Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Formula

Of all the people that have struck a chord in the corridors of my perverted mind in the short span that i have existed on this planet, few have inspired as much awe as this one name... Mithun Chakraborthy! (i don't know if i've spelt that name correctly but what the heck when it comes to THE disco dancer it doesn't really matter!)

What i wish to discuss following a rather unusally long silence in my literary ventures is the power that men like him and rajnikanth wield over the world of indian cinema. No, this will not be a conspiracy theory session where i compare the "reach" of "superstars" to that of the FBI or the NSA. Hmm i seem to be using a lot of double quotes, but then again unbridled sarcasm is hard to attain until shoved into the face of the reader, for i wish to be very blatant! No sir, this will be a thorough discussion or rather dissection of what pioneers like the aforementioned have done to take movie making to new "heights" (double quotes again! this will be fun!).

During what was one of my many elightening verbal tirades in the company of good folk (no sarcasm intended here) we stumbled across the concept of hindi movie formulae. Many are of the opinion that the formula was best epitomised by Ramesh Sippy's "sholay" with all the chakki-peesing and the basanthi calling, but i dear readers beg to differ. I'm a strong believer of the theory that the formula was best used, over-used and abused by the men of red plastic disco jump suits and auto-tie lungis. (for names refer above)

Yes Sir! where would the art of cinema be but for breakthrough "hits" (quite literally!) like "khopdi - THE SKULL" and "Khanjar - the knife" , at this point i'd like to take time aside and try and convince the poor reader that movies with this hallowed nomenclature do indeed exist and are very much part of lore! I myself have been fortunate enough to catch them on zee cinema. These pieces of work appear on this daring channel during the wee hours of the night.

Same time as when you catch those brilliantly picturised rape-scenes... read gulshan grover advancing with supposedly menacing eyes which are lost in delirium and chanting "bad-man" as if it was supposed to be some not-so-subtle subliminal message to the unfortunate viewer that he was indeed a bad man! and cut to scene 2 where the actress (preferably a sufficiently vague actress with a generous dash of adipose tissue deposited in the abdominal region!) with a ripped blouse and torn sari in tow withdraws with a look that would make psychiatrists think twice about prescribing any anti-depressants! (note: he hasnt touched her yet) and then there's the ceremonial breaking of the random glass bottle and the customary "aage mat aana, aage mat aana...mein police to bulaongi!" this being said in a cabin in the middle of Mr.Bad man's fortress complete with black-sunglass wearing, shiny suit donning, crappy fighter side-kickmen. (read one punch from hero= broken sinus generously spewing bodily fluids)

Now coming back to khopdi and their ilk.. lets return to the primary focus of the discussion. The formula. Now at the risk of sounding like a 10th grade social sciences paper i shall say, there are 2 bifurcations to the formula of movie making in this land of yore.. they are..

1) The MAA formula.
2) The Girlfriend formula.

Please note that these are only broad bifurcations, in fact quite often the two are mixed in not-so-rare occurences called "Blockbuster Hits!" whatever that means. Now i shall meekly try and shed some light on what these essentials really are and how they are used in combination with miscellaneous components to complete the movie. To use a gardening similie this the compost heap..i still have to get to the pitch-fork!

The Maa formula goes something like this.
Hero graduates from college.
(Hero is usually called Vijay /*i still don't get the funda behind that*/)
The beta is a goodest of good boys.
Beta tries for job.
Beta gets butt-fucked by the junta having uncles in offices who get job first.
Beta gets cynical.
Beta becomes police officer.
Beta rapes the shit out of the bad guys "daru ka adda"
Villain gets shit pissed. "is Inspector Vijay ne mujhe karoodon ka nukhsan pahuchayan hai!"

