The World as I see it

My Life. My Views

The Year 2010: What worked and what did not! — December 29, 2010

The Year 2010: What worked and what did not!

Hellooo people ūüôā

That time of the year when you gather your thoughts on what went by.. I like to do that by making a list of things that happened around the world – what worked for me and what did not.

 What worked:

  1. Indian audience started reacting to and appreciating low-budget movies made with nothing to promote except brilliant script and some great piece of acting – Letting movies talk for themselves – That seemed to have been the flavour of 2010. (A shining eg: Udaan)
  2. The financial world that was crumbling in 2008 and 2009, became a little more stable in 2010.
  3. Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, trapped 700 metres underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, are brought back to the surface after surviving for a record 69 days РBrilliant use of modern age technology
  4. Researchers at CERN trap 38 antihydrogen atoms for a sixth of a second, marking the first time in history that humans have trapped antimatter

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What did not:

  1. Natural calamities continued to hit the world: Massive earthqukes in Chile (Largest ever), Haiti (Deadliest ever), China
  2. Deepwater Horizon oil spill led to one of the largest in history – causing lot of harm to the aquatic flora and fauna
  3. Numerous air-flights all over the world crashed, killing hundreds of travellers:
    1. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashes into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on-board.
    2. The President of Poland, Lech KaczyŇĄski, is among 96 killed when their airplane crashes in western Russia
    3. Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashes at runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing 103 of the 104 people on board
    4. Air India Express Flight 812 overshoots the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 and leaving 8 survivors
    5. Aero Caribbean Flight 883 crashes in central Cuba, killing all 68 people on board
  4. Indian Hindi film industry saw a series of flops, some really big budget movies with some big stars sinking at the box office: Kites, Raavan, Guzaarish, Action Replayy, including the latest Tees Maar Khan
  5. Protests in Bangkok, Thailand ends with a bloody military crackdown, killing 91 and more than 2,100 injured
  6. WikiLeaks releases a collection of more than 250,000 American diplomatic cables, including 100,000 marked “secret” or “confidential”¬†– The world just isn’t safe anymore. I would not be surprised, if this alone leads to World War III
  7. Volcanic ash from one of several eruptions beneath Eyjafjallajökull, an ice cap in Iceland, began to disrupt air traffic across northern and western Europe

I just noticed that the downs outweigh the ups! ūüė¶ Here is hoping when I make this list one year from today, there are far more ups than downs!

Let us welcome the year of new hopes, new desires and new mountains to be climbed!

Here’s wishing you all a fantastic 2011 ūüôā

[PS: Did I miss out anything? Let me know if I did :)]

Decoding the RGV Phenomena — December 16, 2010

Decoding the RGV Phenomena

I have been out of the circuit for a bit now and the only reason for that was lack of inspiration РI did not wish to blog for the heck of it and I found myself short on interesting ideas or thoughts worth thinking aloud!

Not very long ago in a beautiful city of the western part of India, a group of college going students were having a tea-time conversation about movies, entertainment… basically anything to keep their minds off the next assignment/project. I vividly remember those sunny afternoons – how everytime the name RGV (Ram Gopal Varma, for the uninitiated) came up, there would be a collective murmur – “Oh! he is good”… “His movies you just can’t miss”… “They have so much meaning… and they are so different from the rest”

The verdict was clear!

In an era when most movies banked on big budgets, foreign locales, big stars, crappy story-lines… RGV had the guts to make movies that an average¬†movie-goer wanted to watch… No over-the-top drama… No star power to take away the limelight from the subject… Just pure entertainment…¬†His name started being associated with movies that were sure to entertain you… Anyone who grew up in late 90s, watching Rangeela, Satya, Kaun and then progressing to the early 2000s that marked the cinematic brilliance of Company and Sarkar, would vouch for the phenomena and the rage that RGV had become! A power to be reckoned by!

And then… it hit…

He decided to remake Sholay. This was a bad idea to more reasons that one:

  • Sholay being an epic, is deeply imbibed in every Indian’s heart.
  • Scene-by-scene, dialogue-by-dialogue, the epic was a legend, with each character being a legend in itself. Creating it and being able to re-create the magic was a humongous task
  • Any kind of “twists” and “turns” added to the original story-line may not go down that well with the lovers of “Sholay”
  • Huge¬†dearth of the actors of the calibre of initial star-cast!

From the time I heard, RGV had made some drastic changes to the original script, making it more modern, I knew this was a recipe for trouble! If he pulls it off, it will be a raging success, else a colossal mess. And thats what happened! To date, RGV ki aag is voted as the biggest disaster of the millenium. I refuse to believe that a man of his calibre, could not see the disaster he was concocting. Then the next question is why did he still go ahead with it? Was he too arrogant to even notice the blunders? Or was he left with no choice? Or was he so self-obssessed that it clouded his thinking? What were the actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn thinking?

Well, the movie came and went… and on its way out, it took something a lot more important than just one movie – The credibility of the name RGV in the minds of an average Indian. That was the beginning of the end of an era of wise decisions! He tried his previous formulas again, tried hard to re-surrect his career… but nothing worked! The very premise that had identified RGV as being “different” from an average Indian film-maker was gone! wooosh!

Fastforward to 2010 – Nearly 15 years after Rangeela was released, RGV is now a sad butt of all jokes. From being an example of all things that a film-maker should do, he metamorphosed into an example of all things that a film-maker should not do!

All I have to say, in the end… RGV, let us remember you by all the good movies you created and not the blots on Indian cinema.