Special Effect Stories

Last Thursday was heavy with work. All through the day there was much happening. So when the day busy-ness started to taper a bit towards the evening, it was welcome and the coffee that followed was refreshing. The coffee soon got over and so did the conversation – and my friend suggested we go and watch a movie. I wasn’t quite keen to travel that day, so we thought we’d check out what was playing in the nearest theatre. The last time I had been to a theatre to watch a movie was exactly a year ago, when Skyfall was released.

Krrish 3

I wasn’t looking forward to seeing Krrish 3, but I was too tired to travel, so Krissh 3 it was. We bought tickets for the last show, went home, had dinner, and returned for the show.

Krissh 3 is a good production. Which does not make it a good movie, by the way. I recall having said this when Ra.One was released and many movie aficionados  who believe that I watch good movies were quite upset. But I maintain that there’s a clear distinction between a good movie and a good production. Ra.One and Krrish 3 are the later.

Most disaster and super-hero(ine) movies require a suspension of disbelief – that’s a given. For example, if we question the key event that kids actually shrink, in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids  there is no way you can enjoy the movie. Wilful suspension of disbelief applies in equal measure whether the movie is produced in Hollywood or in Mumbai.

[Potential Spoiler Ahead]

So accepting that some kind of super air- and water-borne virus, DNA cocktails, maverick bone-marrow transplants, and multi-mirror reflective solar energy absorption is possible, is as necessary as accepting that you can influence people’s actions by entering multi-tier dream states  Now, it’s easier for us to determine whether the movie is good, and we can think of the story-telling, the acting, the sound, the direction and other such aspects of the movie.

Oxford Street, London, UK

Krrish 3 fails in many departments except the visual effects and production quality. As I’ve mentioned before – this bar was set by Ra.One. Indian movies will have to let go of the formula baggage if they have to make a “good movie” rather than a “good production.” This is not to say that you need to strip off all the emotion and drama. Superman, Batman and Spiderman have enough of emotion and drama in them. It needs to be dialled back, that is all. And just because the movie has some amazing visual and special effects, it does not exempt good acting.  And finally because you have some wonderful effects developed, you cannot keep repeating them in the climax. After two large falling concrete blocks that have been kicked to dust by the superhero, we get the idea. We do not need eleven. After the hero and villain have been dragged down a very tall building smashing all the glass, we get it. This is not an instructional video. It’s entertainment. This is where I though Ra.One did it better than Krissh 3.

Krrish 3, to my mind would have been such a wonderful film if it wasn’t “inspired” by X-Men, Hancock, and Transformers 3. The part of “multi-mirror reflective solar energy absorption” was used to good effect at the end, invoking a theme from the Bhagvad Gita. If we are to look for superhuman acts, there’s enough body of work in our backyard. But importantly, there’s possibility for original stories. There must be a million ways in which a disaster could occur. Viruses are so yesterday.

Mainstream Indian Cinema has come a long way. In almost all departments, except two: Good story-telling and convincing acting. When they get this right, there won’t be mainstream and side-stream (parallel) cinema.

It will be one long stream of wonderful entertainment.

PS: Later, we considered that 40-year olds is not the demographic that FilmKraft was targeting. It’s a children’s movie. But, I’d like children also to benefit from good storytelling and good acting, and therefore grow up watching good movies.

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2 thoughts on “Special Effect Stories

  1. Atul, I don’t know why mainstream film makers think that children need to be told stories very slowly, and very simply as if they will not understand anything complex. 😦 . Yes, main main problem with mainstream films these days is the story telling. With the budgets they have, a bad production would be criminal.

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    • Ah, that’s interesting @ budgets. But it is sad that in spite of big budgets they allocate so little to story development. in Krrish 3, it was interesting to note the superhero telling the kid not to jump around walls etc. It didn’t seem like a message – it seemed like a disclaimer. I do agree with you – children are capable of far more comprehension than what we think they are capable of.

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