True inspiration comes from words written over blurry images.
I woke up to the news that one of my favorite radio shows was on the verge of a halt; not because of insufficient funds or because the radio jockey made the listeners angry. The show was coming to a halt because the radio jockey overused his freedom of expression.
Truth be told, I’m not profusely sobbing over what happened to the poor radio jockey. I’m not here to extend my support to the radio jockey. I am sure he has full of them and can do well without mine. I am here to raise my opinion against the radio jockey and teach him a thing or two about how film reviews should be done.
Critics and Their God Damned Freedom of Expression!
That’s right! I am against the critic. As a matter of fact, I am against all critics who waste their time and effort misleading people into believing a movie is unwatchable. Instead of thrashing what you hate, you can promote what you love. It makes the planet a better place to be in. Plus, there is something that is downright fundamental to being and surviving in world of media. KISS ASS!
There, I said it. I’m not sure what kind of trouble I might face because I used the word ‘ass’. Oops, I did it again.
In the summer/fall of 2007, a genius filmmaker thought it would be a good idea to entertain the audience with a plot that involved twisted extra marital affairs under the guise of timeless romance. Surprisingly, the content of the movie wasn’t half as disturbing as the review that followed. This particular review was given by a famous film critic in the film industry. He went on to call the movie ‘the most mature film Bollywood has ever made’. Given a choice, I would have titled it ‘Neend ki Goli’. What fascinated me was how the critic pulled off that particular review with a straight face, stating that there should be more movies like this one.
Let’s get straight to the point. There are rules that critics should follow while reviewing a movie.
Always have good things to say about the movie
No matter how torturous your experience is, keep telling yourself that you are paid to give good reviews. Remember the golden rule. NO MOVIE IS BAD.
Always have good things to say about the people in the movie
All the actors we know do a good job. Not once do they tend to annoy you with their bad choice of scripts. Heck, why do you even need a script when you just signed a multi-crore deal?
Always have great things to say about the people who funded the movie.
I’ll make it simple. They are the people with money. So shut the duck up!
Do not mention the name of the movie
It saves a lot of time and lives. Imagine if you did mention the name and mentioned something that would result in a big loss for the film industry! Using the name of the movie is the last thing you’d ever want to do.
Do not mention names of the people associated with the movie
‘This actor’, ‘that actor’, ‘actor with long hair’, ‘bald villain’, ‘glycerine mother’, ‘actress appearing for alcoholic related activities’, ‘actress with an actual effin role’ are a few good ways to describe the people in the movie. Judging by the way the movies are made, I don’t think the scope of actors stretch beyond the mentioned categories.
As long as these guidelines are followed, I don’t think trouble will befall anyone.
At this juncture, you might be probably wondering how the heck one is supposed to review a film with these guidelines. Worry not! You’ll realize how easy it is. Here are a few samples reviews of the movies released in 2013.
The South Indian Damage! err…. Homage (Name changed to avoid legal consequences)
I’ve always been a big fan of ‘this actor’ and ‘that actress’. The South Indian Homage does not disappoint. Not one bit. It is a meaningful entertainer with absolutely zero plot holes. This review is bold enough to declare that the movie is made for an intellectual audience only.
The South Indian Homage is about believing in miracles. For example, no matter how nail biting and strenuous the story gets, ‘that actress’ miraculously gets the time to adorn herself with the freshest of flowers in every scene. The film maker has dedicated this miracle to the South Indian Diaspora.
Kudos to the director for pointing out that Kathakali and Bharatanatyam are one and the same. The ‘semi-bald villain’, an experienced and seasoned actor, has landed himself in one of the best roles ever. Hearsay, ‘that actress’ did her research for five years to fit herself into this role. Her accent is absolutely impeccable and will want you longing for more. The South Indian Homage is fun and full of entertainment. 5 stars out of 5. Go Watch!
That wasn’t so hard, was it? Not once did I cringe while typing. I swear!
Don’t believe me? Here’s another one.
Indian Superhero (Name changed to avoid legal consequences)
India has always been proud of her scientists; especially the ones that look like absolute retards but possess the IQ of two Einsteins put together because an alien who served as a fashion consultant for Lady Gaga caressed the protagonist’s hair and ended up interchanging the brains of the retard and the screenwriter.
Indian Superhero pays its first and foremost respect to the scientist who has finally found out the alien’s secret power (although with the given set of weird expressions that the alien portrays, weed seems to be the conclusive answer). The movie is also a tribute to everyone’s favorite superhero. No really! I watched ads featuring action figures, collectibles and video games based on the movie. And that only means everyone loves the superhero, rite? We hadn’t even finished thanking the director for giving us the prequel and the origin story. Not many filmmakers can think of a story involving a friendly alien and a bunch of kids with a mentally challenged as their deemed leader. The idea was so original that I sometimes wonder why Hollywood has not responded at all.
