was an interesting sequence in the movie "Laathi"
released in the early 90's directed by the then debutant Gunasekhar,
involving the introduction of the villain, who chases his victim
to a railway track in the middle of the night. The face of the
villain is not revealed yet and his victim, about to confront
death, has his life in his eyes, facing the camera. A train fast
approaches and the shot reverses. In the glimmering light of a
distant tube light, the face of the villain, played by Raghuvaran,
is revealed, through the moving train. A visually arresting build-up,
considering, not a single word is spoken for about 5-10 minutes,
leading up to the sequence. Or consider another Gunasekhar's simple
yet poignant drama commenting on marital relationship - sogasu
cooDa tarama. The heroine comes to know that hero has wagered
her in a match of arm wrestling with his boss for a onetime opportunity
of winning one crore. The scene does not concentrate on the outcome
of the match, but instead on the hero's weakness to have EVEN
CONSIDERED ABOUT IT in the first place. No melodrama ensues and
no heavy dialogues follow. The heroine looks at him, like the
hero has been reduced to next to nothing, and she walks out on
him. Another dialogue-less attention grabber.
it has been quite some years that the visual medium has completely
taken over its aural counterpart, Telugu movies has often relied
the spoken word to convey the feeling and deliver the punch. The
term screenplay has been reduced to a scenic order of how the
dialogues flow. Seldom do we have movies like Siva, Kshana
Kshanam and now Okkadu,
that rely more on the mood than on the words and it is not a coincidence
that all the movies which seriously tout the merits of screenplay
belong to the action genre. The yanking of the cycle chain in
Shiva, or the threatening to throw away the money bag atop
the moving train in Kshana Kshanam are one of those wonders that
convey the right emotion without the characters mouthing reams
of dialogues. How scenes as these build up the emotion essentially
depend on the camera placement and movement, the intercutting
between different angles, and more importantly the background
score - from a drone like buzz to a rich flourish.
movies come with a suspension of disbelief aura attached to them.
Logic is the last thing that would usually be accounted for in
such situations. Make believability with an iota of intelligence,
is the key during the execution of the action sequences. The audience
never goes into the physical impossibility or practical feasibility
of a feat, if the series of actions leading up to the sequence
is properly justified and does not undermine the intelligence
of the audience. The hero is pushed hard and hard by the villain,
and in the fit of moment, the hero throws the cycle down and yanks
the chain out. The audience does not get bogged down by the fact
that it is humanly impossible to perform such a stunt in a real-life
situation. Action sequence revolves a simple "setup and payoff"
rule and Okkadu
has several of these sprinkled across for good measure.
on each scene that is being played out on the screen, with orchestral
accompaniment, when restrained to a large extent, elevates the
atmosphere of the scene and draws the viewer even more into the
mood of the scene. Music sense does not measure up on how well
sequence is scored, than on the ability to refrain from commenting
on every scene. Intermittent pauses and prolonged silences, when
left alone, add up to the eerie effect thus building up, enough
suspense and anticipation. Mani Sarma scores well on all the above
counts. And when it is time that the music bathes in Sirivennela's
words, the result is pure aural treat. Re-recording, has the inherent
ability to act on the audience on a sub-conscious level. Misuse
it, it reduces to pure cacophony; disuse it, it is as good as
not being there. Mani Sarma, who reserved his best for Gunasekhar
(Manoharam, Choodalani Undi and Okkadu),
is to be commended for his economy of score and richness in expression.
Sharing the dais with Gunasekhar and Mani Sarma, Sreekar Prasad
working in tandem with Sekhar Joseph, another Gunasekhar regular,
served some of the best action sequences seen in recent times.
The way the technical elements were altered during action choreography,
like playing with the frame rate, the camera placement, the stop
motion camera, was something unique refreshing and commendable
than having to see the routine bashing of the bad guys in dull
and repulsive ways. To sum up, this is one movie that brought
out the true strength of the screenplay, this is one movie that
truly relied on its technical aspects, this is one movie that
put fun back in action.
Ramblings on Telugu films
Srinivas Kanchibhotla how you liked the article.