No super heroes! Show me the real ones winning in the reel!


Photo credit: fr.123rf.com

Photo credit: fr.123rf.com

Someone who grew up watching cinema can have certain expectations and choices about it. Children spend about 6 hours in school and the rest with the Television. The cinema heroes dictate their style and thought. Girls swoon over Shah Rukh. I am not a Shah Rukh fan, I like Anil Kapoor because by appearance, he resembles my dad. But I’m no Sonam Kapoor. I think I’m more than her giggles and much less than her remarkable fashion sense.

Anyway, by mentioning Anil Kapoor I’m reminded of his movie ‘Mr. India’ wherein he played the role of a guy with innocent looks whose scruffy house looked like an orphanage with more than a dozen nephews and nieces he was trying to foster. His character was that of an ordinary man with no extraordinary skills. The way he manages to fight his adversity and the way things turn from he being beaten up on the road, with not even a zilch of resistance from his side, to he smashing villains was, for me, not far from reality. He just received, from his uncle, a device that looked like a wrist watch but helped him become invisible whenever he wished to. This wrist watch made an entry into the movie by way of science. And science is rational. Isn’t it? The science, I believe, was that even kids understood its surrealistic presence in the film. I have no complaints. I enjoyed the movie. And now I find all that plausible.

Why?

Because the movie didn’t make Anil’s character a super hero. It didn’t suddenly generate 100 horse power of energy into his frail body to fight all the mafias, the hooligans and the shuddery Mogambo in Amrish Puri’s character. (By the way Puri has been a phenomenal actor! His acting doesn’t need a meaty role for the crutch.)

Today, we have plenty of super hero movies. Phantasmagoric…I am bored! Arguably, Salman Khan is to blame. I’m not sure if he started this trend, but he, definitely, can be accused of popularizing the 100 crore club trend. From his Dabangg series to his Ready to his Ek Tha Tiger to Akshay Kumar’s Rowdy Rathore, I see super men (the list is long, don’t forget Ghajini). The roles that the lead actors portray in these movies are larger than life and impossible to believe in. Not to mention that all of us enjoy the preponderance of the good over bad but can’t we accomplish the same with the tools available in the surrounding? All I mean is the natural, the reasonable and the rational. Is this too big to achieve?

iqbal7_10x7

Iqbal. This movie satiated my taste. A poor, deaf and speechless (I hesitate using the word dumb) village boy has only one asset in his personality. He knows how to play good cricket. The way he succeeds in making into the team is so believable that I get goose bumps when he plays the match. This is because, as a commoner, I can relate to him. All I feel is plain victory, not that joy, when I watch Salman Khan thrashing the evil guys in his Chulbul Pandey avatar in Dabangg.

Lage Raho Munnabhai was another realistic movie. The feats achieved by Munnabhai in the movie seem to be pragmatic. The Gandhigiri approach to solving problems was attractive.

Movies of today are becoming highly optimistic. Not real. Nariyal- Coconut- not as tough and strong as it appears. Hollow and shallow. Sorry for the poor joke, but I wish to see some real stuff now!

***

Movies and acting…

 

I watch some movies for the sake of art. I want to say acting. There are many good actors for the role of male lead and great ones for supporting roles. Let’s talk about the girls now. Tabu, Rani Mukherjee, Konkana Sen Sharma and the amazing Vidya balan, they are all so good and honest actors. There are some glamorous ones lacking sufficient acting skills though.

Katrina Kaif is angelically gorgeous. I watch her movies only to admire her looks. There’s nothing more to her. No wait! She has improved dramatically in the dancing part. She was amateurish when she came here and now, just look at her moves! When did she get the time to learn all those gracefully brave dance steps? I hope she learns dialogue delivery too.

I used to criticize Priyanka Chopra’s acting too, but Barfi melted my doubt in her. She showed an amount of talent in one movie that outweighs her talent from all other movies of her put together. I partly think that the credit goes to her role, for she had to throw out of her the ego and the pride of a Bollywood star. I expect some sincere acting from her sister now. That is Parineeti Chopra.

And then, there are many who are either learning or waiting for an ideal opportunity to showcase something other than just glamour and fashion. Seriously, Bollywood is biased about the male lead and it ornaments its movies by making heroines look like barbie dolls.

The real acting is supposed to be deceiving, it shouldn’t look like acting.

