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Vasu Reddy from Chicago
I set out a few months ago to venture into entertainment business or the business of entertainment by exhibiting movies and dabbling in getting to know the Telugu movie industry. I have limited experience with watching movies, or even with the names most of the actors. I only knew actors of the 70’s and I still think Jyoti Lakshmi is still known to people. The reality is I did not see any Telugu movies for a long time until December of 2002. I saw “Nuvvu Naaku Naachav” while visiting a friend’s home in LA and I instantly liked the movie, Aarti as the heroine and songs and even portions of the movie. With my good friend Satish as influence, we formed a commercial enterprise to entertain the people of Chicago with Telugu movie screening and entertainment. The idea is sound if the business of entertainment continues to entertain. Although I am a novice with the knowledge of movies, I shamelessly admit that commercial cinema is entertaining.
Since the beginning of movie making commercial cinema packages all the elements of fiction, fantasy and romance along with every possible human emotion into a single movie in about three hours. The parallel or realistic movies are the same with low budgets, unrecognizable cast and poor choice of locations. The difference is commercial cinema with its masala to meet all demands typically attract audiences, where heroes and heroines with a slew of characters enact what we would like to see.
While experimenting on the business of entertainment, I also wanted to refresh the readers and myself of what I believe moviegoers need in quality cinema:
· Locations – We can be in Switzerland, Chicago, Proddatur and Singapore all in one song. Where else can this happen, and how else can a person afford to do this with such beautiful backdrops and gorgeous people in all the frames.
· Clothes – Wow. How can we change that many times in three hours with such designer wardrobe, not with one salary? Most of these clothes don’t fit normal people.
· Heroes – Ageless gentlemen. Supermen all of them and lucky in romance, fortunes and all good things in life, while kicking the crap out of 40 to 50 guys in each movie. Who else but our heroes can better romance the ladies without fail? Nowadays they all dance too. The new angle of the matrix fights will scare any bad guy.
· Heroines – What more can I say? Have you seen anyone more beautiful in real life, who can sing, dance, cry, sometimes fight and emote, and most times get married to the right guy. All this without a sweat. As I watch movies, and come out of the cinema hall I only wish I can remember more names and associate them to those beautiful faces other than Aarti, Amisha and Trisha.
· Song and Dance – I have to admit this is the most favorite part of my movie going experience. I like the duets where you have a zillion people in the frame trying to dance. I admit that I don’t understand the songs much, but the choreography is getting better.
· Reality – What is this?
· Elements of Surprise – The guy trying to sneak in on the hero from behind? Finding out that the hero’s brother (long lost) is the good guy or bad guy? Does the good-looking girl like the hero?
· Happiness – Almost 60% of the movie is happy. Let us not complain.
· Comedy – We have at least four to six men and women being foolish and doing every thing to look funny. Most of them succeed. How else can we distinguish the hero from comedians?
· Emotions – I am not much of an expert. But we see good, bad, evil, happy, tears, booze, cunningness and sometimes crudeness. Every commercial flick must have all emotions.
· Good Vs. Evil – Obvious that good will win. Remember your mom telling you Ramayana or Mahabharata. There are no new stories, except take piece of these old epics and add music and there you have it. Don’t we all like the good guys?
· Love – This is a heavy emotion, so I separated it from other. This is must emotion in every movie that every one loves each other, with mom, dad, brother, sister, hero, heroine and friends continuously expressing their love for each other.
· Hate – Got to have this emotion also to highlight the love aspects of life.
Please add to this list as you think of commercial cinema.
The high quality of production is clearly evident these days in most movies, while the pulse of the moviegoers continues to be anybody’s guess. I hope that commercial cinema will continue to play to what we consider a masala movie and have beautiful people song and dance for us in exotic locations, while enacting all human emotions within three hours.
Summary of commercial cinema is to package all these things and make sure that people don’t get bored for almost three hours. Slick editing, retelling the same story with a twist or two, great promos, comedy and lots of luck make commercial success. We really don’t need any reality as we do live real lives and we (all of us) live life to its opportunities. Seeing it on screen may not be very appealing, as we tend to forget the sad (bad) stuff and look at life with hope and future of happiness. For all of us who believe in Heaven, we are optimistic to go there, so we really don’t need realistic reminders in large screen.
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