By: OM | 4084 Views
As the movie went over budget, Mr.Producer, i will not charge any re-muneration untill we cut even, and once we make profit give me anything you wish
Yes this is a new generation director speaking. A director whose motive is not to make money, whose motives is not to slit open a producers wallet. His motive is to make qualitative cinema. Cinema which doesnt throw you into fantasy land and expects you to believe that it is easier to get away with an extra-marital affair New York City rather than in Mumbai or Delhi or Patna. The cinema he believes in has stories of a common man, his reactions to common problems that you and me face and react to, the cinema where middle class people behave like middle class people. The middle class of today where a woman is just as independent and knows her priorities as a middle class male would. No gimmicks, no masala, no skin show, just good cinema in its purest and honest form.
Ladies and Gentlemen one such director has arrived after a long painstaking wait.
The director who won a national award for his first movie. The director who won tons of awards including the best director Nandi( equivalent to Filmfare for South Indian movies). The director who’s third movie is one of top 3 grossers of the year 2006.
I am sure many of you reading this article are dying to ask.. So, who is this guy?
This is Sekhar Kamulla to you all:
Born in Hyderabad, Raised in Hyderabad. He did his Engineering in Osmania University with a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering. As, so often seen in most hyderabadis the US of A bug bit him too. He had to go the US of A to pursue his career in the Graduate program for Computer sciences. Thank God he did go to the States. Why?
Because as is the case with you, me, the guy sitting next to you, the guy bringing you chai in the Irani Cafe, the guy selling gupchup on the bandi, the father, mother, son, etc, etc, etc he too was fascinated by a six letter word called CINEMA. Sekhar( as he likes to be called) says he always used to see something in a movie which many common movie-goers would not even notice. The intricacies.
So, after graduating he gor en-rolled in a film-making course in Howard University. Made numerous short movies, worked as a clap-man, lightsman, coninuity person, editor, screenwiter, director.. almost every filed that is associated with in bringing a movie to light. His final project for the thesis was Anand(not to be mistaken with the cult Hrishida movie).
The first step was taken. The step to learn Cinema in a prestigious school, to know the technicalities, to know the detailing aspect, more importantly to realise that burning desire to make a movie was not just a passing dream. He can do it. And How?
Sekhar lands up back in hyderabad to work as a sofware consultant. Writes down a script he believed in. The first movie to come out of this mastermind was
DOLLAR DREAMS 2000
A story of six youngsters. A story of common youth of Hyderabad. A story which deals with finding happiness but at waht cost? Going to America!!!!
This movie though made at a shoestring budget of 17 Lakhs rupees, showed that a good movie can be made without high production values. The movie detailed the ideologies of today’s youth. The options they have when they graduate, the options they tend to make their own, the options they perinially neglect and the options they have and want to take but will not or more importantly cannot because of the peer pressure, family pressure and the society pressure. One of the choices being going to US of A. The carze, the hysteria, the hype, the status feeling is all shown in this beautifully crafted movie.
On one hand we have Hyderabad Blues which dealt with love and adjustments, then on the other we have Dollar Dreams which deals about options and choices.
One scene in the movie which will definitely make you to take notice of CHARACTER is when one couple who are expecting a baby in 2 months are frantically trying to get a visa so that the baby is born in USA and become a citizen. Forget the production value, this is a must watch movie. The language used is so common man’s language. The group of friends calling themselves Lafoot Gang( Fit-for-nothing).
Sekhar had no idea of post-production, he had no idea as to where he should register his movie, he had no idea how to find a distributor and whom to show the screening to get a distributor to buy it. The movie has more of English than Hindi/Telugu and he thought of registering the name under a English movie. Now he didnt know that if he had registered the movie as a telugu movie he would have cut a lot of cost, but he learnt. He learnt the hard way. He did not get distributors who would buy the reels. But, the fighter that he is.. he did not loose hope. He went to the manager of Sangeet theatre( Secunderabad’s then most hep movie hall) and paid money to the theatre owner to rent his theatre for one show a day for three days. One noon show for three days. He was pretty damn sure that if atleast 100 people watch his movie, by the word of mouth it would run. that is exactly what happened. people loved the movie, the movie was lapped by youngsters more. Then he had distributors queued up. He made a small amount of profit on the movie. the movie won him the prestigious National award for the best debutant director. Sekhar has arrived.
