This hype is far from the truth

Filmmakers are delusional, well most of them. After spinning unbelievable, incredulous celluloid yarns they withdraw into a comfortable state of denial, unable to digest the fact that their labour of love has lost the box-office battle. If you can’t fool them with your film then try to do it with cooked up box-office numbers.

Believe me a 300-page thriller can be penned about the intrigue in the world of film distribution. Take the latest release, ‘Bramha’ directed by Chandru. Fantastic figures are being manufactured by the director but reliable sources in the trade tell me otherwise.

He’s the kind of director for whom the hype he creates ensures hubris. Chandru believes if you can’t convince the paying public with content then confound them with mind-boggling collection figures. He’s manufactured figures for the first three days that the producer wished would be true.

Let’s do some simple math for a single screen, the main one. The total collection for a single show if the hall is full is around Rs. 60,000. The rent is about Rs. 4,50,000 per week. So the film has to run to packed houses for a couple of days in a week just to cover the rent.

We are not living in times when films run to packed houses even on weekdays. Those times ended after Rajkumar retired. The crucial barometer for collections happens to be the Monday after the film’s release. I watched the film on Monday at a popular theatre and the balcony had a scattering of about 40 people. The manager confessed that the collections nosedived on the second day.

The paying public is not as generous with their money as critics are with stars they dole out as rating. What is the use of fooling the public with imaginary numbers when the producer is staring at penury?

‘Shravani Subramanya’ the film that ‘Bramha’ replaced at the main theatre was a much better film. At least it was innocuous in intent. ‘Bramha’ is baffling. A lady lands in Bangalore, is handed a handbag with a gun, hires a cab in search of the hero. The cab driver when he hears hero’s name speaks in a reverential tone, as if describing a martyr when in reality he’s a marauder.

Our films enrich us with nuggets of general knowledge. In ‘Bramha’ we learn that there are no cops in Malaysia. Hero slays people using a sword with impunity at busy intersections and you don’t even hear the sound of a siren. It’s established that he loots only ill-acquired wealth. He helps a Malaysian beggar and the large eyed heroine’s heart melts.

Sketchy, unconnected scenes are loosely sewn and stretch on endlessly. The entire police force is looking for Bramha but the State’s CM seeks his appointment because only he can save the Government!! An endless scene involving Rangayana Raghu which doesn’t elicit even a smile makes you wish you had a remote in hand. Adding to your woes is the insufferable Sadhu Kokila. A few ill-inserted songs makes ‘Bramha’ a perfect picture for paid torture.

Upendra is one clever guy. Whenever he stars in a film it’s taken for granted that his creative inputs are involved. Here he must have sensed the abysmal quality so he repeatedly stated during promotional activities that he was just a puppet in Chandru’s hands.

His stock performance portraying any character is that of somebody who seems to have ingested a verbal purgative. Here Chandru claiming to change that has limited his lines and Upendra looks lost. The simplest of reactions elude him. Upendra has shown signs of political ambition. He ends up as a Union Minister in the film. If this film is his idea of a vehicle to further his cause then the people who kept away from the box-office will refrain from soiling their finger in his favour at the ballot-box too.

At around noon on the day of the film’s release, a manager at a multiplex messaged advising me not to watch the film. Then again I have a social responsibility. I sometimes undergo torture at psychiatric peril simply so that readers don’t have to.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 7:01:19 PM |

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