Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Omega.exe and new generation Malayalam cinema

A few friends have queried whether Omega.exe belongs to the 'new generation Malayalam movie' breed or not, mostly because of the tag "a smart movie for the smart generation". Of late, the term "new generation cinema" has been widely used. I thought I would try to clarify where Omega.exe movie stands.

I must first state my understanding of what this new generation Malayalam cinema is.

To make any concept clear, the best way is to use a suitable analogy. The analogy that I choose is how a young man woos/courts a young woman to a love-relationship first, then to marriage, and how the first few days/weeks of their married life goes. I would first consider a couple in the yesteryears, and then another in the most modern information age.

The case of yesteryears' young men and women:

Leaving the very few love-at-first-sight cases, falling in love was a long process! Boys had to take the first step invariably. He used his eyes, arms, lips etc, creatively and charmingly and courageously, to draw the attention of his girl of interest. When the noble lady showed initial signs of favorable interest, which could be after weeks or months, he would engage his next set of love weaponry like love letters, tape-recorded confession of love etc etc. Love demanded higher levels of creativity and courage, and not everyone could win love from the noble lady! Love was everywhere for those who win it - in the blowing winds, nodding leaves, dancing paddy field, singing cuckoo, smoke-emitting chimney, the crystal clear dew drop, in the rain - everywhere! Nature was the lovers' best companion and support! At the same time, there used to be unfavorable elements too - neighbors, the elder brother, the parish priest or the temple poojari, the bus conductor, grand fathers - there were many. 

     Love was a lesson to learn. Love was to pass the tests of time and tide! The few who passed would enter matrimony. The first few days of matrimony used to take care of the noble lady in the most loving manner - everyone would try to make her feel at home, in her new house. The gentleman would call the birds and the bees only when he was certain that the noble lady was ready for their bites/stings. There was something called foreplay before the final act of physical love. LOVE used to take time, have time, and endure time!

The case of most modern male and female:

Where men compete with machines, where the race for performance reaches newer heights every passing moment, things have changed in love. Almost everything associated with patient waiting, the painful yet rewarding longing, have vanished. Love is no longer a goal for men and women, it's just one amongst the many emotions the new/smart generation knows how to deal with. Thanks to business-centric emotional intelligence, the many self-help books, the agony aunties, the information explosion, the global village concept, the modernization, the innumerable choices in every aspect of life, and the social networking sites. Men and women are lot more bold and smart. They no longer need Nature to live and love. Love is no more a chinaware that must be handled delicately, love is as simple as a piece of disposable tissue paper. Men and women have better things to do/achieve in their lives. 

Okay, it's time to juxtapose the analogy with our topic of discussion - new generation Malayalam cinema.

Malayalam movies of yesteryears used to have characters of a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a maid or a servant - when almost everything was family centric. The story/plot needed an establishment phase, then a build-up phase, irrespective of the theme or the genre. It followed the science of three acts structure. Spectators bought tickets and entered cinemas with receptive and free minds. They were willing to give the Director a chance to take them to the world that he has constructed. Nature was an integral part of every movie, like how life yesteryears was, like how love yesteryears was.

Just like how love life has changed, movies also have! There seemed to be no choice. The modern era spectator is interested in just the climax. There is no time for any foreplay. The foreplay, the preparation, the establishment and the build-up phase is simply LAG, or is mere waste of time! "Straight to the point, you moron!", they yell at the movie maker! They have no dedicated time to give to the director. When they watch movies, they may SMS/MMS, be active on social networking sites, or engage in other 'productive' work. They do not expect movies to engage them intellectually, emotionally, or constructively. "Satisfy our senses of vision, hearing, and stop at that!", seems to be the new rule.

No wonder why many of the recent Malayalam movies have chosen to be of smaller duration (less than two hours), over-simplified or silly theme/plot - mostly focusing a single incident or emotion. No wonder why script-writers no more consider a mother or a grandparent in their stories. No wonder why they do not involve nature. Times have changed, and they have moved to the so-called new generation cinema.

Omega.exe respects both yesteryears and modern era. It models the love relationship where there is decent courtship (not endless), respectful marriage (not overly-submissive), and quality married life. It does not attempt to preach. It is against all madness of modernization. 

