Friday, February 3, 2012

4 reasons why Shankarabharanam would fail if released today

Yesterday at last, I watched Sankarabharanam completely. I had heard of this movie's name taken with respect, so many times from my childhood, from so many persons that it had become like one of those classic novels that we always hear about but never read. I had listened to the songs so many times that I almost remember them by heart. I had watched fragments of the movie, when it was aired on tv, but lost it in the ocean of channels when the ads started.

And after I watched it, I realized that this has to be one of the greatest movies ever made in telugu and without doubt the greatest story ever told in a telugu movie. But I also realized that though it has got an amazing story, awesome music and is directed by one of the finest directors from telugu film industry, this movie would inevitably flop if it were released in the present day. The reasons are as follows.

1) The most apparent reason would be that there is no hero or heroine in this movie. The whole story revolves around an old carnatic singer and his prostitute devotee. In an age where the only reason that people flock movie theaters is to hear the hero declare his laws of nature like 'evadu vadilite dimma tirigi mind block ayipoddo vade gandu' and thereafter go on to defy laws of physics or watch heroine fall desperately in love with the hero without any effort on part of him, a movie without any of these attractions would hardly be noticed.

2) Second would be it's casting. The present bunch of telugu actors are probably the worst of the lot to come along, since the beginning of telugu movies. Today's audience doesn't watch acting on the screen. It watches the faces. It impersonates those hairstyles, adores those expensive dresses and craves for those six packs. Actors comply by keeping their faces 24 hours in A.C. and going to gym regularly rather than concentrating on their acting. In such an age, we can only imagine what would it be like to roll out a movie with a 50 year old Somayajulu with a tummy and a 'fairly' black, 30 year old dancer Manju Bhargavi. It would be the same as casting Melkote and Mumaith Khan as the lead actors in a present day movie. A lot of audience this movie's poster would draw..


3) Third is the direction by K Vishwanath. This movie is by far is his most no-bullshit movie and the most artistic one too. Exactly the two qualities which would deter a telugu cine-goer to avoid this film. Telugu audience have an inherent ability to switch off their rational part of mind and think with their artistic part and vice versa whenever they feel like it. The problem is, they do it at the wrong time. When our hero is hurling persons in the air one by one out of the hundreds surrounding him, they switch off the logic and enjoy computer graphics. And when the director tries to show some symbolism, some form of art in the storytelling, some minutes of silence and still shots amidst the constant close up's and noise, they  switch off their artistic part, and the rational part becomes restless to move on.

      This movie is filled with lots of beautiful shots where the silent faces speak for themselves and lots of artistic symbolism like in the scene where the heroine resists being dragged into having sex by MLA, while the song shankarabharanam is running in the background. I doubt if the telugu audience would be able to get them, when the only form of art in the movies they know are puri jagannath's fast paced action scenes and mani sharma's stupid background music.

4) Fourth is the music of the film which is totally classical carnatic music. When it released, it was a huge plus point for the movie and the main reason behind this movie's success. But among the present audience which prefers cacophony instead of melody, violence instead of harmony and whistling and shouting to show off instead of clapping to appreciate, the same music would be a big minus point.

      All in all, this article is a vent on the degrading state of our telugu movies and the more degrading state of telugu audience.

Have you ever thought, why there are no multi-starrers in telugu movies?

Why, in the last 57 years, a telugu film has never won a national award for best film?

Why is it that, even though we have lot more money in our industry than the bengali film industry and the malayali film industry, we come nowhere near to those industries in terms of creativity and story telling?

Why is it that, every one of our movies, ( and there is not even a single exception to this ) , has to have a comedian character that the story doesn't demand? Why is it must for it to have those comedy scenes, which have no relation to the story, and take no part in taking the story further?

Why is there no telugu music director comparable to the likes of AR Rahman, Yuvan Shankar Raja or even Harris Jairaaj?

Why Mahesh babu, always portrays an angry youngster?

Why Venkatesh, always chooses to do family movies? 

Why Siddharth always plays a lover boy?
And most importantly, why are we watching them do so, again and again?

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