a Filmy Film-Goer
I hero-worship Bollywood stars( You may read Salman Khan). This adulation goes back to the time when every Friday night, my inveteracy of sticking near the television screen for 4 hours ( an hour of advertisements),watching the only new movie that Doordarshan aired every week,would infuriate my parents. You are becoming “filmy” day by day , my mother once complained . Had I not been an Indian , I would have looked up in the dictionary and wondered what she meant. Filmy adj. thin and translucent, to be covered with a film .But we, the people know what this metaphor symbolizes. Slowly , the only adjective that clung on to me was Wow ! this boy confuses sin 30 and cos 60 ,but see his volubility in pointing out the name of the film in which Rishi kapoor and Shahrukh khan both married the same girl,and then Rishi Kapoor died blah blah blah… .
21 and progressing, I still have an avuncular attitude towards films ( bad or ugly). I am fascinated by them, keep brooding over all the physics-defying acts of the hero and whether I had the slightest chance of imitating them successfully.I have lived the great Indian-dream. The desire to have those greek like delineation along with a big car and a villa with a swimming-pool.And so have millions of others. And this is where the bright minds behind this industry have succeeded. Feed them a dream,let them live through it for 3 hours. Encash the effect. ( Udaan shudaan don’t fall in the ‘filmy’ category.I have never seen them. Someone told me he slept through the movie.)
I have never questioned why does the villain guffaw throughout every film , whimpering in the end. Why are most of the hated villains South-Indian , and necessarily bald. Why does every film of Rohit Shetty involve a car-stunt, and whats with Bhansali and the colour blue ? Someone told me he used it in Sawaariya because the characters were somewhat based on Krishna and radha and Krishna had a bluish complexion.Crap, I said, he likes it to be in conjunction with his films ,separated by a hyphen.I didn’t watch Sawaariya.I preferred Shanti om.
I don’t find any objection in seeing a copy of a film.If all films were made abstruse then where would Salman Khan go? No one loves an emaciated, grief-stricken actor who has nothing to do in life except pondering over his life in bed and pleading for euthanasia.After a days hard work in the call-center or factory, all I want is some quality time spent laughing, eating and watching dhissum-dhassum.Someone says people like me are an endangered species nowadays.I don’t think so.
This was until I found out a complete new genre which is sprouting. Copying bits and pieces from multiple films instead of using a script . Are you ‘ready’ ? as the film tagline shines out. Songs from South . Location from east ( Awarapan anyone ? ) .Mar-peet from north ( Dabbangg). Salman khan is a magician. He never loses a pound,never gains one,never marries and never speaks without contorting his face . I fear ,that if he remains a bachelor, his acting skills will die with him. The audience laughed ( there were instances that even though I didn’t they did,I really felt shattered, had my ability to comprehend decreased ?), cried ,ate munched their popcorn and went home. And so did i. Marvelling at the new genre that would set the screen on fire. Business at its best. Reduction of cost of a script-writer, and including all those best parts of various films that audiences applauded .Way back to the hostel I kept singing this song.Not Dhinka Chika morons. A better one.
Na script hain na story hain, na koi director.
Jaane kab kahaan se aa gaya hain financer.
Ek hero hain ek heroine aur ek producer.
No problem yaar,ban jayegi picture.
The filmy filmgoer