Villain gets hold of Beta's younger brother, who at this time is either in the same college flirting with some vague chick in a pink frock and a huge thick 80's madonna belt with a gold buckle (seriously..does anyone wear a frock to college? let alone a pink one?) or a kid in a pitiful school uniform.
/* The pink frock woman can be amply used to generate the prerequiste amount of pelvic thrusts per movie or PT/M in engineering terms*/

Villains beats the crap out of college boy brother or doesn't give food to school boy brother
/*if the kid bro is a school boy brother then there is the inevitable call where the phone is shoved into the kids face and there is the touching "bhaiyya! mujhe bachao bhaiyya!" followed by evil laughter... essential component in hindi movie*/

After getting screwed at hands of villain..chote bhai ultimately dies.(what a waste of celluloid.)
Beta pissed.
Maa pissed.
Maa asks beta to take badla.
Police Kanoon ka lamba haath is not lamba enough.
Beta thrown out of police force.
Beta goes out to rape Villain dada back.
Villain now kidnaps maa..(seriously the beta doesnt watch his home often enough.)
/*defining moment of the movie*/
Beta beats the shit out of the fortress guarding crappy fighting sidey dudes.
*Evil laughter*
Beta fights villain.
*More evil laughter*
Beta initially gets ass kicked.
*Did i mention Evil laughter*
Maa says "you can do it beta"
*nike ad...oops...sorry..more evil laughter*
*barbaric...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah from hero after wiping blood of corner of mouth*
Beta keeps thulping villain to glory..villain almost fights back...and right then the end comes... either villain is shoved into an unusually large spear or he is electrocuted or he is thrown into boiling oil or whatever...
Beta saves maa. touches feet. Movie ends. Inspector Vijay walks into sunset. Pink frock woman in tow.

Now for the Girlfriend formula.

Very similar beginnings.. only minor modification being pink frock woman is now totally enamoured by Vijay and the dude is now a bhaiyya to another suitably vague sister.
Lets cut to the chase.

Sister walks on road.
Sister catches Villain's roadside dada's attention.
Sister arbitly gets raped.
Note: This can be coupled with ambient rules as described in the "Bad-Man" paragraph.
Sister runs with torn blouse and sari through the streets of this colony.
Junta watch sister running.
Note: This is in no way due to public concern. This is because director dude was too lazy to get rid of random junta. so you sometimes even get to see the over-enthu spectator smiling and waving at the camera.
Bhaiyya gets pissed.
Bhaiyya runs with insanely huge blood spattered talwar
Note: He hasnt killed anyone yet...conservation of mass says..where did the blood come from. /*newton rolls over in grave*/
Bhaiyya beats shit out of dada.
Villain gets pissed. and then the ending is very similar save for one thing.

This genre has what we call the "mandir scene" again the defining moment of the movie. This being when the hero enters a shiva temple. with trishul next to shiva statue./*essential component*/ and asks bhagwan for insaaf. Usually coupled with a storm blowing and causing a hell of a lot of noise in combination with the temple bells. Also a part of this scene is the only chance where the cinematographer gets to have some fun. To generate the effect of violence. The camera dude generally swivells the camera around like a nut on acid and with the music in the background makes for a very touching scene indeed. This is followed by the divine sign from the heavens where a flower arbitly falls to indicate approval followed by hero's journey to villains fortress.

At this point i'd also like to discuss the various similies used for love-making in hindi cinema. Most common being the leaves randomly overlapping, a bee sitting on a rose??!, fireplace closeup, lighting thunder and other vague natural calamities and here's the studliest of them all...a horse running on a sea-shore. And they say we can't express our sexuality. sheesh!

Ending being Vijay walks into sunset. With pink frock woman and blessing of suraj bharjathiya in tow.

There are certain movies that definitely surpass these genres by a looooong way. Most of them have THE MAN..i.e: Rajnikanth behind them. Auto-tie lungi's, revolvers lighting cigarettes, telugu movies where the hero stops a train by stylishy (garishly?) slapping his left thigh and a generous dash of "Mind-IT"'s make for movie making thats just beyond words. So i won't even try!Until next time....MIND IT disco dancers!

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