Coming back to Indian Superhero, the CGI deserves a special mention. The effects are top notch and have already overthrown the likes of The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and even that god-awful movie with a boy and his pet tiger on a boat sailing in the middle of nowhere. From retards to mutants, this movie’s got it all. Spoiler alert! A shape-shifting mutant gets to sing a duet with the superhero. Now, that’s something you’ve never seen before, and probably never will. The best parts of the movie are the surprise elements that come out in the form of songs. And oh boy, the songs! You are made to listen to a bunch of songs you’ve always wanted to hear ever since the promos were out.
Indian Superhero will undoubtedly bag a few Academy Awards in all possible categories. If it doesn’t, you know what we are going to say, don’t you? ‘Our country’s arts and culture has always been overlooked. Now they are ignoring our cinema’…. Yes, that talk exactly. Oscars or no Oscars, Go watch it anyway! 7 stars out of 5, assuming logic does not work in our cosmos anymore.
Dear film reviewers, that’s how you write a pleasing and non-controversial review. Peace out!
— Midnight in Paris
Dogs fight with their own kind over a tract of land. Dogs are territorial by nature. It is within their genetic constitution that they assume ownership over a region and aggressively defend it. They tend to pass this trait to the next generation, that will only be loyally followed without any questions raised. Given the limited availability of land, it is only fair to ascertain the number of angry barks is directly proportional to the proliferating population in dogs.
If we replace the word ‘dog’ with its best friend, it pretty much summarizes everything wrong with the world we live in.
I swear I didn’t know what ‘easter eggs’ were really about until articles about Man of Steel started surfacing online. Forgive my naivety, but I thought I was supposed to find real easter eggs in the movie. Thanks to the Internet, now I know what the concept really means. I was sure I would find all of them when I watched the movie. Sadly, I was given 3D glasses instead of binoculars. Lexcorp Logo was the best I could do. I wondered how (in the name of eagle eyes) others were able to spot that many references in Man of Steel. So here’s what I did. I paid the projectionist to play the movie in ultra slow-mo. And guess how many references I ended up with……. Well, the number is not really important. Nevertheless, I wish to share a bunch of important ones with the world, especially the fans of the most iconic superhero.
DISCLAIMER – SPOILERS AHEAD
1. Lois Lane takes a picture of the snow capped mountains and it is snowing. If you watch closely, one of the falling snowflakes look like Wonder Woman.
2. Kal-El/Clark Kent accesses a beacon to know his past. As we are shown the exteriors for a brief moment, one of the humps resembles The Hulk’s face when he is screaming at the Chitauri. This is in direct reference to the impending arrival of aliens.
3. As baby Kal-El makes his way to Earth in his customized space shuttle, the stars look like dots. A few of these dots can be connected to read ‘Snyder, not Nolan’.
4. In most of the behind the scenes visuals, the background is green in color. This is in direct reference to the Green Lantern.
5. Throughout the movie, General Zod never laughs, suggesting he does not want to put a smile on faces. This, of course, pulls the Joker into the picture.
6. When Superman is getting buried in skulls, you can notice clearly that one of them belongs to Marlon Brando. If you have trouble finding out which one, here’s a hint. It’s the skull with puffed up cheeks from his Godfather pose.
7. When Russell Crowe flies on the H’Raaka, an explosion occurs from behind. If you freeze this explosion at the right moment, it reads out ‘Oscar Nomination for Best Supporting Actor’.
8. Krypton DNA is stored in the genetic codex. If you can take a closer look at the number of living cells shown in the genetic codex, it shows the exact number of people who auditioned for the role of Superman.
9. There are no bats shown in the movie, implying the absence of Batman.
10. Although Clark is fishing in mid-sea, he does not catch any fish. This references Aquaman’s hunger.
11. In the extended version available only in Blu-Ray, Clark Kent shaves his beard with kryptonite blades before donning the costume. This reconfirms his weakness for the element.
12. In the scene where Jonathan Kent gets caught in the tornado, the fierce winds form a faint face. If you have a powerful microscope, you will know the face belongs to Powergirl.
13. When Clark Kent works in a bar under a false identity, a customer acts like a total dick. This could slightly point a finger at Dick Grayson, one of the characters in DC Universe.
