The moment of truth is just a few minutes away. The ultimate test for a movie. How will the audience react? I’m going to be there to see it for myself. Unlike a huge Sathyam or Devi hall which has about a 1000 seats, Studio 5 has only 148. I should be able to hear the whispers, the snide remarks, the snores and even the slightest hints of annoyance.
That sort makes me a little curious but no, I’m not nervous anymore. To be honest, I was absolutely nervous the night of the press show. I went to bed at four. But I just couldn’t sleep. I was wide awake till 6.30. I had set my alarm for 7 because I had to be up and reach the theatre by 9 to check the projector installation.
Managed about half an hour of sleep, got to the venue to get the shock of my life. The print wasn’t even half as good as it was at the festival premiere.
I had prepared things to say to introduce the film but the picture quality completely threw me off gear. My blood pressure shot up and I was wide awake, almost a nervous wreck.
But thanks to the efficient people at Real Image, we were able to fix the mysterious lip sync problem that surfaced last minute. The picture quality was terrible but people who showed up just blamed that on the low budget production values.
After about 20 minutes into the film, I could finally relax because not only had I forgotten about the bad picture quality, the audience behind (the college crowd) seemed to be having a good time. They were laughing at regular intervals. At least at the places I was hoping they would.
Vikram was kind enough to make it though he had a late night shoot. Sanjay Pinto was sweet enough to send the crew from NDTV. Sashi, my original producer, finally got to see it on the big screen.
And as expected, we only heard only nice things. Obviously, people who come for your special show aren’t going to be mean to you on your face.
Anyway, NDTV did a story on us and it appeared yesterday. It made it to the top 10 stories of the day and will be featured at 6.30 this evening. So do watch out for that. Vikram too said nice things about the film. He loved the dialogues and the natural flow of the screenplay.
Ganesh and his friends seem to relate to the movie. That is very heartening because the film was made for exactly that kind of an audience. People at the crossroads of their life.
Then, yesterday, we got our first negative review from this blogger who wanted to like the movie but ultimately thought it sucked. I don’t know how old this guy is, but I hope and pray he’s not in college or just out of it. If he is, I should probably take his opinion a little seriously. Else, there is nothing to worry about because we don’t actually expect people outside our target group to like it. Like he says, it is about ordinary people mouthing very ordinary or bad lines. What if, THAT *exactly* was the idea of the film? Hmmm!
There was another one that came out today in the New Indian Express. The writer sounds like the age group I’m talking about. So, I respect her opinion, if not her “review”. Without quite intending to, she gives us the biggest compliment when she says it does not look like there was a script in the first place.
Again, what if THAT *exactly* was the idea of the film? Hmmm! Though it is tempting to link the story to showcase her opinion on the film, I don’t want to because it contains spoilers. (It’s high time they taught that in school along with the other basics of criticism: Thou Shalt Not Give Away Spoilers!) .
I’m not sure how many people know that a tagline usually tells you what to expect from a film.
So here it goes: “Boy meets girl. Fact meets fiction. Reality meets fantasy. Life meets film.”
Hence, there is a possibility that the film was designed and structured to blend life with film. So maybe when we give you a film that’s as random as life and about ordinary people, you shouldn’t be expecting to see anything more or less.
For all the films I ripped apart when I was little, maybe this is poetic justice. As they say, what goes around, comes around.
I think these bad “reviews” (more like opinions) are a good thing because they are putting things in perspective. They provide a balance for all the nice things people have had to say all along. So it’s all cool really. It probably will do a lot of good to bring down the hype. With great hype comes great expectations. So all you people heading to watch this movie, remember, this is a small film. This is a debut film. This is a 5 on 10 film, a “not bad” film. A lot of people have liked it. Some haven’t. Those who came with an open mind have liked it. Those who came with preset notions, clearly haven’t.
The good news for me is that we’ve managed to fix the picture quality and get back the old print by noon today. That’s such a relief because it was the technical quality I was really worried about. Finally, got some time to breathe. I’m increasingly convinced about the content of the film with every passing day, seeing the positive response it has generated from people who matter.
Just another hour to go, so I’m off to the theatre.
And hey, you can book your tickets here. 😀
Sudhish – I’m the blogger that wrote the negative review. Thanks for the link.
Rest easy – I’m 33. Well out of your target market. Perhaps the younger crowd feels differently and will support the movie by buying tickets.
However, I beg to differ on the ‘reviewers should only be taken seriously if they are in the film’s target group’ opinion. Being one yourself, I think you will agree that the reviewer’s objectivity and understanding of the subject matter is what’s important to the review being relevant. I don’t think Roger Ebert (or, for that matter, Sudhish Kamath) necesarily falls into the target group for all the films he writes about, but his views may be pretty valuable all the same.
Anyway, that apart, all the best at the box office.
Sudhish – I’m the blogger who wrote the negative review. Thanks for the link.
Rest easy – I’m 33. Well out of your target group. Hopefully, the younger lot will disagree with my views and support the film in numbers by buying tickets.
However, I beg to differ on a couple of things you say.
Firstly, to suggest that I didn’t like the movie because I came with preset notions is rather presumptuous and wholly incorrect. I came with an open mind, and still didn’t like it. I don’t know on what basis you’ve come up with your ‘preset ideas vs. open mind’ generalization, but at least in my case it is unfair.
Secondly, I don’t subscribe to your ‘reviewers must fall within the film’s target group for their opinions to count’ statement. Being one yourself, I think you will agree that the reviewer’s objectivity and understanding of the film’s relevance are more important in terms of their opinions being taken seriously. I don’t think Roger Ebert (or, for that matter, Sudhish Kamath) falls within the intended target groups of all the films he writes about, but that doesn’t mean his opinions are not valuable.
