“In the darkness that is the theatre, it doesn’t matter if you’re a critic or a common man”
Anonymous,but sensible quote.
Caustic Kumar(CK): Are they going to have some celebrations now that we are back
Moderate Manohar(MM): We don’t encourage any kind of celebrations
Editor: What celebrations? Get back to work!
CK and MM together: We have come up with a unique format which could give us a head start when compared to the other movie scribes; it is so different that it has never been tried before in the history of movie criticism!
Editor: Even in the US?
CK and MM: Even in the US!
Editor: No! Just get back to work!
CK and MM walk back with wry smiles; CK sees that his table hasn’t been cleaned since the time he left.
CK: It’s good to be back (hmpf)
MM: Whether you like it or not Caustic, film criticism is dead, not that we were any good but then, anyone with a facebook account can write a review
CK: it’s just parameters, these are not reviews
MM: as in?
CK: parameters, any viewer goes in with a set of parameters which they have accumulated in the back of their mind, they match their reflections to these parameters and put it down as a status. That’s simply not a review.
MM: Oh, so how is ours…umm I mean yours different from them?
CK: Our…sorry my process is based on feeling, pure feeling and feeling gives context.
MM: Do you think the people out there care? Why would take your feeling to their head when they can have their own.
CK: I do not know if they care, maybe they do not, but this is the only way I express myself.
CK: It seems that little hiatus you took, has made you more proficient in mockery
MM: For God’s sake CK, lets discuss Kaththi, our bickering already eaten up 320 words!
CK: maybe you’re right, where to begin?
MM: At the beginning, did u see the pattern? This is Enga Veetu Pillai (Ram aur Shyam for our northern audience, if any i.e) meets Rajadhi Raja meets whatever hero who tried this active- passive hero swapping places for the greater good of mankind plot
CK: My God! Mod!, you stole the words from my mouth, yes it is the same sub-sub-genre if something could be called that, but you know, this is a genre that actually works when done well, I still catch Enga Veetu Pillai on TV, it has some great moments
MM: And here?
CK: Oh, where do we begin, the movies cited above really had some kind of thing going for them, because they did not take their plots too seriously…seriously as in the outcome of the plot would not have changed the whole world as such, both Enga Veetu Pillai and Rajadhi Raja had domestic and limited even personal problems
MM: Exactly! Here’s this film deals with changing the mindset of city dwellers about the struggle of the farmers and there is this character swapping happening in between.
CK: I really like film with social causes, they make you feel so small, question your very existence, might help you become a big time buyer of organic products etc
MM: what are you saying!?
CK: I don’t care, I mean I don’t really care about society, as in do I always have to show the world how I really think that I care about the society? If my intention of caring will really change the plight of millions then I will, I really like how easy it is to take sides and paint the other guys as black, it really helps from a writer’s POV. If you are a corporate guy, you will be bad, even your henchmen will be bad, your security guy will be bad…on the other hand… if you are from a village
MM: SHhhhh!!! Some years ago, you might remember that Raguvaran as Anthony employed the well-meaning Vijaykumar, even when they had a conflict of interest.
CK: Yes! Conflict, no conflict here, which made me root for none, there, is no writing here, just positioning. If movies are the guilt based conscience awakener that could reform society then with the number of society-conscious heroes, our would have been the most developed country in the world
MM: So you’re saying that if a director feels strongly about poverty, he should not make a film about it?
CK: Who am I to say such things? I have no rights even, but then I have the rights to question the motives of a director who goes from farmer suicides to “let’s take a selfie pulla” within seconds.
MM: hmm yes disturbing…
CK: and the heroine…
MM: Caustic, we made a pact about not discussing things that will be usually discussed in other reviews, like hero performance, opening songs, cinematography, heroine, item numbers, music, technicalities, comedy tracks etc…
CK: yes, readers know these things anyway. But couldn’t help but notice, why is she there? I mean why?
MM maintains some kindoff silence
CK: leave it Mod, I have reformed, I am going to help the blind man cross the street.
CK points to a frail figure walking slowly
MM: That’s our editor!
CK: oh didn’t realise from the distance, anyhow Mod, it feels good to be back
MM: It’s good to be back!