i finally saw the film that i have been reading and hearing about for a long time. A Tamil film called Pizza which became a surprise hit and its remake right has been sold in many other languages including Hindi. That made me more curious. I knew that it’s a horror film. If you are told otherwise, it will be a spoiler. And that’s sad in a way because then you wonder if the film is so weak that if you tell the real genre to which it belongs, it wont work? Imagine if you always knew that it’s a thriller, and not a horror film. Would the film still work? Am not so sure now. Take Talaash, i think it works best when you know the spoiler. (Post here) And as a friend said it here – A movie is never about its twist, and if it is, it’s not worth it. Pizza is badly handicapped on that front.
Directed by Karthik Subbaraj, the film starts on quite a thrilling note. Almost like one of those found footage films. A bunch of guys trying to trace ghosts in an old building and everything is recorded on a handy cam. As it gets more exciting, as the so called ghosts are about to appear, you realise that this is not the real film. It’s a film inside the film which is playing on tv and the lead characters are watching it. You can brand this as cheating, or, you might overlook it because of the thrill that it provides. I guess the director set the tone of his film with this sequence. The way you react to it, my guess is you are going to react to the film in a similar way once it ends.
I was thoroughly enjoying the film till the interval. And i kept wondering how are they going to close it because it looked like a difficult task. Well, it turned out to be KLPD. Because the director cheats us not once, but twice actually. First time when we are hearing the ghost story. It’s in one flashback. Almost the first half. And second time when the lead character is trying to act scared, pretending to be spooked – breathing problem, blood on his back, someone in the loo. Even if you are willing to take the first instance as film making tool, what about the second one? The second one makes you completely believe in the first story and kills all your doubts.
So you enjoy the thrill so much that you don’t call it cheating, or maybe you even call it so but overlook the fact once you know the reality. Why? Because it was worth it. Or you brand it as pure KLPD, cheating and childish. There’s nothing right or wrong, it’s just the way you react. And so the question in the post because i felt it was cheating. You might be completely fine with it. Do let us know in the comments section.
I am guessing you are still with me and are reading this post because you have seen the film already. Otherwise it won’t make sense as am not explaining everything in detail. And remember Kahaani? Lot of us criticised Sujoy Ghosh for that one scene where Vidya is talks about her husband and we get to see her “fake” story in flashback. Unlike others Sujoy was honest enough to participate in a discussion with us after its release and gave us his version. You can check the entire discussion here.
I still believe that the character might be talking about his/her story but it’s the filmmakers choice how he is showing it to us. We are not peeping into the character’s head like Being John Malkovich. Now, if we criticised Sujoy for that one scene, imagine an entire film based on such a scenario. Pizza is exactly that.
Once you are inside the theatre, one completely trusts the filmmaker. Saying and showing things with the help of a character and making us believe in it is the simplest thing inside that dark room. And then you turn around and say that it was all false, well, those were my favourite games in kindergarten. Not anymore.
Interestingly, when i asked people on twitter to rate the film on a scale of 1 to 5, most people rated it between 2.5 to 5. So clearly am in minority. Or, maybe am growing old. I prefer human stories more than thrill pills now.
Or i can try a better one. Since i was talking about his closing lines in the last post, and most probably someone will soon say “The Usual Suspects” while discussing this post, so here’s a quote from his review of the same film – I prefer to be amazed by motivation, not manipulation.