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.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kicked off the teenage express

To entrain or detrain a moving train is highly dangerous.
Footboard travelling is highly dangerous.


These are the statements everyone must have seen at almost all railway stations. Little do they realise that the train they are talking about is so simple as compared to the train we call LIFE.

 
It is heart-breaking to know that I turned 20, a few days ago. I'm a teenager no more!!! It's totally unfair of time to move so fast... By the time i perceived that i became a teenager, I was ruled out of the list that designated me as one. When I was 13 [my first step into this 7-year long expanse], I was in class 8 [ I believe everyone would have been doing the same, but still...], sitting in an unseen corner of my class doing God knows what... I was happy though, having nothing in hand, having nothing in mind, having nothing to be called responsibility [even if i had one, I don't know how far i'd have been successful].

Came 14, my perceptions on puberty were shattered and I was taken to a scenario where I was made to believe what was given to me on the topic of adolescence as sheer truth. I can certainly ink my nails [all 20 of them] on that this was the perfect time to get spoilt [this is applicable if and only if you ain't spoilt already]. Having said that, with due help from seasoned spoiled-brats, whom i proudly call friends today, i learnt wicked ways, mean tricks and awful acts that might put me in the right position as a teenager one day. Even then, I was too awkward to my teen-way-of-life-gurus as I couldn't cope with them in making the world be a bitter [pronounced 'better'] place to shit on...

Weeks rolled by and I went 15. I couldn't believe it but I was in class 10. It was [as said by my aunt] the TURNING POINT, for my performance in 10th affected my 12th and my performance in my 12th affected my life. I took my lessons under various able persons and luckily i did score OK in my exams [enough to make my Principal pacified and avoid him shouting at me on top of his lungs and, of course, safeguarding my discretion on the course for class 12]. I must say, I was not proud of the things happening [and so was my family], but atleast it didn't bring shame to myself or those around me.

Class 11 [it should actually be written XI, in Roman, as Arabic numeral as you know depicts 1 smaller than I. See?]. I entered the den of the fearsome lions as it was described in my locality. Having slept away about 3 months as summer holidays, I was reluctant to take up studying and as a result, my notoriety rose and my marks fell. I was a millimeter away from failing in one of my subjects when fear caught the most of me and at last i touched my textbooks. This time, my gurus went to the next level in establishing themselves as established men- birdwatching. This was the term introduced to us by gulf-Indian students of my class to refer to observing keenly the precious assets of our class [and their precious assets!]. I was only then picking up the ABCs of MANkind [as opposed to WOMANkind]. So I failed in this course as well. Sweet 16 didn't taste as sweet as I considered it to be.

At last, to the final days that marked my presence in my school. Seriousness caught me like a symbiote did a spidey, but the VENOM it brought out of me was in fact more virtuous than the webhead I was. So, it was my turn to catch what I left behind me years ago- a good name. Studying wasn't so hard once you get used to it. But mind you, the moment you get away from it, you make a devil out of it. I studied. It was good to be used by the teachers as an example and accidentally, it brought the sacred feminine close to me. All these years of constant working towards it were in vain and when you think it didn't even exist, it struck me. Good. Now to make the best out of it. Class 12 was almost smooth except for the "It's 4 o clock in the morning and you're still asleep?"-alarms, endless lessons, homeworks, assignments and tests, not to mention the past-the-midnight arrivals to home. It was nice yet i didn't know if it was really me doing all this. I could never forget all my classes at school. Delayed sweetness come 17.

There he was, my school-going alter-ego suspended in time, for I had moulted into a college-goer. Class 12 was indeed the LIFE POINT [as stated by the same aunt], for it did bequeath to me a decent score and a little-less-than-decent college. Year 1 in college was awfully bad, but even it couldn't beat the food served at my hostel. It was a period of learning and a step closer to girliness. But frankly speaking, it was a year of maximum travel [and a loss of about 25 pounds from my tummy]. It was also the year I learnt what love [especially to a slow-learner like me] is. It was also the time when I found that the girl I fancy being with was capable [and reserved coaches of Indian Railways were more than capable] of stealing my sleep. Come 18, and I was starting to feel manly already [which actually means I was still a kid].

Aha... 19, there you are! It was that fast that I found my age to be raised to 19. One more feather on my hat; one more stone on my tomb; one more condom on my... leave it. Year 2 brought with it hectic work and hence hatred. It is immaterial now as to what went wrong, how/why it went that way. All I knew was I was sorry. Again 'sorry' is just another word. In year-2 I realised that I was wrong in the first year about the food being the worst [And I came to know that the quality degraded year by year. God save me in the 4th year]. Also, it was in year-2 that I discovered what I had, to offer myself, for what I am- I discovered my field of interest [and a not-so-cool one at that]. I did have fun and as predicted, I got sufficiently far away from my studies. Ok, it was not totally my fault, for it was supposed to be a period of enjoyment.

Year-3. I made a few friends [and a few enemies]. It was then, I stopped saying SORRYs and started understanding the word's worth. And my! the word was actually deeper than just 5 letters. Classes were fun and studying was more fun, obviating the fact that the teachers i had , had no direct or indirect impact on my subjects [or their teaching]. It was then that i felt enemity was natural. And I put back on, what I lost in year-1 [25 pounds, or even more]. Patience was the need of the hour [it still is] and my vision was widened. Most importantly, I exposed myself to almost all kinds of movies [voraciously]. I started talking to myself [in the constructive sense], writing blogs and definitely found a great friend.

In the midst of all this came my 20th birthday, invalidating my teenager-pass. What did I get when I was a teenager and what did I lose when I wasn't one? Just as I unwrap life's mysteries and find solutions to the problems it had posed in front of me, once upon a time, it [life] finds pleasure in throwing at me more questions... I couldn't understand it. Yet solving life was what was to be done. On that specific day, was I able to find out one such solution.

6 out of a million someones I knew as friends were women, while 5 out of 20 friends who wished me on my birthday were women [the men were too busy investigating if it was really my birthday, that day]. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I am comparatively infinitely hostile to women than I am to men. Yet the results of courtesy were displayed to me magnificently. The questions posed by life are indeed too difficult for normal men to answer. But it is life that places all answers right in front of us. All we need to do is to open our eyes! The question here is of the better sex; and I don't think you need my words for an answer. You know it all along and I've just added one more proof to it here!