The Common Man Speaks

26Jun/1118

Something for the majority of youth please?

Youth-based films or films about Generation Y are regularly hitting the screens in Bollywood these days. It is said that these films are specially manufactured for today’s youngsters. But in my personal opinion, all these films don’t relate to the majority of India’s youth.

Movies like Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, I Hate Luv Storys, Aisha, Break Ke Baad, F.A.L.T.U, Luv Ka The End and Always Kabhi Kabhi do centre around young Indians but majority of youngsters aren’t like what is shown in these films.

Characters in the above mentioned films are from elite classes or millionaire’s families who spend a bomb on their dressing and looks. They wear modern branded clothes with some girls going for minimal clothing. They mostly speak in a westernized manner with words like ‘cool’, ‘guys, ‘babes’, ‘hot’, ‘sexy’, ‘dude’ ‘f***’, etc being a regular feature in their vocabulary. They regularly hangout in discos and pubs. Needles to say – one of their biggest mottos in life is to find a girlfriend or a boyfriend.

There is no denying that such youngsters do exist in India and there is nothing wrong in making movies on them. However, I am unable to understand why every youth-based film these days focuses only on such youngsters. Although I have nothing against such movies or such characters, I am just unable to relate myself with them.

There is a large majority of the Indian youth, who is stark opposite of these. They come from the middle-class or lower middle-class who think twice or thrice before spending even Rs 100 as they are concerned about their family budget. They wait for the day when they can free their parents from the responsibility of running the house.

These people are also much Indian or traditional in terms of their language, behavior, clothing, beliefs, values etc. They believe that life is much more than having a girl or a guy to hang around with. Most importantly, they are very much concerned about the socio-political situation in India.

Why there isn’t a single youth-based film focusing on the majority of Indian youth? Even forthcoming films like Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, Virus Diwan and Student Of The Year focus on the same set of ultra-modern youngsters. But since some untouched topics are touched these days in Bollywood, maybe the day is not far away. Till then, I am waiting. Fingers crossed!

19Jun/118

Is it Female Viagra?

In today’s jungle-like situation, it is vital for the ad filmmakers to come up with more and more innovative ideas so as to grab viewers’ attention. Nothing wrong in this at all. But there is a thin line between out-of-the-box thinking and plain idiocy.

Unfortunately, ad filmmakers making ads for various deodorants or body sprays like Axe, Wild Stone, 18 +, etc have crossed the thin line and ventured so far into the idiotic areas that the very basic function of a deodorant (to destroy body odour) is nowhere to be seen in their ads.

Personally, I feel it is an anti-feminine concept which is garnering no protest whatsoever from any of the pro-feminine groups. If I was a woman, I would feel highly offended by such ads.

In these so-called deodorants’ advertisements, all we can see is a girl getting turned on or sexually aroused after smelling a deo from a man’s body. Her sexual excitement goes to such an extent that without watching daayen ya baayen, she just goes physical with the man although she doesn’t know him even a bit!

By showing such a thing in an advertisement, it looks like the makers are hinting that girls are so dumb that they will have physical pleasure with anyone who smells good. If this is not the case, are they giving a hidden message that in the name of deodorants, we are selling Female Viagra?

10Jun/1112

How to ‘Cook’ a Box-Office Hit!

Ninety percent (or more) of movies fail to taste success at the box-office. Still, Salman Khan’s recent superhits Wanted, Dabanng and Ready have proven that it is easy to ‘cook’ a box-office hit. Don’t believe? Have a look at the following recipe for a box-office hit: -

  • Salman Khan: The first and foremost thing is to get Salman Khan on board as the lead actor. Do this and half of your battle is won! If you have him, it really doesn’t matter who is directing the film. In fact, it’ also fine even if there is no director!
  • Salman’s Heroics: Add large number of scenes that will produce seetis from the audience. For instance, fight scenes where Salman should emerge victorious and make popat of the gundaas, scenes where Salman should successfully woo the ‘heroine’, a dance number preferably as Salman’s entry scene, plenty of dialogues that add fuel to the heroic image of Salman, all ‘good’ people admiring Salman in the end, etc.
  • Good Looking ‘Heroine’: A good looking heroine who should be ready to match steps with Salman during song and dance breaks. I am using the word heroine instead of actress since her acting skills would be seldom used in such a film.
  • Songs: After regular intervals, there should be a song. Few dance tracks and a romantic number should do. An overhyped item number is an added advantage.
  • Supporting Cast: You need a big gang of supporting actors who continuously need to appreciate Salman’s heroics or be at the receiving end of them. Most of them should also be ‘ready’ to get insulted or fooled by Sallu.
  • Script: I don’t mean a watertight script or a powerful script. The most important thing is to throw all kinds of logic out of the window. Oh, you need to delete the word logic from your dictionary temporarily. Get a mixture of comedy, romantic, action and mildly emotional scenes, without thinking much about continuity or reason since Salman would be the centre of attraction in all of them. Playing of the theme tune of the movie in the background which compliments Salman’s heroics is also a must to trigger seetis.
  • Marketing Strategy: It really doesn’t matter if the makers haven’t worked hard while making the film but it is absolutely vital for them to pull up their socks while publicizing the movie. TV, radio, internet, TV serials, TV reality shows, banners, contests and what not should only speak about your movie. The name of the movie or its actors should ‘hit’ the public wherever they go or whatever they listen or read.

