Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Making of Box Office History

When directors gripe about how difficult it is to predict what the 'audience' would like, I am always amused. For, making a successful movie is not exactly rocket-science. Here are some plots for sure-shot box-office hits:

For Bollywood:
  • Cast SRK and Kajol (Chars #1 and #2). Have the title music of 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' play in the background the first time they meet, and at other opportune moments. Of course, SRK is Rahul.
  • Add at least 3 Punjabi numbers. Make sure that the Big B appears in one of these, in a VERY SPECIAL appearance. Make full use of a break in the song for Big B to say something witty in that famous baritone of his.
  • Have Farida Jalal/Jaya Bachchan/Reema Lagoo (JB/FJ/RL - Char #3) as the oh-so-adorable widowed mom; it doesn't matter if its the hero's or the heroine's. She'd have brought up the hero/heroine alone. In every two scenes, SRK should make an inane joke, get reprimanded by the mom, and then hug her lovingly.
  • Have Alok Nath (Char #4) as one of those sidey characters who casts subtle, lecherous looks at JB/FJ/RL. He would have a song to himself, or sing some lines in one of the Punjabi numbers, or at the least, spout horrible shairi at the drop of a hat. JB/FJ/RL would blush suitably whenever he enters the scene, and bustle off to make tea.
  • Have a third male/female character enter the proceedings just before the interval. This would be the 'BEST-est' friend of the hero/heroine, or be the adopted son of JB/FJ. This can be Salman Khan/Saif Ali Khan/Akshay Kumar/Abhishek Bachchan (SK/SAK/AK/AB - Char #5).
  • After enough sobbing, SRK has to try his damned best to make a sacrifice of some kind.
  • There has to be a Karva Chauth scene, where Kajol would make her feelings clear for SRK. A small song can be inserted here. There could be a mother-daughter bonding scene too.
  • There would be some kind of engagement ceremony, and SRK would dance his heart out to yet another Punjabi number. Of course, there would be a suitable lull in the proceedings to show SRK wiping away his tears surreptitiously. Ideally, this song would have another VERY SPECIAL appearance by Rani/Preity/Kareena (Char #6), chosen carefully to match Char #5.
  • At the end of the song, the 'other' character (Char #5) would come up and make a self-effacing speech, at the end of which he'd solemnly put Kajol's mehndi-adorned hands into SRKs.
  • Char #5 and Char #6 would cast covert, coy glances at each other. So would Alok Nath (Char #4) and JB/FJ/RL (Char #3).
  • --- End of movie-----
For Tollywood:
  • Cast Rajnikanth. The rest of the cast doesn't really matter.
  • Rajni would initially be introduced through a gravity-defying stunt sequence. The more goons to bash up, the better!
  • The fight-sequence has to be followed by a loud song, with Rajni's name repeatedly intoned as the chief chorus. The lyrics would typically ridicule his political opponents. The song has to be sung by S.P.Balasubramaniam (affectionately known as SPB).
  • Establish Rajni firmly as the happy-go-lucky youth, loved by the entire neighborhood/village, whose sole vice would be puffing away at a cheroot. Rajni would be the head of the nuclear family, comprised of a mandatory mother and younger sister, optionally with younger brothers. The dad would be widely respected, but otherwise usless.
  • Introduce Rajni's cronies, who'd be the popular comedians of the year. Light-hearted banter follows.
  • Introduce the haughty heroine, who's quickly put in her place by Rajni. Without much ado, she falls for him, and a dream sequence follows. More political messages here.
  • A member of Rajni's family is humiliated in some fashion, and Rajni suddenly turns into a psychotic maniac who indulges in indiscriminate bashing up. More gravity-defying sequences follow.
  • Show a past of some kind (to justify Rajni's sudden transofrmation), where Rajni was a dreaded don, or the new 'cleanup' S.I in town. After much mayhem and bloodshet, an elder sister or a close friend dies, and Rajni is exhorted by his parents to give up all violence. A much-chastised-but-reluctant Rajni obliges.
  • Back to present. Dramatic discovery - Heroine turns out to be adopted daughter of chief villain(s) responsible for all the mayhem described above. She, of course, is a rich heiress, and the villain is waiting for her to become 21 (!!!!) before usurping her property.
  • Rajni meets villain and challenges him that he would take away the heroine right on her fast-approaching 21st birthday. Heroine watches with awe. Cut to song sequence.
  • Villain sends goons to attack Rajni, who, of course, swats them like flies.
  • D-day - heroine's 21st birthday. Villain throws grand party, where Rajni dances with gusto. Rajni's drink is drugged, and his dancing style seems to hint that the drugs are indeed taking effect.
  • At end of song, Rajni sneers and scoffs at the impotent drug, and bursts into action. Villain, however, has taken precautions by kidnapping Rajni's entire family - touche.
  • As Rajni stands undecided, heroine leaps at adopted dad and throws him off balance. This is the cue for Rajni to burst into action and display hitherto-undisplayed martial art skills.
  • All goons vanquished, Rajni is willing to forget and forgive, but the villain attemps one last act of betraya by reaching for a hidden pistol. Rajni's dad jumps in front before Rajni can commit any more 'inspired' acts like catching the bullet with his teeth, or something of that sort. An enraged Rajni can take no more - he shoots up the villain into little ribbons.
  • Dad dies. Rajni buries face in dad's chest and shakes shoulders inconsolably (it's passe to show Rajni sobbing).
  • Scene of first-night, with Rajni bashfully entering bedroom decorated with jasmine and other flowers. Heroine lingers at the bedroom door, casting horny glances at Rajni occaisonally. Rajni pulls squealing heroine into bedroom, winks at audience and closes door.
  • --- END OF MOVIE ---------
More, on how to make a successful Mallu movie, later !

1 comment:

@lankr1ta said...

Discovered your blog today- what a lovely sunday..
coincidentally am watching Sivaji in Telugu, which I understand batshit- and you are oh so right

where were you all my blogging life!

Great posts and observations btw.