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You come home after a tiresome week , taking your favorite star's
video cassette/DVD from your favorite store on the way and relax
to gear up for the week ahead. Sipping your favorite Earl Grey and
slipping the cassette into the player you lean back and watch the
movie. Most of the movies you see today have atleast one flashback
associated with them. The flashback could be anything that we see
in shaded negative prints, it could be anything from a hero's promise,
hero/heroine's illness, mafia background of the hero/villan, hero's
parents killed by the villan, hero-hero's brother quarrel, quarrel
between two best friends, family feuds and anything that we can
imagine in a typical Telugu film.
This flashback trend started from late seventies and got its momentum
from the early eighties. There may be some movies in the fifties
and the sixties with a flashback here and there but the idea caught
up only in the early eighties. If you have seen the older classics
of NTR and ANR you rarely see a flashback scene. The trend was probably
created by the next generation heroes like Krishna and Shobhan Babu.
Most of the present generation heroes like Chiru, Venky etc relish
this idea of flashback as you can observe that in their films.
How does a telugu movie viewer receive this flashback? What impact
does this flashback have on the viewers? Does a flashback decide
the success/failure of a film? Let us try to analyze this today.
Coming to the first question, the viewer usually receives the flashback
well because it has some element of surprise in it. For instance,
if a hero in a film tries to hide something or stops suddenly while
saying something, it keeps the viewer guessing what could be the
reason for it. A regular movie watcher can probably guess it correctly,
but he has to wait patiently till the climax or atleast till the
interval and compare his guessing with the movie's story. So, this
probably makes the viewer interested in the movie if the flashback
is in tune with the film's story. If the flashback scene is depicted
in shady negative prints for every major scene in the movie it might
keep the viewer thinking about it and might even keep him at the
edge of his seat.
Coming to the next question, how does the flashback impact the viewer.
It again depends on how neatly it is woven into the story. If the
flashback is shown in tune with the movie's story and if the flashback
really turns out good, the viewer enjoys it. If the flashback is
revealed very late in the movie in the climax or very early in the
first 30 minutes of the movie, then probably it might lose its efficacy.
For instance, if a heroine in a movie becomes nervous or uneasy
while looking at an object and she sees something in the flashback
before she falls to the ground. And some scenes later if the film
reveals the flashback based on a good story, the flashback has delivered
a positive impact on the viewer, if the flashback is not so promising,
then it might leave the viewers bored or frustrated.
Lastly, how does a flashback decide the success or a failure of
a film. It is again dependent on where it is linked in the story,
what is the timing of that flashback in the movie and how effectively
the director captures the interest of the audience. For instance,
a hero or a protagonist might have promised something to another
character in the film and he might be committed to that in the movie.
If in the later part of the movie we see that he promised because
of a very good reason then that implies that the flashback is in
tune with the story and might be of great interest to the viewers.
On the other hand, if it is a boring flashback and is not in tune
with the earlier scenes in the movie, then probably it could result
in viewers walking out of the movie after a spicy song unable to
sit till the climax in the movie.
Overall, to sum up a flashback is an integral part of the movie
and has to be neatly picturised to keep the viewers interested and
the cash register ringing.
Vanaparthy works for Oracle Corp., Silicon Valley