***

Didn’t know where to fit my Bollywood infatuation…

I do not watch many movies. I do not even know whom or what to blame. Any movie I plan to watch simply bombs at box office accompanied by bad critic reviews. Then my interest fazes out. My interest fades also when I’m not able to watch the movie in the first week of its release. I feel it becomes old. Not old enough to attract me with its old world charm. I watch many old movies on weekends because they have some sense of reality to them. Dull colours of walls and streets. Every movie of today looks like it was shot in either Shanghai or Switzerland. I have not been there, can’t identify with those colourful, bubbling-with-joy places fit for holiday destinations. (Bollywood shows families living in swanky apartments unable to afford a medical emergency that demands some Rs. 2 lacs, i.e. around $3500)  Hollywood? Yes I know a few names like Angelina Jolie, Pitt, Cruise, Megan Fox, etc., etc., I think I know more names than I surmised.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com
    May 03, 2013 @ 06:22:01

    Superb post.Most Parent are not parents.Only by the name.jalal

    Reply

  2. parmar.amit
    May 05, 2013 @ 20:34:04

    I am big super hero movies and comics fan. I feel you when you say most of these portray unrealistic reality. But I believe that is exactly why they exist. They provide escapism from the mundane reality we live in. They provide entertainment that we subconsciously crave through day-dreams and such.
    There was a time when I used to roll my eyes when a movie tried to explain a phenomenon through their made-up science and sometimes I used to cringe. But one movie changed everything for me – The Matrix. This was released in 1999 and I knew that in order to understand the world of matrix I need to suspend all of my beliefs and disbeliefs. Only then I understood the power of “The One” and why he can jump buildings and make the bullets stop. I escaped in to the world of matrix and enjoyed each and every scene of the movie on subsequent screenings.

    Also, while we on the subject of super heroes, you won’t find anyone that is as close to reality as Batman is. I am talking about the Batman as portrayed in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. There is no supernatural explanation needed to explain the existence of Batman and neither it is necessary to bring in science. The greatness of Batman can be surmised from his own principle – he never kill anyone. The Joker knew the only way to defeat Batman was to break his own principles; but he never does. He goes to such an extent that he instead chooses to become the Dark Knight as opposed to a White Knight! Everything is explained in the batman trilogy.

    Well I think I wrote too much 🙂 Like I said in the beginning I am a big super hero movies fan 🙂

    Reply

    • Himani Gupta
      May 06, 2013 @ 09:17:51

      Well, your comment is a good contribution to this topic.
      Honestly, I enjoy such movies a lot for the reasons you mentioned in the first para.
      Batman, yes! We know that’s not possible for us to do but we also know what he is doing is being explained. However, if you see our hindi movies they are far from being real or rational. Take Rajnikant’s movies for example, they are so over the top. Bodyguard, Rowdy Rathore, take any such movie, the settings are so real, the problems so grave and genuine, and it’s a one man show. One guy does it all, from fighting 100 men to anything you may or may not imagine.
      What I say is, there’s something called as common sense and wit. A man doesn’t need to be Mike Tyson to beat all odds. Where are the movies wherein a common man like me wins?

      Reply

      • parmar.amit
        May 06, 2013 @ 22:27:06

        Yeah most of the Bollywood movies suffer from the overacting and constant struggle to compete with the quality of similar foreign films in spite of blatantly copying scenes. The examples that you gave, in my opinion, definitely falls under that. Another reason is that majority of the Bollywood movies have to have multiple genres in one movie – romance, action, thriller, drama, comedy. This moves the focus from the story and the plot to just forced entertainment.

        The scene where Rajnikant is fighting 100 men is a copy from Matrix Reloaded in which even Neo fights, if not 100, at least 50-70 copies of agent Smith. You probably won’t see any problem with this scene once you understand the world of matrix. But the same I can’t say for Rajni’s film. But before I go on and on, I do confess I am biased in not liking such films on the ground that they lack originality. So there is no point of escapism being applied here.

        Also, the reason that you don’t see a lot of movies where a common man wins against a super villain is because no one wants to see an unfair fight, do they? The bigger the hero; the bigger the villain and vice-versa. But of course this doesn’t mean no such movies exist. You will find such movies in “drama” or “war” or “horror” genres where a common man becomes a hero and saves a lot of people from evil and corrupt forces. Not a place in the super-hero genre (super hero =/= common man) :p

  3. Himani Gupta
    May 07, 2013 @ 09:23:18

    That’s the point! I hope the film makers are listening…

    Reply

  4. kushal
    May 13, 2013 @ 12:13:24

    Mam,The list of superheroes -Mahendra singh dhoni, Sachin tendulkar ,Anna hazare,sushmita sen,Lionel messi ,Aamir khan….its just we have to take inspiration from them,See the super hero quality in them …….

    Reply

    • Himani Gupta
      May 13, 2013 @ 13:06:39

      Yes Kushal, but there’s no effective movie on their lives. And my favourite is Iqbal – the movie. If you are aware of movies on the same lines, then redirect me to them.

      Reply

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