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Posted By Ritesh Chhajer on Wednesday, March 25, 2009
9264 Views 9 Comments


MoviesI just finished watching "Gulaal" and was absolutely blown away by the fantastic performance exhibited by a great ensemble cast. As a matter of fact, it's a pity that this movie was stuck for 6 years since there was nobody ready to finance it. There are so many similar good low budget movies that have a story to tell with very fine actors but unfortunately very few get endorsed. So who is to blame for this total apathy towards good cinema?

Talking about "Gulaal", it's made by the maverick writer director Anurag Kashyap who dazzled everybody with hard hitting "Black Friday", confused all with his most self-indulgent weirdo "No Smoking", experimented with his modern take on Devdas as "Dev D" and now the provocative "Gulaal" as his supposedly most angry film till date. The movie is truly a layered one where every character has his ego and power hungry but desperately wants to legitimize it. The real star of the movie though is Piyush Mishra whose lyrics, music and acting remains etched in the memory even after the movie is finished.

Last year, there were some really good movies like "Aamir", "Mumbai Meri Jaan", "A Wednesday" and few years back, "Khosla Ka Ghosla", "Life In A Metro" to mention a few which gives me a glimmer of hope that Indian Cinema is finally moving away from it's stereotypical formulas but not sure whether this new age cinema will have it's sustenenance coz at the end of the day, it all comes down to whether it's a profitable venture for the producer. Strangely, still dumb movies like "Ghajini", "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi", "Singh Is King" rule the market.

Once good quality low budget movies start making business, it'll do a world of good for everybody and not just for a few connoisseurs like me. The exorbitant prices of the celebrity stars would come down and so would their tantrums. But I guess Indian audience prefers pure entertainment as a stress buster over sincere work of art. Well in that case, one should not complaint and bitch about the kind of movies that are being served. Unless we endorse good intelligent cinema, we'll be thrown the same old crap.

 

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  • Gravatar
    Sudhi Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 5:34 PM
    Re: Craving for fascinating movies
    Couldn't agree with you more on getting low budget movies out. But come to think of it, how would define "entertainment"? Every individual will have his/her own definition for it. If thought provoking is entertainment for some, then pure ill-logical comedy could be for somebody else. So it all depends on how much percentage of audience would consider watching the movie as being "entertained".

    Consider Gulal; If I see it late night after a hard day's of work, then my mind is seriously not inclined for any kind of CPU intensive work. So when I watch the movie at that time, I might just dooze off, or If I manage not to sleep, then I might just say the movie is bad. On the other hand if I see the movie when I'm fresh and my mind is willing to do the work that might be needed for watching the movie, then I might just say the movie was good. So it would depend on when and where I watch the movie. Thats one of main reasons why I don't read a review of the movie before watching it as the person who wrote the movie is catering to a section and I may not necessarily be a part of it.

    So the film industry would try to cater to the large masses as they got to make money too. Consider the movie "Sing is King" - even though it didn't require any brains to watch the movie, but it sure did give a lot of entertainment and was really fun to watch on a friday night.

    Whether a movie is a hit or a miss would definitely depend on the definition of "entertainment" and many good movies don't actually make it to the hit list just because it needs some brains to understand it happy

    • Gravatar
      Ritzy Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 6:15 PM
      Re: Craving for fascinating movies
      Yes, the idea of getting entertained is quite subjective. You may laugh at one joke while the other person may find it ridiculous.

      But I don't quite agree when you say it needs some brains to understand good movies. Most of the movie makers just underestimate our intelligence. It's just that most of these low budget movies don't get adequate prints out and don't get the kind of publicity and hype which some of the other start-studded movies get. I remember I had to convince hard to my friends to watch "Maqbool" because they had not heard of it but after watching they were all awestuck and equally entertained.

      If good quality movies are catered consistently, the audience taste also improves and adapts to it. Imagine the kind of movies that were made in 80s,90s and now. There is a wave of change but still we are a long way behind.

      I'm not saying movies for masses should not be made. There is space for everyone. But I got a problem when people at heart enjoy all the Bollywood masala but in discussion just despise them and go ga-ga over movies from west

  • Gravatar
    Sudhi Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 8:17 PM
    Re: Craving for fascinating movies
    That didn't come out right...so let me make another attempt.

    Compare the brain to CPU and consider a movie like Gulaal. This movie is definitely not a one where you can have a conversation with a friend and still watch the movie. Any kind of multi-tasking during the movie might take you a different direction. One needs to pay attention to the details while watching this. There are very subtle things that might easily go unnoticed. So I would term this one as a movie which needs some CPU activity to watch. If you do watch it attentively, then you realize how good the movie actually is. For eg: my friends did pay attention to the scene of big suticases of cash being given by the father and later when the scene came about why the money was taken...they were like "what money", "they never showed anything like it..." I had to rewind to show them what they missed out.