Omega's tag line focus on the word "smart". The really-smart generation will always have time for QUALITY stuffs.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Omega and the science of twists

Omega and the science of twists:

 Many movies today have an overdose of twists. The discerning viewer gets the feeling that it is the twists that are thought of first, fixed first, before the story! The more number of twists, the more appealing the narration would be - seems to be what many movie makers think, I feel. If you watch these twists a little carefully/analytically, you can see that their main intent is to OUTSMART you! Like I have mentioned in my previous blog - "ayye, pattichee" ("see, I have fooled you!!") - seems to be the movie maker's statement.

  Some of the good movie reviews have addressed the overdose of twists satirically - like how one writes, for instance, "you must take a notepad with you to keep track of every twist, so that you can check them towards the end to understand the sense of it all, if it has any at first place!"

 Omega.exe team, though not very experienced in movie-making, has spent time to understand the science of twists. We believe that story/content comes first, and then there's space for twists and turns to make the narration interesting. Such twists and turns must never confuse its viewers, and must appear very plausible. Spectators' intelligence must not be insulted or abused, is the underlying principle.

  At the same time, if you are a brilliant observer who can connect the dots because you have trained your mind for it, there is nothing wrong if these twists and turns do not surprise you! As per my belief, if the movie's punch/suspence cannot be guessed by even the most brilliant/trained mind, there's something terribly wrong in its narration - there's a high probability that you have HIDDEN the required clues/facts from the audience! Just like there cannot be a (sensible) puzzle that's NOT solvable by anyone in the world, there cannot be a (sensible) twist or a turn that's NOT guessable by anyone from its audience!

 Omega has a few twists and turns in its narration. They definitely respect the science of script-writing; they definitely respect its viewers.

Omega respects its spectators' intelligence!

Omega.exe respects the most desirable attribute of a movie - its viewers' intelligence, their discerning skills!

It is unfortunate that a very good percentage of today's movies does not consider or respect their viewers' intelligence. When you watch a crime investigation movie, you (the spectator) take the role of the investigator, the detective - for example. Whatever proof/evidence/clue the investigating agent (in the movie) gets to examine, the viewer must also be able to review/examine the same! The viewer must feel he/she is a part of the investigation, that his/her brilliance/intelligence is constructively challenged. For those who cannot investigate crimes in their regular existence, thereby get a chance to do the same through such movies - just like how you challenge your brain through a good puzzle! 

    Will you appreciate a puzzle if the required clues/facts are hidden from you? You will never call them puzzles, at fist place! I write this example because most or all of our recent WHODUNNIT movies belong to this category! They fool you in every way - "ayye pattichee" ("see, I have fooled you!!") A good movie-maker will never HIDE facts/information from you, but he/she will SURPRISE you by their brilliant interpretations/arrangements that you would have most probably missed!

   Omega has taken extreme care to involve its spectators' intelligence in every scene! It is rather our proud CLAIM! The movie will give you the pleasure of problem-solving, while challenging your observation/assimilation skills in a very constructive way! 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Take a leaf from Technology's book.

Have you been a victim of STALENESS? 

The central thread of Omega.exe movie originates from a software engineer's staleness. In other words, the movie's "inciting incident" is one of its IT professional's staleness and how he chooses to fight it!

During the discussion phase of the story/script, I have been checking with folks from various walks of life whether they were aware of this state of staleness. Many were not, to the desired degree that would help them fight it.

Omega is the result of a strong will and desire to fight staleness - that of the victim himself, and his two buddies in the movie. Now, the way they choose to fight it has cinematic elements of exaggerated risk and courage, but the underlying message is very clear - DO SOMETHING THAT REALLY EXCITES YOU! The protagonist says (in Malayalam), "ninne thrasippikkunna enthengilum nee cheyyuka!"

Software programmers write efficient code to fight staleness of network connections, saving critical System resources. It's a little strange that many of them are not even aware of the staleness of their own lives, and that they live with extremely low levels of SPIRIT (the most critical system resource of humans!). Now, it's time to take a leaf from Technology's book!