Throw these ingredients in the frying pan and voila, you get a box-office hit which would generate plenty and plenty of moolah for the makers. So, isn’t it easy to ‘cook’ a box-office hit? Of course it is when you have Sallu at your side. But wait a minute! What about appreciation? Oh come on! Who the hell cares about that when you have money flowing into your account especially in the first two weeks?

8Jun/110

Hurting the Harmless!

Congress-led UPA government forcefully ended Baba Ramdev’s protest against corruption and also brutally roughed up his thousands of non-violent supporters (which also included women and children). But the same government doesn’t use any force whatsoever when political parties like Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena openly indulge in violence and destroy public property which also includes blazing of public busses.

Whether Ramdev’s act is justified or not can be debatable but how can you just brutally beat-up thousands of people just because they turn up to support a person? Amongst the thousands of victims of this barbaric violence is a woman whose limbs have become paralytic and a guy who is in a critical condition due to serious head injuries.

And that’s not all. Social activist Anna Hazare was not allowed to fast (on June 8, 2011) at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar. Just imagine – country which speaks loud about its democracy, doesn’t allow a person to protest in his own peaceful manner as they believe there can be a law and order problem. On the other hand, chamchas of these political parties who beat-up innocents aren’t even touched and worse, dreaded and proven terrorists like Ajmal Kasab are given full hospitality and crores of rupees are spent on their stay.

This clearly gives an indication that in India, its okay if you gun down hundreds of innocents but it’s not okay at all if you wish to protest in a peaceful manner. This clearly proves that our so-called government can show force only against those who are weaponless or harmless. When it comes to using force when it is really required, it goes into it shell. People of India have elected impotent white-collar criminals!

5Jun/1110

Have the British really left us?

The atrocities being poured on the common man of India by our government and politicians often force me to doubt whether we are still living in the British era. But after looking at the way Baba Ramdev was arrested at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan and his non-violent agitation against corruption was forcefully swooped, my doubt is absolutely cleared. Now I am absolutely sure that our leaders and bureaucrats are equivalent to the British.

Couple of major justifications given by our HRD Minister Kapil Sibal for this inhuman behavior towards Ramdev and his supporters:

  • Baba Ramdev is a Yoga guru so he should not do politics.
  • He had assured that only five thousand of his supporters will throng the Ramlila Ground in New Delhi but more than 50 thousand people turned up.

Sibal thinks that the people of India are so foolish that they will accept such baseless justifications. If a person protests against corruption, how can you accuse him or her of doing politics? Is it wrong for an Indian to voice his or her opinion and take action in a non-violent manner?

About Sibal’s second accusation, what is wrong if people show non-violent support to a man whom they believe in? It is just that the government got frightened to see such large number of people gathering to support Ramdev and going against them. After all, this could hamper their money-making process, couldn’t it?

It is crystal clear that Sibal or the honchos of our government or other politicians have no answers to these questions. Their cowardly act against Ramdev’s non-violent agitation has proved that corruption is so dear to them that they will crush anyone who voices opinion or tries to take action against it.

4Jun/119

Baba Ramdev: ‘Fast’ and Furious!

Renowned Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s indefinite fast unto death from today (June 4, 2011) in New Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, against corruption and the black money stashed away in the Swiss Bank, is met with a thunderous response.

Thousands of his followers have flocked the ground and crores of Indians are glued onto the television to watch the proceedings. There’s no doubt that Ramdev’s act should be applauded by every Indian. But the big question is – will the Indian government, which is thoroughly submerged in corruption, will obey Ramdev’s demand?

There is around Rs 400 lakh crore of black money in the Swiss Bank. Is it really possible that the corruption infested government will bring the money back. If not that, can we really see these crooked politicians and bureaucrats themselves handing over their Swiss account money back to the nation? This looks something more difficult than finding needle in a desert.

And his demand of uprooting corruption from India, looks like even a bigger task! Is it realistic to expect that in India where not only politicians but even doctors, engineers and people from every profession indulge in corruption?

On the other hand, the government is going to have sleepless nights because if it just stays mum to Ramdev’s act, it will face humiliation not just in India but even outside. So the next few days or weeks will surely see some unexpected dramatic events.

Whatever the end result of Baba’s fight, I wholeheartedly support him as he is at least trying to achieve the impossible unlike crores of us who do nothing more than lambasting the corrupt politicians. And if he does achieve the impossible, it will go down as the most path-breaking event in the History of India after the Independence of 1947.