Watch a highly intense political drama like Gavras’s ‘Missing’ and then watch one of our own masala films. The difference between the arty and commercial films is a very thin line.
Was watching Sukumar’s Jagadam the other day and then moved on to watching Ananthapuram (Subarmaniapuram) on TV. Both were very entertaining in their own way, but, what the latter had was that unquestionable touch of class.
Where did ‘Jagadam’ miss out on becoming a stylish film? For starters it is not an original plot (adapted from ‘American History X’), a pretty good adapt though. It’s got a very good visual sense, apt montages and a screenplay with that bit of non-linearity. Then comes in the inevitable vulgarity in the portrayal of women as obvious strumpets, the foolish costumes that come in when the maker is trying to make the film stylish with the wrong thing in mind and the english lines that appear now and then in the otherwise entertaining voice overs (“I need a bad gang”).
I thought ‘Jagadam’ was Sukumar’s best and it stands to be his only commercial flop. So, where do these films go wrong – in terms of attracting the audience. Making a film with the ticket sales in mind can never produce a classic and what ‘Jagadam’ shows is that crude thought of ‘selling tickets’ invading the film now and then and killing its soul (whatever it had).
Or may be Sukumar is just that kind of a guy. One can never really know.