Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why the “Vs”?

Why do we not feel satisfied unless we are able to compare? Why do we always need a “vs”? Why do we find it difficult to celebrate the absolute value in things easily?

In the Diwali weekend that just went by, two big banner Hindi movies were launched. ‘Om Shanti Om’ and “Saawariya”. In my view, both were good movies – but completely incomparable and belonging to different genres. Made with almost opposing creative & art direction sensibilities and I think made for different audiences as well.
However, it was extremely irritating to see the media (and even the so called critics) completely ignoring these differences and evaluating the films on common parameters like, box office collections and random responses from the man on the street. Even the critics generally have been very superficial in their evaluation of the absolutes and focused more on comparisons between the two movies. The conclusion of most parties essentially was that “Saawariya fails because it does not have the energy, the humor and the style of Om Shanti Om”. As if these were the "only" criteria to make “a” movie.

Om Shanti Om is a good movie because it has the best of what the commercial Indian Film Industry has to offer. It has great art direction. The sets are great and the visualization is sometimes highly inspired. The story is pacy, there is a villain, there is the drama of rebirth and the joy of revenge - It is a film made by intelligent people for the least common denominator. Smart product ! Smart marketing !

Saawariya has none of this. It is a beautiful experiment. And the experiment is at various levels. There is an experiment of new type of relationship emotions. The emotion of a prostitute being in love with a boy, but who still gets him beaten up, the emotion of a guy being in love with a girl who loves some one else, the emotion of a girl being in love with some one and at the same time falling in love with some else as well. The experiment continues into the art direction, the fictitious sets, and fictitious characterization and into several other areas of filmmaking. The Music is great, albeit in a more conventional sense. The movie has a theatrical style yet unseen in Indian cinema - Is it an experiment that has failed in India ? Failure has to be defined to answer this question, by my take is "NO WAY" !

I hope the media (which I guess is a reflection of all of us as well) gets rid of the “vs”, especially while evaluating objects, especially creative objects. I hope we as a nation can learn to celebrate the beauty in things standalone and enjoy things as they are and assess them on what they stand for.


Mridula said...

Ah, so people who left before us have still not updated their blogs! I surely can take some time then :)

Hope you had a pleasant flight back.

Dev said...

I take time to write Mridula - you have a lot of time to do your updation. Yes, the flight was good.

Anonymous said...


How can any one in their right state of mind bear to watch such juvenile stuff?

There's got to be better stuff that creative people can this the best we have to showcase to the world?


Dev said...

heh heh ...sri - thanks for your comments ! What can I say dude - "main aisa he hoon"

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