    So just because they miss out some details, then can easily term the movie as a bad one as they didn't use CPU to pay attention. This is what I meant by saying that it needs brains to see it. Paying attention to detail is a CPU consuming activity and not necessarily associated with "intelligence" happy

    Another movie that comes to mind was "Chingari". For some reason I like it very much and all my friends didn't. I know why they didn't as they were busy cracking their "own" jokes while the movie was playing. Since it was in a theater I couldn't rewind them to see the details...but ultimately they didn't like the movie. So it just goes to say how important it is to capture the "attention span" of the user in determining the fate of the movie.

    I completely agree on the part of marketing. I remember an Arabic film "Children of Heaven" which was so touchy in feelings, but just because it doesnt' have a budget to market, not many people get to hear about it. If I can do antying to appreciate this creative work, then all I can think of is to spread the "good word" on the movie and hope it

    • Gravatar
      Ritzy Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 8:39 PM
      Re: Craving for fascinating movies
      >>This movie is definitely not a one where you can have a conversation with a friend
      Well, movies are supposed to be that way at least the good ones. The hallmark of a great movie is that it transports you right to the middle of action. And sometimes the movie is so good that you want to watch it again and appreciate the subtle details. If it cannot hold attention or we are waiting for something interesting to happen and there is an urge to do multitasking then obviously that movie is just not good enough.

      >>Paying attention to detail is a CPU consuming activity and not necessarily associated with "intelligence" happy
      OK, I concurhappy

      >>hope it does get some new audience to enjoy
      Exactly, this is the least we can do. Spread the word. Personally speaking, if there is something good out there whether a movie or a song and if I've not experienced, I feel terrible on having missed out and that's way this constant craving for fascinating work of art



      • Gravatar
        Subodh Friday, March 27, 2009 at 5:03 AM
        Re:Spread the word.
        I don't watch movies. They are a complete waste of time in some make believe world, hoopla and poor jokes.
        Besides, I do not know of a place that keeps a lis of "current, good movies, top 10"
        happy There, I said it ... flames welcome

        • Gravatar
          Ritzy Friday, March 27, 2009 at 5:25 AM
          Re: Craving for fascinating movies
          >>I don't watch movies. They are a complete waste of time in some make believe world
          Hmm, so what you meant was you've not been privileged to watch good movies and whatever you have seen so far has been crappy mediocre stuff.

          >>Besides, I do not know of a place that keeps a lis of "current, good movies, top 10"
          I could give you the list of top 10 but then it's possible that half of them might not be available in the market. And the remaining half I'll just keep it with myself. Obviously, I don't want to waste your timehappy

          • Gravatar
            Subodh Shakya Friday, March 27, 2009 at 3:18 PM
            Re: I don't want to waste your time
            Har Har. Come on Sir, keep a list. I just might .... "Ritesh's Top 10 of the week." *Grin*

  • Gravatar
    Piyush Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 5:43 AM
    Re: Craving for fascinating movies
    I agree with one of the above comments that the idea of entertainment is very subjective to personality as well as situation when we watch it.
    Well I might like a movie on one day and but don't enjoy it another day...or sometimes a movies seems more entertaining when I watch it a second time...so in that sense what do I mean by a good movie is also subjective....
    Being a movie buff, I have watched all the movies mentioned above by ritzy, liked most of them ...but including ghajini winking....well on one side when we can enjoy movies based on creative ideas like no smoking but we also need movies with all masala n drama including oldies like all bacchan movies....
    But definitely good days seems to be around for Indi cinema with directors like anurag kashyap (for no smoking, gulaal), nagesh kukunoor (Iqbal, 3 diwarein, hyderabad blues- ritzy u forgot these winking, farhaan akhtar (dil chahta hai, rock on), madhur bhandarkar, mira nair, rajat kapoor and bunch of new directors (sagar ballary, shashant shah, etc)....waiting to see you ritzy on the list happy)....

    • Gravatar
      Ritzy Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 6:11 AM
      Re: Craving for fascinating movies
      >>we also need movies with all masala n drama
      Oh Yeah, we do. As I said earlier there is space for everyone and I myself enjoy lots of them like "Om Shanti Om". The only point I'm trying to make is good low budget movies with a story to tell needs to be encouraged more by the audience. Those movies are made under huge budget constraints and hardly get any publicity. So they deserve a better chance.

      >>good days seems to be around for Indi cinema
      Things are changing for good but at the end of the day what makes money is the winner. Some get lucky like "Bheja Fry" was made with a budget of 54 lacs and made a business of 8 crores. "Aamir" and "Gulaal" were stuck for a long time and got out only after UTV backed them. But the sad part is even today only star-studded movies irrespective of their content are highlighted by the media and make way to filmfare,screen awards for obvious reasons of sponsorship.

      >>ritzy u forgot these
      No Sir, I didnt forget anybody but then the list would be endless and I was just highlighting the recent ones and If I start dissecting each director's work, I may get sued for casting aspersions on their characterhappy

      All said and done, I'm extremely happy to see someone with excellent taste in cinema and someone who knows the director's names as well. By the way, Farhan Akhtar didnt direct "Rock On". It was made by Abhishek Kapoor.

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