Sunday, December 12, 2010

Phas Gaye Obama - Where Is The Movie?

This is a review of a movie I never saw. A movie that I really wanted to see. All the reviews were promising. Great. Last Saturday morning was when I noticed that the movie (despite its good reviews) was running only in one theatre, Inox and one early afternoon show. Raja had some work that day so we decided to watch it on Sunday. On Sunday morning there was a brilliant four star review in the newspapers again which reaffirmed our resolve to watch it. But this day, two days after its release, I could not locate the movie in Inox or any theatre for that matter. It had just vanished. Ironically, this movie had wonderful reviews by the reviewers, signifying a good product that even passed the normally unhappy film critic community, but no theatres.

There were many other movies that were playing in all the theatres, none of which I was keen on watching. I found it quite surprising that movies with bad reviews were announcing that they were super hits, that they were into their third and fourth week. How could they? Had they bought over the theatres for a price and were playing movies in theatres so they could pronounce them as super hits? Fro the kind of budgets we hear, this amount would be paltry. You could as well book all the tickets and fool the audience over a period of time that it is worth watching. Which means that the audience has really no choice despite all that talk about public being bhagwan and Janta Janardhan etc. I really want to see Phas Gaye Obama, so I will have to wait for the DVD. I also don’t want to see any of these other movies that are proclaimed super hits even before they are released. 

Like most other things even these seem fixed. The super hits, the awards, the super stars, the hype. The real cinema, real talent might just get bored and leave.  I however urge them to make the movies they want to, that they believe in. The tide will turn against this sham sometime, hopefully soon. You can fool some people for some part of the time, not all people all the time!


Hmmm said...

Dear Hari,

This is a wrong place to post but... I bought a copy of your book - The Men Within! Ohk let's accept it your boys were too adultish sometimes, and the coincidences were too many, and Anjali's character half etched and all that...but fact is I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED READING IT. It's been years that I took out time to read a new book, and what joy it is to believe that inspite of having to go to office the next day, I just finished the book in one read... single night! When was the last time I did that... I don't remember... the Ayn Rands, the Jiddu Krishnamurthys, the Coveys somehow ate away too much of my time… (all for my good though ;) )

I laughed with your boys, and ohk let me make a confession I had tears for them. And can you believe it I remember all the names of the boys - Gautam, Rajinder, Siddhanth, Vikas, Noel, Kaleem, Shameem, Michael, Varun, Kartik, Ramesh, Sanjay, Ashish, Nissar! Actually I had to struggle to remember the hero’s name, Sampath, though it is one my best friends’ name!

I hope Mohan Krishna Indraganti (MKI) and the lot made a good movie out of it. They better did! I have something to say (hope it helps).Every sports movie can roughly be divided into the following short stories -
1. A failing team – you never say what’s wrong with them, but it has to become visible
2. The visible challenge – what the failing team wins if they win, loses if they lose
3. The coming of the hero – player / coach (of course with loads of subtext)
4. The initial hiccup – hero vs team
5. The hero gets a chance to prove he is honest
6. The team starts learning – what they give up / what they learn
7. The worst case – when everything is lost
8. The bouts– problems / hassles – how the learning helps
9. The unexpected toughest match – worst case scenario
10. The speech
11. The final – expected tough match
12. The denouement

Out of these 12, your novel works extremely well in these cases – 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11! I’d give you the 2 and 3 as they were visible for me the reader, and 10 because it was moulded exceptionally over 5,6,8! But I have enough doubts about how it translates into a movie with the 3 part being a touch too unclear. The part 7 is not enough to tell me that the kids / and hero have lost almost everything.

The biggest problem is that as a typical Telugu movie goer I am forced to see everything from the hero’s perspective, and if the hero’s subtext doesn’t make him a total loser at one point or the other, it won’t make him a hero when the team finally wins - Unless of course MKI has someone else’s point of view to narrate the entire film, which I think would be novel!
Hence I’d hope that you and MKI have taken enough care to work on 2,3, especially 7 and of course 12.

Please Note: The attempt to suggest anything, especially after knowing that the movie is more or less ready was just to offer help (who knows where help can come from ;) ). The Praise was honest. You deserve it and probably more.

Harimohan said...

Hi Hmmm,
That simply blew me over. Really. And coming from someone who knows and critiques the art of storytelling, it is all the more satisfying. Thanks a ton for all that you have written and suggested.

Mohan was pretty much in control of the screenplay, and I only clarified when needed. It is entirely his baby and I think you will find that he has done a fantastic job with the rest of his team (addressing most points you have raised). Will send him the link with your comment. For now, I will celebrate. Thanks for making my day!

budugu said...

you seem to be oblivious to the phenomenon of big4 capturing all theaters and not letting small/medium sized movie makers show their movies. Theres been a hue and cry in telugu industry about that.
good thing is GHS hero is backed by one of these :-) hope that turns out good 4 u.

Harimohan said...

Oh yes budugu, I am aware of the big 4 business. But what happened with 'Phas gaye Obama' was really incredible. 2 days! And out of theatres on the same day as a four star review. My blog was more to express my solidarity as a viewer, with the filmmaker. I do wish and pray that GHS gets its due. Thanks.