Love, sex aur Dhoka

Sometimes good ideas get undermined by better ones. More than that, you try to achieve more than one thing in the same movie and you end up with a compromise somewhere else which you don’t even notice any more.

If Love, sex aur Dhoka is the movie I am talking about, the good idea is to make a movie about the reality tv culture. The better one is to make the whole movie through amateur camera eyes. The compromise is in doing it through three very ordinary stories which doesn’t hold any kind of novelty if done in a conservative mode of film making. Some how writers don’t notice that aspect any more because for them these are not just stories any more but carriers of various messages and potshots they have stitched in. But for the audience story comes first and then the philosophies. If a story gets preachy, it is a failure in terms of writing because a message should be conveyed implicitly through the story, not through the dialogue of the characters.

But I don’t want to be unfair to this movie. It’s a courageous, first of it’s kind attempt at least in the mainstream. Good performance has been extracted from most of it’s cast. Though there are lot of scenes where you wonder why the camera is on right now, writers have put in a good effort to weave the different stories together, especially the second and third. And it is a relief that this movie recovered it’s costs. We have already started personally experiencing the change in attitude in wannabe producers post LSD towards original low budget concepts. Don’t know how long it will last.

On the road- another generation…and another world

Jack Kerouac, in his autobiographical novel ‘On the road’, depicts the wander lust and defiance of a long gone generation. This novel stands for everything about the Beat generation- the bohemian hedonism, non conformism, anti-materialism, spontaneity…. All these attributes later formed the seed of the hippie counter culture of the seventies.

Dean, ‘the holy conman with the shining mind,’ is on a road trip with the protagonist Sal. In the front seat of their hired car, there is a regular couple who is sharing the fare with them for a short distance. Dean talks about them:

‘Now you just dig them in front. They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they are thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there- and all the time they’ll get there any way, you see. But they need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won’t be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.’ Continue reading

Reviewing screenplays: the ways of East and West

My friend Shahul posted his script in triggerstreet for reviews. When I went through the reviews certain differences between how the west and east assess scripts occurred to me.

One thing that did come through consistently through the reviews is the almost religious adherence to the 3 act structure, plot points and other Syd Field/ Mckee commandments. I am not a Syd Field hater. I have even written an entire article about a particular film script not working because it didn’t follow certain structural rules. But some times script writers tend to forget that though these things are useful to break down your script and analyse it, it is not the ultimate truth. Continue reading