Rants of a Telugu Movie Lover7:50 PM
After a long time I am back in the blogging world and this time for a reason. For long a time now, I have made sure I stay away from any sort of discussion which would eventually lead to a debate. And debates, in real life my friend, never lead to a possible conclusion because we are too enraged by the end of it that our judgement is clouded, sanity is lost and pride is hurt.
"Cinema is an infinite medium. It's mad, beautiful, genuine, frivolous, profound, twisted, abstract, moody, mysterious, vibrant, aggressive, contradictory, hilarious, unabashed, digressive, poetic and melodious -- a wide-screen reflection, extension or exaggeration of everything we are, could be or conceal. Play by its rules and the silver screen will dazzle you in ways only dreams can." ~Sukanya Verma. This is one of the finest quotes on Cinema that I have come across so far and I firmly believe it is true to every word.
Ever since a child, I have always been a movie buff. Nothing has given me as much joy as watching a good movie. At the risk of being called cliched, I still say movie has always been a director's medium. It is his vision and idea that is backed up by various other departments be it photography,choreography or music along with acting included would make a good cinema. It is the responsibility of the director to ensure all the people working for the movie are in sync with him and understand the nuances of the story as much as he does, for it is their combined effort is what finally translates in to the movie. Even if one of them falters, the director would certainly fail to induce the desired impact on the audience. However, for most part of the time, we fail to see what goes behind the screens to make a scene. All we see is set of actors and actresses doing their bit to recreate the world director wanted to. We laugh with them, we feel their sorrow, we experience their angst, pain. We would most certainly endure all the emotions the lead actor of the particular movie. More often than not, we find a connection at the personal level, we end up rooting for the hero of the movie that we would love to see him victorious by the end of it. We would want him to win at all costs, defying all the odds that are stacked up against him. This could also be partly because we seek the escapism from the reality that enveloped where we are totally helpless.
In trying to understand the psyche of the Tollywood movie audience,have led me to the very popular concept of 'favorite stars'.In the process of seeking escapism, we seem to have chosen an actor who represents us in the movies with whom we found an utmost connect at the personal level. We have started finding the guilty pleasure when this star does everything we couldn't do it in the real world. We enjoyed it when the so called star wooed the lead actress with his song and dance skills and unbashedly beat the goons to pulp no matter how improbable it looked. We didn't care and it didn't matter. At times these onscreen adulation has extended to offscreen that we have began to worship our stars.We have psyched ourseleves in to believing our stars to be all capable and ever glamorous. If at all, anything goes against these preset expectations, all hell would break loose. In an attempt to satisfy these expectations, the directors are left with little choice but to follow time tested templates of movie making. While trying to cross the hurdles, of the expectations from the fans, the demands of the producer to rake maximum moolah, the director have started to become less of an artiste trying to tell the story he believed in but, more in getting the template right.
Off late, it has been disappointing to be a Telugu movie fan. The industry has gotten into the collection mania and record breaking spree. Every movie that followed a template seem to have grossed huge amounts that would leave you agape. The industry seems to have been plagued by mindless movies which are 'action packed with family sentiment highly glossed with comedy with toppings of songs here and there' entertainers.Sure success formulae, I tell you. These movies seem to have questioned our intelligence and are totally focussed on bringing down our IQ levels by ten percent that probably in about a couple of years, we as audience will a hold combined IQ so less that it would put monkeys to shame. Also, over the last few years, there seems to been another imminent threat that has become worrisome. No, I'm not talking about piracy. It is the advent of social media. This has given a power to everyone to voice out their opinions. And when it comes to cinema, everyone has got an opinion and voila, everyone has got in to put in their reviews on the movie in 140 characters. But here is a catch, you draw maximum attention only when you are at your sarcastic best. It has become a style to tear apart the movie in to bits and pieces. Every time a valiant effort is made by someone going against the routine template and present you with something different, the common sense and sensibilites of the maker are questioned. He is blamed for not opting for the popular choice, ridiculed for not playing it to the gallery.
At this juncture, I would like to highlight one thing. Movie watching is a solitary experience. What you might feel after watching a movie is not necessarily the same as someone else. Just try and understand that all those facebook statuses and twitter updates that you read need not necessarily reflect your thoughts or your sensibilites. It is understandable that movie watching is time consuming and expensive affair. And after having invested so much of time, there could be times, we feel robbed and we have every right to express our anguish. But what we have been failing to notice is that entertainment need not always be comedy alone. It would only be foolish to expect comedy in a horror film. Maybe its time we open up to different experiences. A staple diet is good, but an occassional change of the cuisine does no harm. You might as well like it. You wouldn't know unless you try it. The same is true for a different movie.
With so much of talk against the latest Sukumar, Mahesh release One-Nenokkadine, I finally took the onus upon me to put in my perspective on the movie. Mind you it is what I feel and you might not necessarily agree with me. However, this is an attempt, let me say, hey look this is another way of looking at it, just in case you missed. This could be interesting. I call myself a fan of cinema and Nenokkadine is a good movie. It is good movie in a sense, it has stuck to its genre right through the course of film. It is a racy true blue action film. The film means business right from the word go, taking almost no time to settle down. All through the film, director is one step ahead of the audience, not letting out his card till the last minute, a rarity these days.It is a movie that demands your undivided attention. It could be a bit difficult to grasp at the very first watch to quite a few and may require repeated watches. But at the end of the every watch, I am sure it will only leave you richer in experience and enhance your understanding capabilities. Is it wrong if a movie asks us to raise bar and step up to it to understand? Is it a sin if a movie is helping us improve our intelligence? Is it wrong if a movie is sensible and doesn't appease our guilty pleasures?
I urge people to be open while watching the movie and not let any preconcieved notions affect you and spoil your movie watching experience. It is only by encouraging such movies that we can redeem ourselves as Telugu audience. For it is only movies that are capable of dazzling in ways you cannot imagine.
Thank You Sukumar, Mahesh Babu, 14 reels entertainment and everyone associated with the movie like Nenokkadine for we are lucky to have a movie that only lets us improve our intelligence after watching!!