Sunday, 26 December 2010

Super Hit?

Last week, I had written about corruption and how recent studies on organization behaviour can be used to tackle this menace. And it was pure coincidence that the only Kannada movie that I happened to watch during my month’s stay in Bangalore happened to be on corruption. I was really amazed by the way the movie had been made. If you understand Kannada or have even a little affinity and time to watch a movie, then I suggest that you watch this movie. Everything about the movie is well thought of and well made. I agree that it is overly done in parts and some parts are hard to follow if you haven’t followed the lead protagonist’s earlier movies. But even with all these, the movie still wins because of the style, presentation and the ultimate message it gives out.

Let us start from the title of the movie. Here is the title of the movie as it appears:

Confused? Interested? Amused? Well, you should be. Who makes movies with a title like this? Is this some sort of gimmick? Yes, it is. The movie marks the return of Upendra as director after a gap of 11 years and stars himself in the lead role. Upendra or Uppi as he is popularly called by his fans, has always used titles like these to arouse audience interest right from the word “go” and this movie is no different. In the past, the movies which he has directed have had single letter /single syllable titles like “A”, “OM”, “SHH”, etc and the last movie he directed had his name, ie, “Upendra” as the title. So, his return to direction after a long gap demanded yet another landmark title and he dint disappoint. He just gave the above symbol and asked his fans or the audience to name it. So, what do we call this movie as? A mudra in pranayama? Brilliant? nice? Good? In the censor board’s certificate the movie title is recorded as “Super” and let us stick with that as of now.

Next, we move on to the screenplay and direction of the movie. Uppi is known for his mix up style of narration and use of flashback and fast forwards very notoriously in his movies. In fact, the movie “A” in which he starred himself as an hero had such complex flashbacks that people had to watch it almost 3-4 times to understand. It had the tagline “Srtictly for clever people only”. One more marketing gimmick, you’d say. But it worked to great effect. And he is also popular for shooting movies realistically. His movie “om” used real underworld dons from Bangalore and runs to packed houses in BengLoor theatres even today. So, the screenplay and direction of the movie Super too is on expected lines with story starting from ancient India, moving to 2030 and moving back and forth thereafter. Also famous in Uppi’s movies are his dialogues which are delivered breathlessly. I was left completely speechless by the way some of the dialogues and lyrics were written and delivered. Though people usually criticise him of using too many vulgar and double meaning dialogues, the smartness with which he does so has to be applauded. For instance, he calls the citizens of India “satprajas”. Now, satpraja in Sanskrit is a combination of two words “Sat”, meaning good and “praja” meaning “citizens”. In Kannada, the word “Sath” is also a verb which means “dead”. In a scene where he praises the citizens of the country sarcastically for being uncaring, he calls them “sath praja” with a clear gap between sath and praja (dead citizens). For an ardent admirer of usage of language, this was a treat.

The best part of the movie is the way in which Uppi links two concepts together. There is a story of India on one hand and there is the story of the female lead called Indira(for obvious reasons) on the other. The screenplay is so marvelous that the story of India and the story of Indira go hand in hand and have similar climaxes. In a scene where Indira is attempted to be raped, there is the parallel scene of politicians auctioning off the nation which is nothing but siphoning off all its dignity. In a scene where Indira blames the hero for everything wrong in her life, the people of India are shown to be blaming the politicians for everything wrong in their country and so on. The similarities are striking.

There are boring moments in the movie and places where Uppi’s trademark mannerisms come in to play. It might be too much to take for the class audience but this is just for the frontbenchers. If you haven’t watched a single Uppi movie till now, then there will be few moments where you can just sit back and keep munching pop corn without missing anything, but the first few moments and the last few moments are really worth a watch. Some of the parts give sadistic pleasure when the Whites are shown to do all menial jobs in India and the Indian rupee fetches 80 pounds. The India of 2030 with all super fast trains, excellent roads, world-class airports, etc makes you want to be there right away.

The final part of the movie is what inspired me to write this post as a sequel to the article on corruption. The solution presented is simple – give responsibility to the people rather than politicians. I don’t know if there is a system of governance in the world which does that but it could be called crude democracy. I am sure it has been thought of before. Along with giving responsibility to the people, the solution also emphasizes the point that everyone must know the value of their nation. In the movie, people come to know the exact value of their nation only when their areas are sold off for crores of rupees. It is only that everyone protest the auction and promise to take care of their surroundings themselves instead of the government. Instead of blaming the government, people start cleaning their roads regularly, water the plants on roadside, take up power projects, repair roads, etc. And when this happens, the India of our dreams automatically happens. Though the movie is really optimistic in predicting that this will happen by 2030, I feel this solution, if taken in its essence could be a powerful tool in bringing down the corruption in our nation. This is what the recent studies in organization behavior also indicate.

To summarise, I would say that the movie “super” is as good or if not better than any other movie in its genre like “Nayak”(Hindi), “Indian” (Tamil), “Anniyan”(Tamil), etc. The solution presented is also more realistic than some of the melodramatic Bollywood movies like “jadoo ki jhappi” and “gandhigiri” (I really wish this worked). It also portrays Uppi in a politically active mode which could be a part of his larger plan to enter active politics later. But, for the moment, if you want to enjoy a nice movie with a thought-provoking message, then “Super” is the movie for you. Do let me know your comments on this if you have watched it.

Further Reading:
About Upendra:
The movie Super


Anonymous said...

I have never seen any of Uppi's movies before but your post makes me wanna see this movie :)

Good job!

Anonymous said...

Amazing analysis and good thoughts put forth..mama's adda rocks..

Rohit said...

Good one man! I completely loved the movie. The crazy guy always has a point to make!!
BTW, 1 re = 70 pounds :)

Shashia said...

@Anonymous 1 :
I know you want to watch it :) I can take you if you want to watch it someday :)

@Anonymous 2 :
Thanks a lot for your encouraging words. Do let me know your name if possible :)

Yup, agree with you. And thanks for the correction. I presumed it to be 80 today as the movie was shot few days ago ;)

Deepesh said...

A very honest and simplistic solution for our probs... Seriously hope, ppl's consciences are sparked after watching it.
And u have written it really well. :)

Anonymous said...

@Shashia: Is the movie offer still open..? Would like to watch a movie with you. Are there any upcoming uppi movies :)
- Anonymous1

Shashia said...

Please dont overload 'anonymous'... it becomes difficult to trace back :) But yes, the offer is still open... Uppi's movies shot in the 90's keep re-releasing in Bangalore theatres every week... Lets go for any one dude!