Vicky donor

This is again one of those films that thrive on the talent of the writer, but not essentially on the ability of the writer to spin a story. The key here is quirky characters and quirky dialogue.

You can guess all the plot turns miles ahead. But at some point, this familiarity and predictability becomes a strength because it makes all the situations credible.  When you go for all those fancy twists, some times the universe of the story gets pushed into another realm which is not relatable any more. This film demonstrates that, if you choose your subject appropriately and can write great scenes, you can get away with being predictable.

And don’t misunderstand me. Vicky donor is not a great film. But it does have some interesting characters and entertaining conversations. You won’t squirm in your seat for the ordeal to end.

The messenger

We shook hands. ‘It has been a long time,’ I said. It was a little weird. A decade ago, we had ate and drank together, cut classes together,  fought others together, proposed to the girls for each other… Now we were shaking hands. If we could forsee this scene 10 years back, we would have died of laughter.

In the restaurant, he breached on the subject. ‘She is in town,’ he said.

You fool. You thought he had come to see you for old times sake. You idiot.

‘She called me after so many years. She was crying,’ he continued. ‘It appears she has got into some problems with her husband.’

I stared through him. 

‘I need your help. I can’t involve directly. I need you to go and test the waters.’ 

Don’t you see? I don’t want any of this. 10 years back, your request would have made me happy like any other kid who has been asked to pass a love letter for his friend. Right now, I am only bothered about the mistake in tax return that my accountant made yesterday. Of course… I am also bothered about my potbelly. And also my receding hair line.

‘What do you exactly have in mind?,’ I asked. ‘Couples fight. They patch up. Don’t jump your guns here.’

Obviously he had already played out that one many times in his mind. He shook his head. ‘Don’t think so. And I thought it is a risk worth taking.’

For your information, I am the one taking the risk here you bastard.

‘You are going to get really embarrassed at the end of this.’ What I meant was, I am going to get really embarrassed at the end of this.

I will have to say yes I guess. Otherwise I am going to miss my ten o’clock tv show.

Photo by jurek d.

Agent Vinod: Why ‘more’ is not always good…

Agent Vinod is a cautionary tale for me. A warning against the tendency to weave in more and more twists and turns and story elements in the story and to get lost in one’s own cleverness. What Tony Gilroy would describe as ‘story density,’ I would describe as ‘plot density,’ because I feel both are not the same. Agent Vinod is an example why both these are different.

Many criticised Agent Vinod as having a half baked script where enough time has not been put into it. I don’t think so. I think that it is not about less time being put into the development of the script. I think the problem has been that too much has been packed into it in terms of plot. Agent Vinod is running around all the time with no time for taking a breath. But the truth is, even if you take out two or three sequences of chases or fights or whatever, it wouldn’t affect the story much. And it would have given time to concentrate on his character and give it a sense of direction.

Even I thought that the ‘develop your characters well’ has become a sort of cliché for the screenwriters after all the repetition. But the truth is, Vinod is still a very uni-dimensional character and you don’t feel anything emotionally about him or the story. Bourne had his angst and remorse. Bond had his playboy charm and humor. Dirty Harry had his bad boy arrogance. What is it about the personality and preoccupation of Vinod that defines him? Nothing. He is just like any other action hero. Not only Vinod, but none of the villains (except to some extent, the Colonel) or the girls or the bosses stand apart from the typical action film characters. Development of these aspects requires some screen time. If you use that screen time to add more twists and action and running around, in the end, it is going to get monotonous because the audience doesn’t FEEL anything for what is happening on screen.