Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Indian "formula"

It's been a pretty hectic schedule at work and I almost forgot that I had a blog. When you are forced to spend a large portion of your day working and your personal life asymptotically tends to zero, you don't get the mood to do anything else with the remaining time. The only activity I've been enjoying these days is playing racquet ball (American version of squash) as it tends to give you the peace of mind that you miss the most. Enough with the off-topic chitchat. Today I was watching the movie "Vivah", a typical formula film that reminded me of Vikraman films; and that combined with the numb philoso-sarcastic (if you will) mood I'm in right now, catalyzed this post. The essential parts of a formula movie...

#1 - A divine protagonist

The hero and/or the heroine of the movie should be too good to be true. So loving, so caring, so selfless, so beautiful/handsome, so forgiving, in short, so unrealistic.

#2 - A cruel antagonist

Antagonists come in two flavors - I'd call them the born-villains and made-villains. Born villain should be soulless, selfish, if it's a male he should booze/smoke/should be the opposite of a teetotaler, kill people like mosquitoes and get away with it; usually starting with a murder in the very first scene of the movie. Made villains are good persons with bad misconceptions. He/she can turn bad even because of the silliest reason one could imagine ex: s/he thought that the world is flat and the protagonist thought otherwise. And just to prove himself/herself, s/he will be behind all insane stuff going on in the movie.

#3 - Sentiment bit

Usually dominated by ladies... Mom, sister, wife, one-side-love, neighbor who has always been sister-like... Someone who eventually gets killed or for whom the protagonist risks his life.

If it's a guy, it's usually the father, a friend or in the worst case a brother; but nothing else. It's hard to believe the protagonist risking life for a distant relative who is a guy (girls are accepted for these roles :D)

#4 - A terrible incident

Something terrible should invariably happen in the movie. Some accident, a betrayal, a murder, sudden poverty, death of the most important family member in the most crucial moment that turned the family to beggars overnight. Usually this happens just before the interval and the second half of the movie will be the phoenix re-incarnation.

#5 - Songs

Whether it's the song that brings out the difficulties of the protagonist or the song that turns the protagonist into a millionaire in minutes, songs are inevitable in a formula movie.

#6 - Villain's expiry

Expiry can be literal expiry or expiry of his/her character. A born villain will usually die and a made villain will transform into a mahatma just a scene before the climax.

How many of these crap movies are we destined to watch? GOK!