Clumsy confessions

I told him that I am going that way to collect some books. I could easily drop him at the airport. No, No, its no trouble for me. Because I am going that way.

May be he guessed that I am lying. But he didn’t say anything. Yeah, I act funny some times. What is my problem in telling my friend that I will come with you to the airport so that I can still talk to you for another fifteen minutes?

He is anxious, I noted while driving. What is there to worry? Just hang on like a leech. Be the rock on which your adversity will smash on and disintegrate. What?…Okay, but so what? Even if you give up and come back, it doesn’t matter. Why we all do this that we do? Only because of peer pressure. To float our professional egos. But death makes everything inconsequential. Death is a great leveller. The fact that everything will end, regardless of what you do, what you become- it gives you immense freedom to live this moment the way you want.

Do this bit. Come back. Then start your real game. Continue reading

Raavan

I tried hard to like it. Especially with expectations at rock bottom because of bad reviews, I thought that the only way to go is up. Well, to put it mildly, I didn’t find much elevation.

Raavan is a reminder that even with all the technical brilliance in the world, you can’t salvage a poor screenplay. Films are about telling a story effectively (for me, at least). Good story telling is not the same as a good story. Good story telling is about maintaining a thread. About going about with a preplanned structure to the proceedings. Gradually invoking that mood and ambience in your audience with your characters. But what you see in the first half is snippets of 1-2 minute images and songs without firm connections to the preceding or succeeding scenes for almost an entire hour. You see Beera and Ragini staring at each other. Then you see Dev in some segment of a hunt. Cut to Beera breaking into a song. Then back to Ragini shrieking at Beera. And so on. May be Maniratnam was trying to be innovative here. But it didn’t work. Continue reading

Ek Raat: Review

This short film review of mine was originally published here in shortz.

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

What really makes this short click is the folklore milieu that it has adopted to tell the story. By avoiding the urban setting and also ‘ghost mansions,’ film maker has been able to give a different feel to it. The central image does stick- that of the lonely ghost on the bullock cart helping wayfarers in the jungle.

Obviously the greatest strength of ‘Ek Raat’ is the twist and how well it is executed. But the cost the writers paid for it is the inconsistency in the character of the ghost and the stranger. If Chandru is the ghost why is he so scared while travelling through the night? He starts at every sound, repeatedly talks to himself trying to allay his fear of the ghosts etc. It is easy to understand that it was done this way to increase the level of surprise at the end. Here writers take an easy way out -instead of building his behaviour in the jungle in a way that it plays either way i.e. in the first viewing it appears as if he is this scared villager but when you go back to it after the reveal in the end, his behaviour is still consistent to that of a ghost roaming in the jungle. In the same way, there is a shift in the behaviour of the stranger too. While with chandru in the jungle, he appears calm, playful, unaffected by the scary situation. The next day he appears as an earnest, down to earth character who is not able to hide his emotions. This was also something that writers could have worked on- making him scary when actually he is the same earnest, sincere down to earth character rather than changing the character to suit the situation. Continue reading

The demon on the tree of knowledge

I have decided to tame the internet demon. The beast had this coming.

I am going through a severe crunch in terms of time. There are so many things in my platter that the writing is the one which always becomes the casuality. The reason is that most of the other tasks have a deadline attached to it, while regarding scriptwriting, it’s more about self imposed deadlines.
So I did a bit of review regarding where all I am bleeding time. Guess which was the biggest, modifiable culprit I found? Internet. The biggest danger with it is that sometimes its very easy to fool yourself with your reasons-‘This is a kind of research,’ ‘This is modern man’s substitute for life experience,’ ‘I am collecting writing material,’ ‘All these forum posts and chats are going to help me to network,’ etc. Yeah all these above mentioned reasons may have a ring of truth to it. But the most important thing a writer need to do to progress is to write. Just preparing to write is not a substitute for writing.

Photo by wild.doug