Writer Lakshmi Bhoopal emphasises the need to keep sensibilities of the audience in mind
Lakshmi Bhoopal has completed ten years as a dialogue writer. As his latest movie Pratighatana is being fine tuned, he talks of the changes in audience’s taste and perception in the past few years and says directors must try out different genres to stay afloat in the market. “Earlier people preferred real life characters, now they want larger than life heroes. But of late many people have started watching films closer to reality, otherwise Seetamma Vakitlo wouldn’t have been a hit. Tamilians want a depiction of their daily lives in cinema, whereas the Telugu audience prefer something different, they hate the stress being reflected on the screen. Once upon a time directors would make subjects of their choice; now they are giving in to audience’s demand, which is why we see only entertainment-based movies now.”
Lakshmi Bhoopal says our stories are good but we fail during their narration. If the narration is good we can see a person running around trees for two hours. He cites the example of a string of films that came after Samarsimha Reddy, all featuring faction fights, gore and Sumos flying in the air. Now that is gone and the trend is comedy.
There is a pressure on writers to come out with a good story point. “Where do we get a new point? People say there are only seven stories in the world, but we have 700 emotions in those seven stories which we are missing. We get novelty only when we touch all these emotions. Also another reason for clichéd cinema is that we follow a set of rules, like an intro song, an interval block etc. We shouldn’t bind our story within such parameters. We should be aware of the rules, but we should also be able break them.”
The writer also analyses the reason for remakes not succeeding. He says that since dubbed films are working well, our people are buying the remake rights but are failing in bringing the essence on screen. They don’t bring the raw look of Tamil cinema, instead they add colour which is why Pustakam Lo Konni Pageelu Missing didn’t work. “Our people are now habituated to watching entertaining cinema; they want a serious issue to be told in an entertaining way. Pratighatana is a serious film; it is about twin rapes reported in Peepli. The second girl is still in coma and the case is in the court. We have shown the political games in a sarcastic way to generate humour even while keeping the issue serious. The dialogues will be like a slap on the face.”