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Updated: August 2, 2012 17:14 IST
Short Takes

In a time warp

S. SHIVA KUMAR
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Only for Upendra fans The tagline should have read god is supreme. Godfather is a bad dream Photo: P.V. Sivakumar
Only for Upendra fans The tagline should have read god is supreme. Godfather is a bad dream Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

Godfather takes you back to the cinema of the seventies, technically and content wise

A spoilt brat and his cronies are banished to a village. They are supposed to serve the poor but meet a gaggle of giggly girls who lure them by posing as prostitutes. Hero, of course refuses to touch the girl even offering to marry her when she refuses money to reform. Back in the big bad city hero professes love and the wedding is arranged. Strangely, for no reason our inebriated hero barges into the girl’s house, batters her brothers and badmouths her father. A simple ‘sorry’ and the simpering heroine melts in his arms. Next he tries to rape her cousin. Now if you thought that was the last straw you are wrong. Heroine is cool because she feels it’s just a temporary mental aberration. Enter hero’s lookalike who’s the real culprit. He’s out to take revenge on his father for abandoning his mother. Good son questions father about bad son. Cut to a seemingly interminable flashback where father explains about the estrangement. If you don’t walk out you can witness the reunion.

Godfather takes you back to the cinema of the seventies, technically and content wise. There’s the huge, garish studio bungalow with a posse of domestic help. Nobody talks. Everyone shouts. The patriarch has a secretary who’s referred to as family but treated like an underling. There’s scant respect for detail or logic. When a girl rejects one of the Upendra’s for his effeminate gait he rapes her to prove his masculinity and the victim’s mother gives a satisfied smile. She’s city bred and educated but doesn’t realize she’s pregnant till it’s too late. The mother smiles again even though the rapist has not legitimised the relationship. No one ages in the film. The father of the twin Upendras looks exactly like them save a scattering of powder in his hair. The girl who plays the twin’s mother looks like their daughter. The characters like the film are caught in a time warp.

Sriram, an erstwhile understudy of Santosh Sivan has neither imbibed his sensibilities as a filmmaker nor his sense of lighting a frame. Its unfathomable why someone would choose to remake a regressive film however big a hit the original may have been. You have to watch the film only if you are such a big Upendra fan that you don’t mind him filling every single frame. The tagline should have been, ‘God is supreme. Godfather is a bad dream’.

A friend, a talented State award winning actor, still on the fringes of fame, was summoned to face the producer’s council for not partaking in the promotional activities of a film. She was ordered to appear at their convenience to explain her absence. Her father accompanied her and was shocked at the boorish threesome who’d decide her fate. “One of them was talking loudly on the cell phone with the speaker on. The profanities exchanged made me cringe,” says the shocked father.

The actor presented her case, stood her ground accusing the producer of not paying her fully and dubbing her voice even though she speaks chaste Kannada. The producer wanted the actor to stop mentioning that the film was a remake even though that was the truth. The council passed the order. Things were settled amicably, meaning in favour of the producer.” We’ll sign you after you make it big,” said one of them as a form of appeasement.

“It was a disturbing experience to say the least,” says the shaken actor. One among the trio was on TV recently for not paying a top actor. How can you expect justice when criminal are the judges?

sshivu@yahoo.com

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