Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Phoonk......fall of RGV

Back in 1989, for a north Indian like me any movie from South India meant a hero who looked like the gatekeeper at Taj Man Singh (only two shades darker), a heroine who looked like the "BEFORE" pic model of VLCC slim centers and a villain who looked as if he just came back after having an oil massage,

Bollywood was also having its own troubles

Dharmender was still busy ripping apart enemies and drinking their and their pet's blood in "Elaan-E-Jung", "Hathyaar", "Kasam Suhaag ki" etc. Mithun was busy saving his sisters from Shakti Kapoor with movies like "Hisaab khoon ka", "Daata" and if this was not enough "Gareebo ka Daata" was also released in the same year. Amitabh was losing his ground. Govinda was busy romancing with Neelam and dancing to the tunes of Bappi da in "Aasman se Ooncha".
Amir khan was launched (1988) but then he fell in love with juhi who bhi 3-3 baar in LOVE LOVE LOVE, Salman Khan was shadowed by Bhagyashree in the super duper hit young love story "Maine Pyar Kiya" and SRK was still doing rounds on DD national with his "Circus".
Movies like "Ram Lakhan", "Parinda" made their mark but the efforts were too small to counter the mayhem created by the industry as a whole.
Bollywood cinema was driven by loud music, crazy costumes and villains who loved to see the heroine's "NAACH" before pulling the trigger. "Oye Oye. Tirchitopi wale" was a national anthem and Anil Kapoor defined the spirit of Mumbai with "Bom bom bom bom BOMBAY meri hai".

But in the middle of all this came a movie from South India with a new hero who although had a mustache but was much slimmer than his predecessors. None heard about the hero nor the director. No words about the heroine, well at that time there were no Ash or Katrina so guys hardly paid any attention to that aspect. Sridevi was already an established name in Bollywood and she stopped doing movies with Jeetender.
The movie was based broadly on the same framework as of "AAAAYEEEEEE SAAALAAAAA" Mithun's movie where the hero is squeezed then hammered to the point of desperation. And in the desperation he turns to a man of anger and physics defying movements killing every guy who once had a go at him.
But it was the treatment of the movie, the brilliant screenplay, the near to perfection performance of Nagarjuna and the touch of a true genius Ramu's direction.
The plot was realistic because of background of college campus, there were no "Sarhad paar ke mujrim" or Chemical Farmula to destroy humankind.
Its intense drama, based on the college politics was something to which many students related. Cycle chains were stolen across India to be used by roadside ruffians. It displayed the technical superiority of The director with gripping camera movement. Even though the movie was an intense and very violent thriller each and every character was written in depth and dialogues were realistic.
SHIVA was here Nagarjuna was a superstar and Ram Gopal Verma's name was noticed.
Ram Gopal Verma had arrived and with a bang... this was followed by another landmark horror movie in Bollywood "Raat". RGV proved his worth and established himself with movies like "Sarkar", "Satya", "Company", "Rangeela". Apart from directing movies himself he even produced movies like "Shool" and " Ab tak Chappan" to support promising directors.
It looked like RGV's company is going to bring unconventional cinema with good scripts for years.

But over the years like his taste in woman his quality of movies also deteriorated and which brings us to the latest offering " Phoonk". After watching phoonk I was devastated not by the constant focuses on the bizarre looking soft toys and artifacts in the house, neither by the maid who carried one expression throughout the movie, neither by the hero who looked like a rickshaw driver and had the dressing sense comparable to "Ibu Hatela " from Dombivilli, Neither by the rock solid performance of the crow (he stayed motionless like a rock throughout the movie), neither by the special effects of buzzing bees which clearly showed lack of producer's funding, neither by the grandma who wobbled her head whenever she wanted to and took long breaks in between, neither by the heroine who got 3 dialogs in the whole movie, the list can go on for so long that it might be even longer than the original script.

But I was devastated by the fact that Ramu has become so predictable, its like he has completely lost his touch. The man who defined a whole new genre in Indian film industry is running out of ideas to figure out where to put his camera. He is running out of ideas to surprise the viewer. He is running out of background scores. He is running out of color shades to put on the next frame. He is running out of creativity and the technical brilliance, which once used to be his forte, is reduced to ashes in his latest flicks.

Being the guy who works in the big bad corporate world for 5 days and rely on the regular bollywood dosages to recharge my mojo I feel crushed and suffocated under the weight of my own expectations.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Office Blues!!

As I settle in to my office chair with one armrest missing (apparently my firm doesn't believe in rest), it just struck me that it's been good or not so good 2 months and 5 days since I joined my office. The past two months definitely deserve a post, I mean if I am not going to talk about it who else will.

Getting out of college and entering into the corporate world always scared me and now as I am living it, I realize its one of those few times when I can say " I knew that". Well given the kind of time I devoted to projects and classes in college this situation was more anticipated than Mission Istanbul's failure.

Life has changed completely, there is not even a single day anymore when I wake up in the morning have a look at the watch and can go back to sleep again. Taking a bath everyday in the morning shaving and wearing a tie has become a routine thing like in college watching a movie or a series used to be.
I get out of my room and there is no music video being played on my fronty's lappy, in which a Tam superstar Fat guy with a mustache is dancing with a girl of almost the same size and the cameraman is struggling even with a wide zoom angle to fit them both in one shot.

Two years of MBA, I used to run away from balance sheets and any term which even remotely had any resemblance to finance, and now its showing. I was so scared of it that I bunked 6 lectures of a finance course even though I had a grade drop for the same.

I almost got offended and thought one colleague is abusing me when he said CPLTD only to realize it later that he meant current portion of long term debt. When boss said DSCR I kept on smiling and pretending I didn't hear him. I guess after repeating it twice he also lost interest in whatever that meant. Out of those few client calls I have done I have displayed a financial acumen that I had to cut the phone saying "Hello! Hello! I cant hear you clearly."

I devote a good amount of time in office in listening to various terms nodding and giving that smile which means "Oh I know that" and coming back looking for the definitions in investopedia.com.

But as you see its not completely my fault I told this clearly to the guy who recruited me

"Sir, I am not very good at finance but I am a smart & sharp guy, I will learn everything in 2-3 months".
I am still not sure whether he was convinced or he just wanted to teach me a lesson by recruiting me. I mean I can see the dark side now, that time I was thinking OMG!!! he actually bought that... Man I am a good salesman: D.

Now since I am not very good at projections, (my boss can vouch for that) this figure of 2-3 months was not to be taken seriously. I say lets make it 6 months for now and after 6 months we will revisit the number again.......