14. Superman tries to revive Zod by screaming. This takes a jibe at The Avengers, where Hulk does the same to revive Tony Stark.
15. If you are generous enough to stay till the end, you get to see names of all the people who have worked to make this movie happen.
Let me know if you can find out more references. Best of luck!!
April 28th 2013. Two days since the grand release of Iron Man 3 in India. The Indian Premiere League was becoming ridiculously religious. The city of Chennai was fuming with a hot summer. The news channels juggled between a citizen’s rape and a minister’s scam; both tabloids serving as major scoops for spectators and sponsors. Affluent individuals with active social networking profiles talked about everything aforementioned. If it weren’t for a bunch of aspiring film makers working effortlessly to showcase their short film, it would have been just another normal day.
It’s not a coincidence that I got invited to the preview of Nalladhor Veenai. I have been acquainted with the team (White Bird Pictures) for quite some time. As a matter of fact, one of my earlier posts talked about their previous short film, and how short films have become a creative platform for voicing out opinions, projecting both conventional and unconventional ideas. Nalladhor Veenai belonged to the latter.
This particular short film projects the mind space of a guy who recalls his traumatic experience as a school kid. The perpetrator turns out to be his tutor who rapes the school boy at his will. Fearing the possibility of disgrace and shame, the kid never reveals the torture. But then, all beings exposed to pain and torture have a tipping point. The protagonist’s tipping point is revealed towards the end. Does he manage to fight with his inner demons? Does he ever reveal his trauma? Does the evil tutor get his due? Nalladhor Veenai answers all these questions.
But that’s not all what Nalladhor Veenai does. It also places you in a state of self-questioning mode. How many of your friends have faced this trauma as kids? What if your neighbor was a sex addict? Are the children really safe as we believe them to be? As soon as the final frames of the short film begin to fade away, one cannot fail to notice a big ‘BEWARE’ sign that does its job of making an impression. To add to the stir, we are also told that the short film is based on a true story. It took twenty minutes for the cast and crew to convey a point that usually takes half a lifetime for a victim to open up. In my honest opinion, that is a commendable effort.
As soon as the movie got over and the lights came back on, I couldn’t help but notice an agitated look on some of the faces. These faces belonged to a few parents. I even overheard one of them saying, “I would have never watched this if I knew what the short film was about”. Yes, you have the privilege of not knowing what the victims know. It did bother me, but that’s what irrationality is all about. We get to go back to our normal lives, debating endlessly about sports and religion. A victim cannot. Crimes happen because we allow them to happen. Deniability becomes the perfect accomplice. The digital age has placed devices in our hands but we fail to communicate. Talk to your friends and neighbors. What poisons the neighbor’s soil will poison yours too. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday.
Nalladhor Veenai is currently doing the rounds at award houses and private screenings. It might soon hit YouTube or Vimeo. Get the latest updates of the movie and other upcoming projects at https://www.facebook.com/whitebirdpictures
Assuming that parallel universes are for real, try imagining an alternate version of you reading this without any prejudice or pre-conceived notions.
This alternate version of you grew up in a perfect neighborhood and made good friends. You went to school without the fear of bullying. You had the guts to talk to your first crush. Your friends promised to stay in touch and kept their word till the end of life. You had a long lasting relationship. Of course, there were heartbreaks but as long as good friends existed, getting over did not require drugs. You did not have the perfect job, but you were content with simple joys of life. You cried when your newborn daughter held your tiny finger like you were the world to her. You aged gracefully and never complained of wrinkles. In fact, smiles increased with every additional wrinkle. Your pet would come running towards you every time you returned from office. And speaking of work, your superiors would never demand overtime. Your country or government has never heard of war or battle. There is no religion but there is faith. No one imposed their beliefs on You. Your daughter would frequently hang out with another girl but you never cared because homophobia doesn’t exist. Most importantly, you are ready to embrace death with a smile.
Where are You instead? Right now, your brain is an effin’ overdose of bad news fed by the media. You hear news of rape and killing. You are afraid to step out. Your Government says they are protecting you from another country’s invasion. But then, your friend from another part of the world is fed with the same information. You are apprehensive about talking to strangers. You are not in touch with friends because you have other priorities. You are not even sure of what toothpaste you should use because brands deceive you. You are afraid of abandoning your religion for reason. You hear news of battles fought for natural resources around the world. Death saddens you. And what do You do? You shut your eyes close and go to sleep, thinking how worse the world around you can get.
What can you do when your alternate version seems to be living a happier life? That’s right! What CAN You do?
Did you, for once, consider the possibility of changing your own reality?
It really is!!
— The Perks of Being a Wallflower