Don’t judge a movie by its trailer. But judge a society by its pop-culture.
I have hurt my balls several times as a child. And as any man would know, it is painful. For the sake of illustrating my upcoming point you should also know that I have had stitches on… well… my… pen(ahem)is, and once, they’ve come off too. And this is just one incident.
Yet if someone asked me to watch the first 30 minutes of Ra.One again, or relive all the pain I have ever had, I would have to think hard about it. And then, I still think I would choose the latter.
Now, I know what you’re going to say. ‘What were you thinking?’ or ‘No wonder you’re Parsi’. Why would one willingly put themselves through SRK? WHY Ra.One?
The answer is simple.
I fell for it. The hype. The names. The advertising. The publicity. The trailer. Yes, all of it.
But the trailer? See that’s the thing. A trailer used to be a small window into what the movie was going to offer. A slit. A window. A sneak peak (too tempting to not use). And so I thought, there’d be more. But sadly, there wasn’t.
The ultimate formula!
Producers have found an easy way out. Load the trailer with all the cool stuff. The jokes, the stunts, the dialogues, the actors, the songs. Don’t leave out any cool stuff. If we can’t shove it in the trailer, then leak it on the web and blame a pirate. People will think there’s so much more in the film.
I have fallen for the trailer so often. And this isn’t just an Indian problem anymore. The trailer for Rum Diary. Johnny Depp. Another Hunter S Thompson affair. AWWWEEESOOMMMEE!
These two movies are merely a victim of timing of this post.
I have to admit, the Ra.One VFX looked good. On par with Hollywood. And I (I know, no one gives a &^%#) think we’re ready to tell stories with VFX. Just knowing, that VFX is a technique, not a plot.
TV shows suffer from the same plight. There used to be great programming.
The classics – Udaan, Nukkad, Bharat ek Khoj, Karamchand, etc.
The comedies – Yeh jo hai zindagi, Flop Show, Waghle ki duniya, etc.
The family drama classics – Buniyaad, Dastaan, Parampara, Tara, etc.
The tween ones – Campus, Hip Hip Hurray, Giant Robot, etc.
The popcorn stuff – Philips Top 10, Kya Scene Hai, By Demand, etc.
The adaptations – Ji Mantriji, Zabaan Sambhal Ke, etc.
Again, just a few names. There were so many more. My point was that even the mediocre stuff was good. Today, we have trash on TV.
Most reality programmes only appeal and pander to the worst in us. Soaps today seem like they’re being translated for regions. Music channels focus less on music and more on the riff raff. Our comedies today, make me cry. The 24-hour news cycle has made journalists turn into story hounds.
Where is the stuff that challenges us?
Where is the stuff that inspires us?
Where is the stuff that makes us ‘feel’?
Where is the stuff that makes us think?
Is it just the audience to blame?
Give us options; let us choose. As an audience, we are seeking out international content, not because ‘we’re too cool for Indian shows’. It’s because there aren’t many good Indian shows, sadly.
Movies and TV shows, like A Wednesday, Dewarists, Do Dooni Chaar, Torrents (although, this is a property), show that we are looking for, am sorry, craving good content. And there is nothing wrong with it being in Hindi. It just needs to be GOOD. Yes, there are various interpretations of good. But there isn’t a single person (man, woman, husband, housewife, guy or girl), who proudly admits to watching to a soap or reality show. There’s always a caveat.
Try it. Ask someone, “Why are you watching this?” The answer will mostly come with a justification. ‘It’s not an everyday thing.’ ‘Only when I get the time.’ ‘It’s only on in the background.’ ‘No, am only following this season’.
So, why are we allowing ourselves to be judged only the morning after? How about an e-hunger strike for good programming, a la Anna Hazare?