Tamizh Talkies: Two films, one journey
The writer is a former journalist who has worked in the film industry for several years and is passionate about movies, music and everything related to entertainment
Oh My Kadavuley is a recent example of how a good script can become a good film. As you see it, you realise nothing was left to chance. A few dialogue improvisations were added after shoot maybe, given the fact that it is a story and dialogue-based humorous narrative, but that apart, the flow of scenes and the well-etched characters make for enjoyable viewing. The cast and their arcs, and the comedy which is perhaps the toughest timing to crack on screen, which Ashok Selvan cracks as superbly as a Vijay Sethupathy, is again proof that, given a good script, everything and everyone can shine in a film. Writer-director Ashwath Marimuthu is a good discovery for this year.
The Malayalam film, Varane Avashyamund (Groom Wanted), is another gem of a thought which has resulted in a good film. Splendid performances, breezy moments and a 'lived in' atmosphere cannot just appear in a film, where everything, from the set to the emotion, is conjured up. Authenticity in each scene is brought about by a bunch of authentic creators. This film has plenty of them working for it. The storyline itself is wonderful (I don’t wish to give away spoilers) and the way Shobana’s character has been portrayed (like a hero who’s making a comeback) along with the multiple characters who have such good arcs, makes this film by debutant writer-director Anoop Sathyan and debutant producer Dulquer Salman, a worthy watch.
Some things are similar in the aforementioned films, aren't they? A well-written script, good character arcs, competent actors, and the fact that both films were made by debutant directors... Also, the leading men in the two films (Ashok Selvan and Dulquer Salman respectively) turned debutant producers with the films as well. A good film in the Indian entertainment context is always a marriage between a remarkable concept and the commercial format - and commerce is not a bad word at all when you combine it with the word 'good'. A 'good' film must have the integrity to stay true to its story, its genre and what it wishes to convey. Everything and everyone is at the service of the script. Cinema is as much a commercial endeavour as it is an artistic one: finding the correct balancing point when the forces of art and commerce merge, is perhaps the toughest and the most important search for creators and producers alike.
A film producer cannot sell a film if he or she doesn’t have a creative leaning, as much as a director cannot execute a script unless he or she has an eye for production details. This unique combination is why some films manage to do well both artistically and commercially. The dynamic medium of cinema allows a filmmaker to either get personal with it or get a larger, wider audience into its embrace. The medium has such a wide scope that all kinds of stories can find a platform-the key thing is to first get that bound script. A good producer is someone who recognises that need and enables a writer or director to get that script ready. Production and direction are hand-in-hand strides; it is a union which has to look in the same direction and travel the same path, else the whole journey becomes a wayward one. Films that have this journey intact are rare. During the past lovely weekend, I saw more than one film with such a rare journey.