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Bang for the Buck


The crowd hath spake on Shankar's Anniyan : big hit in Tamil, big hit in Telugu. Hindi Movies with Long Names, Chandramukhi, Anniyan … makes one thinketh that movies might be your Achilles heel, Mr. Surowiecki. In case you are wondering, I cannot figure out for the life of me why I have this incurable urge to write in fake old English.

Setting that aside for a moment, let me talk about a certain scene in the movie. But first, to set things up, here is the premise: Multiple personalities come out of the docile hero, and do multiple things. Since I hate spoilers, I will just say that the multiple things he does may or may not include creating artificial stampedes with buffaloes, frying people alive, eating live monkeys, talking in a hoarse whisper and copulating with snakes. And yes, I must add that it was all done in a grandiose manner, so if there were buffaloes they were pretty big.

One of the personalities that emerges out of the weak kneed lead character is a wannabe cool dude, decked up with all the accoutrements that go into making someone a wannabe cool dude. These include, but are not restricted to the following:

  1. Colored Hair.
  2. Transparent clothing.
  3. Gaudy Sun Glasses.
  4. Terrible Fake Accent.
  5. This Name: Ramp Walk Remo The girl that refused to fall for the docile hero, falls for the wannabe. Naturally. For how can you not fall when wooed with roses? Rampwalk sends roses to the girl. (Sorry if the sentence construction sounds funny, but that's his name. Also notice how I took the liberty of assuming Rampwalk is his first name, unless RampWalk is actually two words, in which case he should be called Ramp W Remo…). So where was I?

Yeah, Rampwalk sending roses to the girl. Rose bushes, if you care for detail. An obscene number of them in pots. Along with an audio tape. (a Compact Disc maybe? The director disdains cheap stuff) As the girl stares at the roses, looking suitably surprised, fake accent plays out of the tape and asks girl to smile. She obliges, and behold: amateurish special effects make all the roses bend down in unison. Fake accent explains to a bewildered audience: The roses were ashamed. Duh. Something a good editor would have chopped, and flushed down a toilet. (If you ever do that, make sure you have some Drano handy).

Why is this scene special, you ask? Because I happened to see an interview of Shankar, and he talks about this scene in particular: Apparently, the first time they brought the roses in for the shoot, the roses sucked for whatever reason. And so, Shankar chose to wait four months for the roses to bloom. Four months the producer spent making inflated interest payments. Perfectionism, a la James Cameron.. Or callous disregard for the realities of a reeling industry.

You think Shankar knows what the title of my post means?