Archive for June 10, 2012

….wonders filmmaker Kushan Nandy. And if you are smart and well aware of the discussions in social media platforms, you can connect the dots too.

Last night I watched Shanghai.

The entire 114 minutes of its running time, I did not flinch. Brilliantly scripted, performed and directed, it is a film where every department competes with each other to underplay. A rarity in Indian Cinema today.

I was truly entertained.

There were twenty-four people watching the Friday evening show along with me, a few had dozed off, three men sitting behind me were giggling and farting away and another gentleman was screaming and spitting into his cellphone.

Obviously they weren’t entertained.

Back home, I read the trade reports that claimed a 15% opening. The film hadn’t entertained a soul.

I was the idiot.

Indian Cinema, now almost 100 years old, the largest movie industry in the world says entertainment is the only driving factor that persuades people to go to a movie theatre.

Sad. Because porn entertains too. And you don’t need to pay for it.

Sad. Because even one of the most stressed out, autocratic, poverty-stricken countries, Iran, doesn’t say that. They go out and make A Separation instead.

Sad. Because, entertainment has a new name. Constipation-remedy.

Poverty. Corruption. Quality of Life. Our audience is stressed out, they say. They need a release. Which makes it sound a bit like constipation looking for relief.

And what hits me every Friday, in the name of this entertainment or laxative is more frightening. I see men flying at ninety-six frames per second, defying gravity. I see inane, asinine humor, which doesn’t even make my driver laugh. I see the same item number, repackaged with different breasts every time.

And all these films have not made a penny less than a 100 crores. They have obviously entertained someone, somewhere. Well, quite a few someones who belong to an India I don’t understand. These someones who have discovered laxative and named it entertainment and vice versa.

And yes, I love entertaining cinema. I love Sholay. I love Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I love Hrishikesh Mukherjee. I love Parinda. I love Paan Singh Tomar. I love the Ram Gopal Verma films which were made before the dinosaurs went extinct.

So I will go out and watch Shanghai again. I will hope it picks up. Makes money. So that more people make more Shanghais. So that I get the weekly dose of entertainment I prefer.

Because sir, I am not constipated.

Are you?

(PS – You can read his earlier post here.)