Rant alert!

As I type this, I am listening to ARR’s Mental Madhilo from OK Bangaram and I don’t know if I like it or dislike it. I know I am inviting trouble but the magic of ARR(and Ilayaraja) seems to have faded in recent times. Let’s talk about “I”. No, it’s alright. Let’s get back to the topic. I respect ARR and IR’s respect to their professional integrity by reusing their own compositions but it has become a tiring exercise to start enjoying and stop thinking about their old songs which new ones are reminding of. For example, all those who thought that mental madhilo is brand new and has no slightest tinge of ARR’s other songs can raise your hands now. (Kamal- you can lower your hand because you do not count).

Not just that, the visuals of OK Bangaram have a striking resemblance to Sakhi and Yuva. A guy who is not into commitments and a pretty girl with curly hair who tries to talk him into marriage plus maniratnam -what strikes you if not Yuva? You can say that any scene on the Chennai local train need not be that of Sakhi‘s but sorry, romance on the local trains with hero and heroine on opposite ones does not remind of anything else. The same genius of ManiRatnam created that magic which has not still faded away. On a separate note, dear unmarried ladies, do not expect that you would spot Madhavan(s) when you footboard Chennai trains. Try looking elsewhere or at least settle with the name like I did.

The plight of Telugu movies is better not talked about because the way it is being ridiculed nowadays (by our own people) is sad. Twitter is a fresh break from facebook’s nonsense and it is where I learnt how much Tollywood is picked on. To my dismay, not all of the twitterage is nonsense. First they called our film industry nepotistic because all the active heroes we have are from the families who are being here from Indus valley civilization and never left ever since. How true because there is no stopping of heroes coming from those families. Acting skills are no longer a requirement to act in movies. We do have a few good actors who are either reluctant to experiment or falling for the urgency to make as many movies as possible to stay in light. Such movies are lacking good scripts.

Coming to scripts, I read an interesting comparison about them- that they are much like a white elephant with wings. No, not precious or something, such things don’t exist. I realized that two things which are common to every Telugu cinema these days are 1)basic outline of one hero, 1 or more heroines falling for him without even a second thought about why they should, family drama with extended members and 2)Brahmanandam. Point 2 reminds me of comedy. This was one aspect which was okay until recent times but it has started degrading too. The dialogues and comedy used to be catchy once upon a time but the increasing importance to so called “punch dialogues” has ruined the total thing. The unnecessary importance to make catchy one liners is interfering with the pace of the story. As an example, how many of you do not think Trivikram is losing it and is a better dialogue writer than a director?

Then some people said whatever innovation our directors have done are copied from Hollywood. They also said instead of spending on twitter, film makers should spend time on Youtube and learn not to copy the ideas so blatantly. I did not watch many Hollywood movies but I can vouch for two facts- Julai has a scene directly lifted from Dark Knight. Manmadhudu is not even close to “What Women Want” even though both Nagarjuna and Mel Gibbson used lipstick on their eyes. I mean there are some honest thoughts which are getting lost in this generalization and the others are just giving us a facepalm followed by a slap for watching.

Few people said we need scripts like Raghuvaran Btech because it is innovative. I was looking for the so called innovation but I slept through the movie ( well almost). There was NONE. Also, I ended up spending that night thinking about which last dubbed movie had a plot in which nobody died. May be it is a kind of sentiment there like our obsession with an “item song”.

These days I wonder if the films are getting bad or we have become so critical that we want everything to be super fresh and flawless (Is it too much of a requirement or is it okay asking because we are spending some time and money on movies? I don’t know). Please do not say that viewers do not have right to complain because they don’t know the ABC of film making. Film makers also seem to have forgotten the ABC and hence there is no good movie that we want to watch again when it is on TV on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Or a movie which we don’t mind watching in the theaters for a second time. Or the one we want to recommend to a friend. Or the one which is going to win some recognition.

I know liking/disliking is a personal choice and cannot be generalized. But there is a concept of majority that determines the success/failure of a film in its all dimensions like above. I also think the decade before this and even before, we saw some such movies. What do you think will their fate be had they been made today? What would happen if a film like Geethanjali is released today? Will it be a box office hit? Will our so called film critics say it is a master piece and give it a good rating? Will the twitterage accept the film or just say the film should have been a trailer for Apollo hospitals or Ooty tourist development corporation?

</rant>

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Summer Holidays

Bro: “Akka, Let’s play some video game.”

Me: (Without taking eyes off the tinkle book ) “Okay. Which one?”

Bro:“Contra?”

Me:“No, lets play super Mario.”

Bro:“Chiiiiii..no..Let’s play contra.”

Contra

Me:“Why not Mario?”

Bro:“Is that even a game?  And you are so obsessed with the coins that you don’t move to the next level until you collect all of them. To top all this, you can’t fight the dragon and I will have to do it for you every time. I’d better play it alone than play it with you.”

Super Mario

(Hurt enough. So drops the book to ground and looks straight into his eyes.)

Me:“Circus Charlie?”

Bro:“Thu. As if it is a super game. I hate it.”

circus charlie

Me:“Moal?”

Bro:“Do you remember last time  you weren’t able to make your monkey jump to the top of the tree?”

Me:“Sumo fighting?”

Bro:“We can do it live if you want.”

Me:“Ice man?Dave? Bomber man?” (Trying to recollect the names of all games in the ‘999999 in one’ cassette.)

Bomber man

Royal cheating

Bro:“Akka . Lets play Contra. Just one game. Later we can play your favorite game. Deal?”

Me:“Say please.”

Bro:“Huh? Okay, please.”

Me:“Properly.”

Bro:“Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzz”

Me:“Okay. You will arrange the setup now because you had asked for it.”

(Bro gives an expression which can spot-kill any person with self-respect. But I am shameless. So…)

Bro:“Hey.. That is mine. This is your joystick. Remember your A-button is loose and is ready to break?”

Me:“Can’t I use yours for once?”

Rage face.

(Exchange of joysticks)

Me:“I want to be the red player.”

Rage face

Me: “huh. okay”

Bro:”Shoot him. Don’t miss him. Unless you shoot him, we can’t move to next screen. I told you to press A and B together akkaa..”

(GAME OVER. Bro has a proper reason to vent his frustration now.)

Bro:“We lost it so early. What are YOU!!!”

Me:“You were not able to swim across. So we lost it.”

Bro:“Not me.You. You are the one in blue.”

(The dialogue war will soon develop to a mortal combat. Live Sumo fight begins and Mom comes running from the bed room)

Mom: ( Whining to herself- I get just one day off and these kids won’t let me sleep peacefully on that one day) ” Why don’t you two go out and play? Too much of TV will damage your eyes.”

Bro is a shy baby so sis has to go to each house and call other kids. They are also waiting for such invitations because they have also been asked to get out of the house in the same subtle way.

Me:“Rey, Lets play Hide and Seek.”

Bro:“No, lets play Tomato.”

(The story continues..)
PS:

These days I just want to do one thing. Stand up on my chair and scream at the top of my voice- “I want my summer holidays”.