Wag the Dog!


Written on 9:58 PM by Hemanth Kumar

At last a post on this blog! feels so good to be writing again about movies. With the number of movies that I have been watching over a period of time, I think I would soon be back here with more things to write about..[:)].....however this time, this one is not the review of the Dustin Hoffman starrer "Wag the Dog!", but a perspective of how things are going on with the current flicks...

For someone, who looks up to the world of cinema as a form of liberation, an expression of a feeling so profound which can move you to tears and inspire, a form of art which is as beautiful as music and painting, there’s one thing going on in my mind…What is wrong with the new generation of film makers who have a reputation of churning out blockbuster movies? I have almost given up on Hindi flicks, except maybe for some few directors and actors whom I believe have some sense left in them to make a good cinema. It’s been ages since I have seen a movie which made me belief that Hindi movies can make the difference in someone’s perception of what Cinema should be like (perhaps, my last favourite was “Taare Zameen Par”). And Hollywood keeps my hope alive…but that’s not what I am worrying about.
The contention here is about the Telugu Film Industry a.k.a Tollywood. It's today one of the biggest regional language film Industry, maybe only second to Hindi. There was a time, when almost every other movie had something to look upto. Flicks those were true to their plots which are quite unlike the today’s genre of potpourris of God knows what all, those flicks of the golden era are definitely a thing of the past. What we see today, is producers and directors simply catering to the needs (read as demands) of the audience. Well, obviously a question arises at this point…is it detrimental to do something like that? It’s a very subjective point of view, but what is interesting to see is that, there seems to be a general opinion among my generation that there is something missing…and that is the “Awesomeness” which we experience sometime or the other while watching a good flick. Perhaps it wouldn’t take too much time in understanding such trite plots and over the top sentiments! To sum it up it’s almost like everyone’s is induced to “Lemon Law” the flick right after 10 mins into the plot (Inspired from Barney’s Law from the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”)!!!...
What’s even more flabbergasting to see is how film makers boast about the production values and hell a lot of things like acting, songs, characterization and yada..yada. After going through some grueling hours in PVR, Prasads, IMAX over the past several months sitting through some of the so called Blockbusters…I can only show pity on me. For one, I don’t really know why I keep going week after week and spending a fortune on something like that…maybe I still have some hope left in me that someday, someone would surprise me with a good flick! I am having serious thoughts about watching a flick just for the reputation that the director commends or those who constitute my favourite protagonists. I think, I can only blame the unknown for all this, can’t really point out any particular person in the industry….but atleast I hope someday someone would read this earnest plea of this movie buff…
1. For Heaven’s sake, somebody move away from 6 songs, 5 fights (or whatever the number maybe), comedy and sentiment which look terribly out of place! I can’t help to not observe this phenomenon that certain scenes of comedy and sentiment in most of the plots are shoved in to please certain sections of the audience.
2. The budding directors of today’s era who have a great talent to make it big, could also fiddle with the idea of making the length of the movie to just 90 or 100 minutes. It not only adds effect but also saves time for almost everyone. It’s very difficult to please all sections of the audience all at the same time and if not handled properly the results are there to see in zillion movies around.
3. And someone please….please chop off the so called “item songs”! It’s been sometime since it only adds to the burden of having to withstand all this…of course they do the job of pulling the crowd and giving great publicity, but come to think of it, we are on the verge of creating another Jayamalini and Jyothilaxmi today. If the producers believe that people want change everytime and that’s why zillion new female leads are introduced, then why not even in the “Item Songs” front??!
4. I really don’t know what constitutes a blockbuster, but if it’s just money which makes or breaks a flick, then how do you fit good cinema into the bill?! (My definition of a good cinema is something which can be applaudable sincerely from the bottom of your heart. And something which you can watch over and over and over again….for the overall aura which the flick creates and not just because it’s the flick of your favourite actors/actresses). So, please give art a chance to find its place! It’s rather pleasing to watch a flick which you feel difficult to understand or something which is different from the rest, than to watch something which makes you feel all the more stupid! (Wouldn’t you agree on that?!)
5. You gotta give credit...quite literally! Credit to the countless flicked tunes, scenes, even plots! Just a simple mention of this at the end of the movie or in interviews would give credibility to the flick, in the sense that atleast those who have seen the original would want to check out how the Tollywood's take on it is! Right now, the situation is that, instead of listening to the tunes or watching the film, atleast the me is trying to remember the original version...(one of the recent blockbuster reminded me of 5 different movies! Of course a lot many of you might have observed it too).
To conclude this monologue which I have been trying to frame in my mind, I do realize that I am not the only one living around to watch movies, and also it’s not me on whom the outcome of the flick depends on. But an idea, a notion is as immortal as life itself. Right from the moment it germinates in someone’s dream it takes an enormous form and someone is bound to put some life into it. It’s bound to have a domino effect and one day finally changing into a conclusive action. If only, we are lucky enough to see some of this change in the near future…. Wouldn’t you agree that one thing inspires the other? In fact that’s what makes us so progressive. Few days ago, one of the directors of the film Industry wrote an open letter in one of the websites that the film makers are entirely aware of what they are doing, and that there’s no point in voicing opinions which usually doesn’t result in anything. Well, he has a point with what he says. But I am of this staunch opinion that any phenomenon will not last forever. There will be a day when the dog will no longer wag the tail, instead it will be the tail which will wag the dog!The history of Tollywood like that of Bollywood has been undergoing a sort of cycle every 10-15 years. From showcasing the early years of Independence, then to the social revolution, added to this a lot of Family Drama with plots revolving around the bonding within the family, and finally to that of Love and Action. I am not sure if we are still in the era of Love and Action, it certainly seems so, but nowadays with things changing faster than ever, I can see a paradigm shift soon in the offing.Who takes the first step forward remains to be seen! Someone’s gotta understand that whatever has happened so far and what’s been going on, will one day push us into a feeling of void, if it continues. A hunger for something fulfilling will emerge and it’s bound to spread like a plague, because we no longer live in a society where people are alienated from one another. If everyone thinks that the purpose of films is to just entertain, then it does have a serious competition from countless other things. My humble request as I get ready for the upcoming releases would be, maybe you cannot escape the Murphy’s Law, but you can definitely try not to be Lemon Law’ed.
Suit Up! No...No...That should be “Think Suit Up!“

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1 Comment

  1. Rahul Putha |

    well.Do not lose hope my friend.
    Indy filmmakers are emerging even in Tollywood.
    All that matters is to see if they are going to survive or not.
    As you know, moving away from the formulae(6 songs,5 fights...) might appeal to you(a member of the 'multiplex audience' I may say) but might look really bad for the regular B-class audience(the guys who make the money for the movie) which is again why the 'regular director' keep adding them(I guess you already understand this).
    well lets just hope taht the new breed of directors stick to telugu movies to cater to the more sophesticated audience instead of moving to hindi(like ramu for instance)


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