Who decides a movie is good or bad? If you are the deciding person, how consistent are you?. I ask these questions because I was dumbfounded by the attitude of some of the general audience and ‘so called’ reviewers on the internet. When people are given a movie like ‘Aambala’ where a sumo becomes an aeroplane and the hero is bashing baddies, romancing the heroine, sing and dance. Rinse, wash, repeat! People say why don’t actors act in sensible films. Why can’t they choose a good story an act. Why does the actor need to show ‘mass’ every time? And what surprised me was when a larger than life actor actually did all these things, people are now complaining that there is no ‘mass’ involved. Why can’t he have included the ‘mass’ factor to the film? A movie is 3hr long, we complain the movie is long, when the movie is short, we complain that there were no back stories? Why these double standards?
We are entitled to ask all the questions we want because at the end of the day, we pay 120 bucks or $15 for a ticket to watch a film and we expect to be fully satisfied in the end. Not all films are able to do it nowadays. A film like ‘Jigarthanda’ which the whole world liked and appreciated might not be loved by women because of the violence in it. That does not necessarily make the movie bad. It is just that it is the opinion of maybe a few hundreds. Irrespective of the negativity surrounding it, a good film always wins. This was the case a few years ago, not anymore.
In the 2000’s, a films run of 100 days was considered a measurement of success, but nowadays, a film’s opening decides it’s success. In this age and time, a movie’s success is determined by it’s initial run. The first 2 weeks are crucial after release. if the WOM is good, it runs for a few more weeks. Producers, distributors and everyone involved are ready to cash in on the first weekend of release irrespective of how the film is(good or bad). With the advent of twitter, WOM spreads like wildfire. The problem with twitter is, everything said there isn’t true! There are so called fans(who call themselves veriyans) who are the first to abuse when a negative review is written about their star. And there is another opposite star fan group who are ready to diss the recent release of their rival star without even watching the film. You should really come to twitter during the release of a big film. It’s a circus out there. And if these fans aren’t enough, there are so called ‘reviewers’ who are attention seekers and wants to gain instant popularity. It’s just a shame!
A major fault also lie with the filmmakers. Rehashing same old stores, OTT fight sequences, double meaning dialogues in the name of comedy, sexual innuendos are some of the cheap tricks being used in movies to make it appealing to the audience. I am not a hater of commercial cinema. I loved Darling among pongal releases and i enjoyed every bit of VIP. But the marketing and the amount of hype before a film releases maybe helps in getting an opening, but if there is no substance to back up your claims, people get angry.
People’s sensibility is the ‘mellisana kodu'(Thin line). On one side they expect too much entertainment, on the other side they expect a logical content. Finding the right mix of both is a challenge every filmmaker should work hard to attain.