I was talking to my mother yesterday and she said something which set me thinking. We were having a discussion about the newly released movie ‘I Hate Luv Storys’. I was asking my mother why she would want to see the film. And she said ‘The cast is good’. And I wondered……..Imran Khan has given one ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ which was fresh because of its writing style, thanks to Abbas Tyrewala and a flop called ‘Kidnap’ by a certain Sanjay Gadhvi who gave us the intellectually stimulating Dhoom series. Coming to Sonam Kapoor , I have no doubt her dress designers do a damn good job to make her look fashionable but she has given two back-to-back flops – Sawariya and Delhi-6. So, how is the principal cast of ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ any good at all?
The point-in-case is the fact that most Indian movie viewers are driven by the side-dish the film offers in the form of great locations, good looking actors, designer apparel, etc. The main course which is the story, screenplay, direction (due to which the side paraphernalia exist) is in fact sidelined. The poor writer or director both of who have control over everything in the narrative of the cinema are relegated to some side alley.
I asked my mother ‘Have you heard of Punit Malhotra?’ and she came back with ‘Is he famous?’
We have some really brilliant modern day directors who get sidelined due to other not-so-good ones simply because the latter are tied to some large production house which enables them to work with the most famous actors. A large part of the audience didn’t know Imtiaz Ali existed till they saw Jab We Met and loved it, though Imtiaz had made an even better Socha Na Tha some years earlier. Lovers of unconventional cinema knew Nagesh Kukunoor but he became really famous after Iqbal, though critics would argue that Iqbal is not his best effort.
Following a director’s or writer’s work can be much more fulfilling for a movie experience even if it’s purely entertainment for someone. If I were to choose between a comedy film by Dibakar Bannerjee and another one by Priyadarshan, I would choose Dibakar Bannerjee. This is because though both churn out good comedies, Dibakar’s scripts are stronger, dialogues are better and genuinely funny. Priyan on the other hand tends to use situational comedy as his main tool to induce laughter.
So the next time you watch a film and like it, try and see who the director and writer are. Try and follow that particular director’s and/or writer’s work. Not all his/her efforts may be good but chances are brighter you’ll come out feeling you’ve spent your bucks wisely.
As regards, ‘I Hate Luv Storys’, I have nothing against Imran, Sonam or Punit. May the film do well and may Punit join the tiny bandwagon of independent-thought filmmakers. Perhaps he may join the ranks of Imtiaz, Nagesh or even Farhan.