With all that out of the way – all the best at the box office.
ur passion really shows in the way you write.. good job.. n how are ppl in the USA going to watch it? I want to 😀
Hey sud…Good to see that you’ve taken the negative criticism in ur stride. Way to go.
sudhesh, caught the first show at satyam today-didnt find u in the crowd, then again i havent seen u in person ever so. The movie IS a good movie although maybe all the epectations i got from reading ur blog didnt entirely match up-had some laughs and most of all a commedable effort for a first movie-u defly got potential dude..
looking forward to future movies from u! hats off man-u finally made it happen – and thts big enough reason for u to celebrate-no matter what the critics say!
You are surely entitled to your opinion.
From what we learnt in film school, a review calls for a deeper understanding of not just the subject matter, but also the intention of the sender of the communication and the targeted receiver of that communication, both of which your opinion overlooks.
Film criticism/appreciation is a specialised discipline just like neurosurgery or financial accounting.
Hence, your post, though very well-written, at least to the best of my understanding, does not qualify for a review.
I can explain at great length what I mean but I’ve blogged about the sanctity of a review and the role of a reviewer before. You should be able to find it in the archives.
But if you insist calling your post a review, what can I say? 🙂
This is not to say that your opinion is useless. I just said it does not matter (or is a cause for worry for me) because I frankly never expected people your age to relate to it. Because, you guys seem to wear a “Been there, done that, seen it all” attitude.
I didn’t make it for people your age or younger people with that all grown-up know-it-all attitude. I made it for people at the crossroads. People who are confused about what to do with the rest of their lives.
Also, reviews are not just about subjective adjectives (I say subjective, you say objective. But if these were objective indeed, how do you explain the other reactions the same bunch of actors have invoked or positive feedback on scenes by other people? Are you trying to say everyone else is subjective and you are the only one objective?)
A review is not about subjective adjectives, or ‘what is good’ or ‘what is bad’ about a film… a review is about what makes it good and what makes it bad? So when you don’t explain who, why, how, where and when it is good/bad/any of your other fancy subjective adjectives, it just remains an opinion and not a review. Because a review is technical, analytical and studied. An opinion need not be any of this. It could be based on observation, like you have made.
I respect your opinion but it does not matter for the audience I have in mind. Let’s leave it at that. I hear you are Abitha’s hubby. You could’ve come over and given me your feedback right away. She’s a friend.
Thank you for posting about the film. It does give me a chance to warn other people like you to stay away from a film clearly not meant for them.
I can go on and on making fun of a TR or a Vijayakanth film. You think he cares?
About “preset notions”: That wasn’t in the context of my reaction to what you wrote. I was talking about our other reviewer friend. And the preset notion I was talking about specifically was not about her notion of what my movie would be like but her preset notion on what movies ought to be like.
I think my tagline sums up what I’ve tried to do with the film. If anybody expects anything else, it’s not my problem, is it?
We should be able to arrange for an internet release in a coupla months.
85 per cent collections today. This inspite of Music and Lyrics playing next door at the same time slot. If not for Music and Lyrics, I would’ve had a full house today! I think readers are smart enough to see through a review and figure out if the critic knows what he/she is talking about. So there was nothing to worry really. Besides, nasty reviews could be really juicy and fun to write. Ask me about it. He he! Pity she didn’t have the skills to make it at least an entertaining negative review.
yes, I was in the hall today. I think the film got hyped a little too much. Maybe that’s why you expected something else. These alternate opinions are now helping to do the balancing act.
I didn’t call my post a review. You did. I quote : “We got our first negative review from this blogger . . . “
However, I do agree with your line of argument that my post is merely an opinion, and not a review. Point well taken.
Look, seriously – hope you haven’t taken offense at anything I’ve said in the post or in these comments. That was never my intention.
Oh – and I wasn’t aware that you knew Abitha at all – she’s never mentioned it. You seemed pretty busy after the press show, there was a crowd around you, and I didn’t want to bother.
offence, not all.
It’s all good and in the spirit of a healthy debate.
Not often do we find people who can communicate their disagreement with a sense of firmness without getting personal.
So thank you for that. I hope you understand I did the same, except maybe, for calling people in your age group (or my age group given I just entered 30 myself) as the “been there, done that, seen it-alls”.
I apologise if that part of my argument made it sound I was angry with you. That is just not the case. 🙂
Hey saw the movie yesterday.. thanks to a friend who is a keen reader of your blog.. Honestly I think because I walked in without any expectations it made the whole movie experience so much better..
Liked the concept though some scenes were too predictable..
oh loved the fact that you shot the famous stella gate..hehe I am dragging more friends for a second watch.
Anyway cheers to you! and looking forward to the next movie
dude….if this will get u happier, listen up…
sunday eve ur movie was booked full at Satyam…it’s a pity i didnt get my friends to see it…
Besta Luck man
“I don’t think Roger Ebert (or, for that matter, Sudhish Kamath) falls within the intended target groups of all the films he writes about, but that doesn’t mean his opinions are not valuable.”
If reviews aren’t opinions, then no two reviewers can disagree.
ah! so that was your gang that stayed till the end credits??
glad you liked the film.
and even more glad you’re taking your friends a second time! 😀
reviews are well-informed opinions. the more the reviewers are informed, chances are the more they agree with each other at least with the key observations in spite of differences in their personal tastes.
yes, the movie was housefull on saturday and sunday.
but that’s probably because of the weekend crowd. Nothing to get excited about. I was more thrilled about the 85 per cent opening day response because music and lyrics was playing right next door at the same slot.
An independent film competing with a mainstream Hollywood rom com and still coming out with a decent opening had me more excited!
is this one exclusive to chennai???remember that there is a crowd following here @ bangalore too…