Back to the futile – Part I
“Skyfall”, the latest Bond flick is pretty entertaining. As we exited the theatre, one of the blokes was commenting to his girlfriend, “Its become like a Hindi movie – revenge, family, and all that”. I like Hindi movies and I liked this Bond movie too. The sole sore spot was this Bond girl who’s acting talent is God like – you can’t see it. Thankfully, she’s got a shot role (sic).
A significant event was to see the impact of Dr Ramadoss. The anti-smoking efforts at the theatre. It begins with a gory clip of what happens to smokers – concluding with a towel (black) being squeezed out and filling a mug– that’s the annual tar intake for an average smoker, according to the ad. If you’re a smoker, the urge to have a puff climaxes with the clip and you want to race out to grab a puff. Those who don’t smoke are wondering why the main feature has been delayed for this.
Then, during a taut moment in the flick, a character (a few of them actually) lights up and THERE”S A STATUTORY WARNING IN LARGE PRINT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FRAME!! Also noticeable for the strategic product placement at points in the movie. There’s a notebook computer that’s clearly VAIO, just in case you forgot that Columbia Pictures is owned by SONY. Let’s call these guys – Big-Step Brother.
Big Brother is here telling you to be a good boy (or girl). Is what they hope. Step Brother is happy that you spend on his product – regardless of the use you put it too.
What if we extend the “ multi-tarrer” approach to the movies in entirety and commercialize it, then….
SCENE I – CAR CHASE
STATUTORY WARNING : Please observe all speed limits (normally 50 km / hr) when driving in cities, do not drive in opposite lanes, and carry third-party insurance policy in the vehicle.
Bond and Villian pause after banging cars to leave copies of their insurance policy.
ADVERT : Skoda : Strongly Built. Special discount for MP’s sons post-party.
SCENE II - HITMAN
Cigar smoking Mafia boss: “Here’s the advance, 50% on delivery” – pushes briefcase full of cash to Hitman.
STATUTORY WARNING: Please take PAN No: for cash payments over Rs 20,000 and collect service tax chargeable at applicable rates. Failure to do so will be…..
ADVERTISEMENT: Banco UnoPercentio – (backed by EU Bonds – not James’ family)
Let us handle your wealth – free ticket to Zurich as promotional offer.
SCENE III – GIZMOs
Q : James, these shoes have inbuilt radio transmitters that can frequency hop on Cellular Networks………..
STATURORY WARNING: Usage of wireless frequency in cellular spectrum is permitted by service provider who won the auction of 2G/3G/4G spectrum.
Bond film’s budget just went up by about Rs 20,000 crores. Remember his shoes will be on global roaming.
PRODUCERS' CAVEAT: Made from open source, no copyright infringement
(I'm not joking about this. A recent article featured the auction of a music cassette that an Apollo mission took to the moon with Simon and Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane etc on it. Several readers' comments stated - they'd be arrested on return these days for IPR violations!!! It was a blank tape recorded on)
ADVERTISMENT : What an IDEA, Sir ji!
SCENE IV – ITEM NUMBER
The hero adjourns to the Nightclub to nail some underling villain. Its an opportunity for an “item” number and the hero to dress well – (the post 2008 recession may have producers cutting back on Armanis and Gucci being ruined in action sequences in sewerage pipes). Of course, we don’t wonder everyone is wearing dark glasses at night.
STATUTORY WARNING: Usage of loudspeakers after 10 pm only with written permission from your local police station.
(Also, given the age of the dancers): Liquor will not be served to those under 25. ID proof may be required.
SANDY – Sound systems to blow your mind
(to be placed at point hero shoots underling in the head.)
RAYMAN – Dark glasses that can see in the dark.
SCENE V - CLIMAX
Climax: Total mayhem. Guns, bullets, explosions – the building collapses, the trees are on fire.
STATUTORY WARNING: Ownership of Guns without a license is prohibited. Only 3 litres of kerosene permitted at subsidized rate. Villian’s henchmen cannot claim NREGA funds during the period of shoot (sic).
Burning of green vegetation and chopping trees require explicit approval of the Environmental Ministry.
MendLIFE Corporation – If only the villain had insured with us……
Sholay Limited – fires created through usage of solar power on film sets.
PETA – all microbes on set safely evacuated to labs prior to destruction of sets. Only animal left was the villian, who wasn't hurt during shooting.
Somewhere, in between all this – you can pay attention to the dialogue. Maybe PVR will offer power Speed Reading classes with the popcorn). Though, if you’re watching some film like the Agneepath remake (no dialogue)…or Karan Johar (only songs……..and then some words like “love’…) or a Steven Segal movie (he’ s mumbling anyway).
(heart)BREAKING NEWS: Leading corporate considering rebranding as “Big Brother” Entertainment.