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.