MASALA FILMS: SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS WHILE WATCHING KARMA

(While watching Karma  – a Hindi blockbuster movie by Subhash Ghai, starring Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Anil Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher, Sridevi and Poonam Dhillon)

Some of the Hindi blockbuster movies made by some of the biggest names in the industry – the A-league directors – and starring some of the biggest actors – contradict the ‘fact’ that cinema is a serious communication tool – though indeed it is.

It is, in fact, the most serious communication tool for ‘soft power’ projections, exploited exceedingly well by the United States of America.

We may not know what is Scotland Yard or RAW but we certainly know what is FBI or what is CIA. Even Israel has done well on that front. People the world over know what is Mossad. We may not know ISRO or ESA but we certainly know what is NASA.

Anyway, ‘masala’ is a tried and tasted genre of filmmaking in India – a melodrama of action, comedy and romance. Here, with this genre, that is an unspoken norm in films across India, filmmakers aim for an entertainment product that can give them handsome return. In doing so, they try to stuff every ‘hit’ formula in products (films), irrespective of the elements of logic, to pull the cinema-goers.

A big production house, a famed director, the ivy-league actors, a good music and now a days, an efficient marketing – any of these elements or a combination of these elements can ensure handsome return for a ‘masala’ movie – even if the elements of logic are largely or completely ignored.

A holistic treatment for a ‘masala’ movie, something that we see in the cult Hindi hit Sholay, is not found in most of the films. And that is the case with this movie also.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MISFIT BARE BRICKS WALL, LADY, ASPIRING-RAPIST, AND ELEPHANT THE SAVIOUR..

In a palatial mansion, well fortified, with guards and otherwise, there is a wall, unplastered, of single row of bricks, looking ugly and totally out of place, like a blot on a serene landscape, like a patch on an Armani suit, waiting to be razed down.

On the inside of the wall, the villain, clad in a horse-riding sort of outfit, is vigorously trying to rape a woman. The woman is crying for help, in the mansion, guarded by a number of goondas in all shapes, sizes and colours.

Tension is building. Anger is simmering. When it reaches to the helping ears, away somewhere, riding on the waves of telepathy, it starts boiling. And the helping ears rush to help.

A big bang!! A loud noise is splashed across.

And the ugly, out of place bare bricks wall is suddenly down, receiving it’s freedom, away from this palatial mansion that is phony by the standards of the existence of the wall.

Now, the helping ears are in, right on the job, righteously and earnestly, riding on the waves of emotionally charged energy.

An elephant in teens is in on rampage in the mansion, beating and throwing the goondas here and there, chasing the ‘aspiring rapist’ owner of the mansion.

He is the saviour and he is here now. The tension is reaching its crescendo. Chairs are clutched more tightly and eyes are fixated more emotively.

Though the goons are giving him a tough fight, he is outmatching them, making whirlwind rounds of the hall of the mansion, it’s rooms, even running up the stairs.

As the good Vs evil fight progresses, more and more goondas are biting dust.

Now, the boiling point of anger is right here.

And the intensity of it has sent the goondas packing, broken and aching. Desperate and running, the ‘aspiring-rapist’ reaches to his gun somehow and is now taking aim.

There is pin drop silence in the ambience. The watchers have left grazing midway.

But..but, while taking aim, the daddy goonda, the ‘aspiring-rapist’ had not seen the elephant in teens reaching right on his neck, charging towards him bringing down the pillars of the mansion in the hall, already uprooted by the sheer force of the teen elephant’s anger and waiting to be pushed only to clear the way.

The saviour is upon him now, ready to snatch the gun. And lo n behold! The gun is snatched and thrown away by the saviour. The next moment, the daddy goonda is within full grip of our teen hero. In a stylishly choreographed move, he tosses the villain up and away.

Bang again! A glass wall is smashed down and the daddy goonda is on the floor of the next hall of the palatial mansion.

Now bruised and devoid of his supporting brigade, fear of life takes over him. He sees his death in the ferocious eyes of the saviour. He makes a speedy drift to run away, to find a way out, and there he goes, saving his life from the ongoing wrath of the saviour.

The atmosphere is emotionally supercharged now.

Finding the ground cleared, now the saviour, the elephant in teens, looks back for the lady and here she is, safe and unharmed.

It releases the tension of the grazers and they are back munching while watching the emotional reunion of the caller and the called.

Tears are in their natural free flow mode. Many of the viewers in the theatre are clapping, with tearful eyes. Some of them have left even their seats in the excitement of the emotionally supercharged ambience.

The chatter, relieved and excited at the same time, is praising the saviour for his heroism and its timeliness while graduating to the next scene.

The Classic Indian Masala Cinema
Jai Ho Jai Ho

— thoughts, forced to go expressive, while watching a random movie scene —

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CLEAN GUTTER WATER TOSSES HRITHIK ROSHAN OUT! NOW WHERE IS THAT GUTTER?

In India of ‘Clean India Campaign’! 🙂

Just saw in some movie a jet of clean, transparent water from gutter tossing Hrithik Roshan out in the air. The water was almost transparent. Now where is that gutter in India?

Though I couldn’t fathom the daredevilry of the shot, my thoughts advised me to stick to the moving frames for a while, hoping there could be some more ‘such gutters’ in display.

After all, where it would be in the world, and that, too, in India, that such clean and hygienic gutters would be found. Now, gutter gases even in posh Delhi and other such localities can kill anyone easily. Even the gutters positioned around the 7RCR, the prime minister’s residence, cannot claim such grandeur. Okay, the flow through them would not be as choked as it is.

Thinking of anything other than black sludge mixed water (though saying water would be a misnomer) in Indian gutters would be a blasphemy. Probably, the scene was shot on a location Mr. Modi had chosen for pilot project of his Clean India Campaign.

Saying so is satirical and coming across such thoughts on something like the seriousness of the intent and meticulousness of the efforts on a ‘public cleanliness campaign’ is bound to have inherent satirical intonations.

Sure, some good will come out of it given the commitment shown by Narendra Modi but Mr. Modi cannot change the mindset alone and that too, in just five years, the timeframe to deliver his promise, a clean India by Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary on October 2, 2019.

That is as difficult a task as efforts to change the mindset of the filmmakers and actors who dominate the Indian film industry, claimed to be the world’s largest in annual volume. Thanks to the breed, it is also the film industry producing the largest chunk of ‘Razzies’ cinema.

Indians we are – India Gate, the spot where the Clean India Campaign was launched on October 2 was littered with the filth left by the people who had gathered there to ‘push’ us on the highway of ‘cleaning the nation’.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/