Monday, May 11, 2009

Sell Out Film - Some musings…

Opublished in

This is my first post as an official member of the PCF Authors’ Klub. Dunno how much weight it holds, but being who I am, it makes me feel like some friggin descendent of the Chopra clan. I am elated would be an understatement, but I will save those sentiments for my beer buddy. OK, now getting to the point, I spent most of my working day trying to hear the nuggets of wisdom from Dibakar B., on the gawdsent post by Manjeet. Thank you oye!
Somwhere late in the conversation thay had, Dibakar B. said those 3 magik words - SELL OUT FILM. It created a hulchul in my filmi khopdi ki jhopdi. Wow. I was sold out. Then began the internal debate. What exactly could qualify as a ’sell out film’? (Now on referred to as - SOF) Was Jab We Met Imtiaz Ali’s SOF. No yaar… dil-o-jaan lagi thi aur dikh bhi raha tha. May be he got lucky… Hey wait, it was a Shahid-Kareena film. SO, does that make it a SOF? No yaar, may be I picked up the wrong film for a SOF. Or may be not… (opinions invited)
Kya concept hai yaar - SELL OUT FILM. I have been reading this book ‘King of Bawlywood SRK’ and there I read a few pages which connected with this concept. There was a chapter where the author says that Aditya Chopra, while in school, used to maintain a diary about his predictions on how films would fare on the BO. He was right most of the time, of course. So is DDLJ also a SOF? Damn, that chapter robbed Adi of all the reverence I had for him all these years. A movie that is a part of Indian cinema legend made on a balance sheet. Yikes! The book also has many other revelations that further prove this, but you can read it for yourself.
Coming back to SOF. How does one decide on making a SOF? The answer lies maybe with Vishesh Films who only make SOF (or so I think). That seems to be their single minded purpose (Not that its wrong, but whatever.) This SOF stuck to my brain, cuz I (initially) wanted to make a SOF (then unknowingly). I had thought “Saala, marketing chahiye na… will make a movie that becomes a case study in film marketing.” Sounds vain & foolish, but then I still very clearly have a full-blown marketing plan for my SOF. (Now the damn Hummer & fuel is so effing expensive so hence full-out jaana hi padega na!)
Anyways, one thing that bothered me was that Dibakar B. mentioned it as akin to a sin (it came out like that). Something that borders on prostitution… If you have heard the conversation, you just might agree. He also says that may be he would not be able to make something like OLLO. I didn’t like that (my humble opinion, doesn’t matter to anyone). But what interested me most in the concept of SOF that it covered the entire gamut of commercial (if i may dare call ‘em dat) film makers. The line is so damn thin that only people who’s films didin’t work at the BO are the ‘not sold out’ film makers.
A huge reason this thing came up in my mind is that there are some films which were incidental hits (so qualifying to be SOF) but were made with a soul more virgin than what the word actually means. Some instances I think I can mention here - most of rajat kapoor’s, few of RGV’s, few of Mira Nair’s, (feel free to add more to the list). I think a film qualifying as SOF is just incidental. Just imagine if No Smoking would have taken the BO by a storm cuz of Bip’s item number (I so hoped) that wouldn’t have been a SOF. Definitely not. The same holds true for Dev D. Will Anurag Kashyap ever make a SOF? And if he does, will he agree?
Damn, too many questions in my mind. Too much dirt. Just 3 effing words & I have been flooded with thoughts, counter thoughts & its cousins & aunts & of course then the damn beer swims back into my over-occupied mindspace! I am so friggin pepped up about being at the ISC 08 & personally conveying my regards to Javed Akhtar saab & other favs that my colleagues think that I have lost it completely. Well ‘lost’ for them, but I have ‘found’ a place where I can belong. A place which is invaluable to be in. Hummer or fiat, I like the buzz, the vibe of being a filmi. That too in such promising times that the Industry is in.
For now, I will find some calm in my mug of beer. Till the next time guys, stay FILMI!