Excursions

by Amit Gawande

Thoughts on movie making (and reviewing)

Just finished watching “The Negotiator”. A tense drama between two negotiators that was . Well at least for three-fourth of the movie. After which I think the director fell prey for the behaviour which I am seeing a lot recently. However I have no intention here to post a review about the movie.


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Actually these days I have lost belief that reviews actually hold any credibility. Not just do I find them monetarily inspired, but they are also dependent on many external factors. This makes it practically impossible for two viewers to watch a movie with same frame of mind and same expectations.


Well not to forget the reviews themselves rig their own viewpoint on the moviegoers. So a Taran Adarsh might make each Yash Raj Film an extreme must watch while Masand makes the same one the extreme bore of all time. Two thumps down he would scream. However what the movie ends up being is not any of those.


Not just is this case true for the actual critics whose bread and butter is film reviewing. Even friends that unwelcomely review a movie for me, make it difficult for me to watch any. One likes any movie he watches, another says “ah Bollywood sucks”.


So hardly is it possible for me to decide which movie to watch based on anyone’s comments. Ironically the most of the movies that I have loved recently are the ones where I had no clue about their plot or performances. So no reviews for me I say.


Anyway back to the pit that most of the directors fall in. I call it the “lets-make-it-goody-goody” pit. See when you have made a strong impression on audience by throwing at them what they least expected, you don’t take an unwanted faltu turn saying “Hehe buddy, there I fooled you.”


One most cliche scene I would like to mention. In a movie with 2 heroes, one kills other at the most unthinkable stage. Only is it revealed momentarily after that both were together in this and no one’s killed. That was part of the bigger plan. Villain is caught and yippie, everything is goody-goody.


Well, screw you Mr. Goody G. Goody. You could have made the movie hell lot better by killing that god damn hero, and making this gaddar friend fly away with villain and all the money. Why is there a mental block to show “achhe ki jeet aur bure ki haar” (good wins bad leans)? Well not that this is how the real world behaves, is it?


Anyway even extreme wonderful movies like The Departed could not dodge this pit. Only thing I can say is it takes guts to end movie with not so “goody-goody” a situation. I remember one movie which managed to do that. The Mist. I still fell saddened when I remember the ending there. Hats off to you Mr. Frank Darabont the director. You had managed to give a most unthinkable horror an horror movie can give its audience. Extreme unthinkable.


Image Credit: darpantheatregroup