The puncline for the movie: Manchi Coffee Lanti Cinema ( Cinema like a good Coffee). It couldnt have been better. The puchline defined it all. Wonderful movie, beautiful music, beautiful editing, spectacular directon. Super performance by the lead actress Komalinee Mukherjee( who played shilpa Shetty Sister in Phir Milenge). The movie did not boast of any huge superstars, or any foreign locales. A very low budget movie. Sekhar did it again.
Even after the moderate sucess and high critical acclaim of Dollar Dreams Sekhar had to start th journey from the scratch. No investors, no producers. But, he wanted to make this movie right from his student days when he was studying Cinema. As mentioned earlier he had written the script of Anand as his final thesis. He was passionate about this movie, he believed in this movie. The movie if made would be released into telugu movie Industry when the movie which were ruling were Factionist movies, teenage movies and mindless comic movies. But, that had to stop according to Sekhar. A fantastic movie can be made without any of these was his answers with Anand. And boy-o-boy he did make it.
The movie begins during Roopa’s( Komalinee) childhood. She looses all her family in a terrible car accident. She believes she had a part in the death of her family as had she not tried to stop them they could have avoided the accident. Roopa grows into a confident yet unsure at times beautiful girl. She is about to get married to her Boyfriend, but, she is in two states of mind if she is marrying him because she loves him or because she he has everything in him that a girl when faced with araanged marriage scenario will never say no to. The marriage is broken on the wedding day beacuse of the adamant behaviour of the guy’s mom and i wont budge behaviour of Roopa. Enter Anand( Raja). Anand is the son of the person who in his drunken stupor hit the car driven my Roopa’s parents causing their death.
The film from there takes you through a journey.. the journey that sekhar mastered in his next venture Godavari..but started in Anand. The journey of Love-hate relationship was captured almost unbelievebly. The banters between Roopa-Anand- Anita(Roopa’s chilhood friend) are seen to be believed as to how real they look. The idea is “lifted”. Lifted from your life, lifted from my life, lifted from the life of the pan-wallah, lifted from my Grandma’s life. The movie gets so dangeroulsy close to real life that at times you feel that you are Roopa, that you are Anand, that you are Anita, that you are Anish Kuruvilla(Anand’s cousin and executive producer of the movie).
Some ohh so real scenes
Anand asking the Grandma to rent the room to him and explains to her how good-boy he is
Anand asking Anita if he can join her for a jog and Anita instantly retorts saying Light Tesuko( Light le… Chill out.. tahnks but no thanks)
Someone in the bus tries talking to Roopa about her broken marriage, and seeing roopa’s discomfort.. Anand asks her to tell such kind of people to shut up… Roopa’s response… You Hsut up
Little girl asking anand to give her the toothpaste so she can eat some
Anand when confromted by Rowdies doesnt resort to fighting with them, but just calls the police.
Anand talking about Roopa’s Ass
If i keep mentioning all the “ohh so real scenes” i would be putting in paper the entire screenplay.
Some amazing songs, equally amzing picturisation. Anand is a class 101 for all the students of the film craft to learn on how to make a fantastcic movie with a shoe-string budget. All you need is the drive.. the drive to captivate the viewers with you storytelling and attarcting the viewers into your thought process. The same drive did not diminish in Sekhar after the major success of Anand. The same passion, the same dedication, the same honesty was to be seen in his in next venture:
A very good article on the review of Godavari is written by cinema fanatic Sudha can be found here The Journey is continued from where he had a small halt in Anand. Godavari is the story of characters evolving during a boat ride. It is loosley based on the characterization of Lord Rama from Ramayana. Ram(Sumanth) is a selfless guy who would give away his last penny to the needy. After completing his education in USA he wants to join politics but doesnt know where to start
. Sita is an Independent woman( or she believes she is) who’s Clothing business is dead as a do-do.
They both land up on the same boat which is going to Bhadrachalam.. and then shuru ho gaya safar( thats the start of the journey). the way Sekhar meticulously delas with his characters is amazing. there are no unwanted characters in the movie, there is no character which is ill-defined. Crytal clear.. every aspect of the movie is CRYTAL CLEAR. There is a subplot of a dog which is hillarious. Never have i seen the use of a “sutradhar” so imaginatively that too through a dog. Every scene invoving the dog cracks you up. …
(oz’s comment : to be continued… this post was “forcibly” published by oz, so readers could enjoy this amazing write up… next in line - striker’s secret obsession)