Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lights... Camera... Monotony

In the middle of all the lavish expenditures, a man of middle-class father, middle-class mother, middle-class offspring and middle-class job could endure, lies the culprit called cinema, crouching in well-hidden cracks, ready to pounce on you the moment you get loose on your day-to-day chores in the household or your so-called tiresome work in your office [where you actually play stupid games like 'Whack the Weasel', 'Hit the piñata' or 'Pin the tail on the donkey/glamour actress']. The basic definition of cinema goes like "The art of recreating a story- real or fictional, with artists portraying his/her role in the story, to a number of people who are not asleep [yet] in the theatre".

So, in cinema, the first lesson to be observed in order to become a good filmmaker is, to lay out the lessons that are to be observed in order to become a good filmmaker. If you actually wanna try out your hand at creating movies, it is advised to observe the moves of celebrity movie-makers. And hence, this blog...

How to make a movie- Gautham Vasudev Menon style...

These are the points which I consider appropriate to be called Gautham Menon's movie-template...
  • Always use English in plenty. Even if the person on screen is mute, he is supposed to say, "I'm mute... So don't expect me to speak anywhere in the movie"... totally in English.
  • The actors in the movie are forbidden to make any facial gestures apart from an occasional smile or a small frown. The word ZOMBIE had originated keeping Menon in mind.
  • Whenever a person addresses another, he should use his passport-name only. No other words, especially pronouns, are allowed. If in a scene, 25 exchanges are to be made in a conversation, the full name of the person appears in each and every sentence.
  • No sentence should end in a verb. If it's "Hi, எப்டி இருக்கே?", it corrected as "Hi, எப்டி?" and if it's "அவன் இப்போ சாகப் போறான்...", it's altered as "அவன் இப்போ சாக..."
  • Also, it's an untold practice to just reverse the order of the words. "Honey, I'm home" becomes "Home, I'm honey"; "என் பேரு மீனாகுமாரி" is now "மீனாகுமாரி பேரு என்".
  • The usage of the following expressions becomes mandatory- "அப்புறம் ஏன்?", "நீ ஏன்?", "சொல்றேன்...", "சொல்லு...", "தெரியுது..", "அது", "அப்போ", "அப்டி", "அந்த", "trust me" and most importantly "தெரியல..."
  • The feminine part of the movie is always handled by more than one person. So strictly, there must be at least two heroines in the film [even if it means including the hero's great great granny who is actually dead decades ago].
  • "I'm in love with you"- if you don't hear this word anywhere in the movie, you can very well bet all your inherited property on the movie being totally unrelated to Gautham Menon.
  • There is always this flashback thing, which describes the series of events that made the hero look as screwed up as he is at present.
  • The thumb-rule: The hero is invariably a MECHANICAL ENGINEER [even if the movie depicts the actor in a medical college dissecting an antelope's testicles]. The heroine, or villain, or the hero's friend, or some stupid person who appears in the screen for only 154 nanoseconds happens to be a Computer Engineer.
  • There is always a reference to (or a couple of scenes in) a city which is not where the hero is. So in order to make the director happy, the hero travels to that city, especially in express trains [I've been connected to express trains for... long enough, but I cannot have the slightest clue as to how the hero gets reservation in the trains, for the hero comes up with the idea of travelling, only after the reservation charts have been finalised. இதென்ன சினிமா டிக்கெட்டா BLACKல வாங்க?].
  • If the movie doesn't include Madras, then you can immediately call the cops and inform them that the director had been kidnapped in the making of the movie. All his movies touch Madras somewhere or the other.
  • Also, no place that the director tells it is, does actually exist, or at least, exist where the director says it does. For example, the WOOD-HOUSE in KAKKA KAKKA is in Sri Lanka and not in Pondicherry; some of the Chennai-scenes in VETTAIYADU VILAIYADU were shot at Hyderabad.
  • Then, there is this USA sentiment. USA comes somewhere between Pallavaram and St. Thomas Mount, when the hero travels from Tambaram to Broadway. And it is very kind of the hero to stop by at USA and say hello to his white-skinned friends, finish some unfinished/unfinishable business [like urinating on the railway tracks] and dance for a song.
  • Dances... If it's got dance, it's got hip-hop dancers. The term actually refers to the dancers who shake their hips and hop around the actor(s) with some rap going on behind.
  • The director values time as much as anyone does. So he shoots the hero and the heroine having junk food at some dhaba on the way to a place where they do the English-talking. This comes in handy, as all his movies include a restaurant.
  • The voice of the heroine is never to be found out. This is so because almost all the time, the heroine speaks in whispers and when it's time for some shouting, the director uses the actress' real voice.
  • There is always this Hindu-Christian disputes in his movies. Mani Ratnam played his stakes with Hindu-Muslim clashes in ONE movie- BOMBAY, whereas Menon here uses this concept in almost all movies. So, if there does arrive a difference of opinion between a Hindu lady and a Christian lady on who is gonna be the next CM of TamilNadu, you know whom to blame...
  • The film revolves around the stupidest questions ever posed by man and people who unknowingly use 1000-dollar bills as tissue to wipe their asses, yet calling themselves pitiably poor.
  • Graphics and Special Effects of the movie are decided and designed, even before thinking up the story. If the story deviates from the visual effects, then it is cut short as and when required.
  • Lastly, if there had been no such inventions as subtitles, Menon's movies can only be tolerated by beggars lying on the bare ground of the Wall Street.


  1. great analysis da..but this one is interesting because its about a phenoMENONal person..

  2. Controversial Comrade, Very controversial. Classics are always classics. He is one such classic director. Everybody cannot be absolutely interesting and versatile as KB but say from your heart "I have never enjoyed the movies of Gautam menon". He is classy and he never wants to prove it anyone.

  3. Anyhow, The analysis and Presentation deserves a SALUTE.

  4. Rajvenket1990, i have 3 things to tell you...
    1- Thank you. You've read my blog and posted a comment to it too. That, in itself, deserves appreciation.
    2- Also, i never want to hurt the feelings of anyone, including Gautham Menon. i make fun of only those i like the most.
    3- I want you to reconsider the definition of the terms 'classic' and 'classy'. They don't mean the same. But i think you get my point when i say, he offers to his audiences a minute proportion of what he really has. This post is aimed at his monotonicity and nothing else...
    Thank you da...

  5. Very convincing and professional critic's reply to a co-critic. wolverine is always convincing.

  6. In kakha kakha Maya is not a computer engineer and there is no hindu-christian fights.There are no US sentiments 2.Cinema is just 4 relaxing and u cant actually take some shots in real places.Tats y v have sets.Thank Gautham tat he does not use sets 2 the core.He needs real places so he takes shots there.For eg in kakha kakha u cant take ur girl 2 Sri Lanka just 4 a date but he needed tat locality tats y he took the shot there.IN REALITY WILL U TAKE UR GIRL 2 SRI LANKA 4 A DATE......... Enjoy the beauty pl dont use ur work point view of thinking in films 2.At last i do accept his monotonicity but his way of approach varies.