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Monday, December 17

C2B2 + OSO

I saw the movie(musical) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang(C2B2) with little Neo in Munnar some days back...Loved it.

From wikipedia - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a 1968 feature film with a script by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes, and songs by the Sherman Brothers, based on Ian Fleming's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which he wrote for his son, Caspar!!

It's the enchanting story of a Magical Car. The film was directed by Ken Hughes and produced by Albert R. Broccoli, of the James Bond films fame!!

Back home was flipping through the TOI and the weekly column by Santosh(Desai) called City City Bang Bang written in his inimitable style and the trademark command over the language...

With C2B2 fresh in the mind as a different back-drop:-) couldn't resist capturing my stray thoughts on the subject of OSO and nostalgia entwined with Santosh's observations.

1. SD - "At a time when there is so much talk about the future, why are we looking(through films like Om Shanti Om) so much to the past? Shouldn't this be a time to reimagine the future in new terms rather than sigh nostalgically about dog collared shirts and polka -dotted trousers?"

My own hypothesis about OSO is that it's amongst the most successfully marketed 'remix/pastiche' Bollywood products of recent times.(see post on OSO) There is a huge charm of the re-mix. We have now lived through a re-mix decade as far as songs are concerned. Here comes the first re-mixed movie.

And it's different from a remake. Farhan's Don was a remake...OSO is a remix. Where the story, the structure, the context are all remixed to give a pastiche product!

2. SD - "We take the reality of the 70s and paint on it a coating of the hyperseventies. The seventies we remember are all electrons and sound rather than flesh and blood... An actual 70s movie is not aware of its temporal displacement and takes itself seriously. In doing so, it becomes fodder for retrospective irony. What we like most about the 70s movie is that it's behind us safely enough for us to enjoy it. It exaggerates our bumbling inadequacy and now that we are perched atop some affluence, now that our vantage point is lofty, we can chuckle with affection at who we were then."

But what of the generation who don't remember the 70s. Or who are born in the 90's or like little Neo( all of 4 years) who adores SRK and dotes on Shanti:-)what product have they consumed in OSO. Obviously, it's not nostalgia. It's slick, entertaining paisa wasool low brow remix.

That's the product and that's it's allure...It just has a veneer of the 70s. For that matter Farah could have chosen a veneer of the 60s or the 50s. My guess is the final product could still have been the same!

3. SD - "But the question is whether nostalgia is at all a form of memory. We have no desire to remember the past in most other arenas. Memory when intact seems to be inadequate. It is only when it is reconceived that it interests us. And that is perhaps key to the nostalgia we are seeing today.

OSO celebrates our present by going back and irrigating our past."

Finely argued and eloquently expressed. But the remixed OSO I maintain has just a veneer of nostalgia. In a frenziedly active and globalising Bollywood, remake and remixes are a quick way to capitalise on old successful block-busters - be it a Don, Devdas, or OSO!! More commercial interests than a conscious attempt to celebrate the present by going back and irrigating our past.

4. SD - "The images of the past when examined closely reveal themselves to be pixelated with the sensibilities of today. We look back as a way of looking ahead. In that, perhaps, OSO is set in the future."

I totally agree that the movie has the sensibility of today. But OSO is definitely not set in the future. It is perhaps set in the past and definitely set in commerce and marketing!!

As a movie and as a cultural signpost OSO is low-brow, maybe even retrograde like the Ekta Kapoor serials. Of course a zillion times more slick and entertaining than the saas-bahu soaps!!!

1 comment:

Spiritualmanager said...

OSO definitely was an innovative product rather concept. It was set neither in past nor future but in Transition, that ofcourse is my point of view. Actually I believe movie is different from advertising,with a lot of commonalities.And tools that Euro uses for measuring success and failure of movie are like exit polls with i will never be appreciative about. What i want to say is the idea in Advertising is to sell where as idea in movie is to share. We often here Govind Nihalani or yash copra etc being proud of their work like 'Lahme'even if the movie doomed commercially but can and ad man afford to say that the brand doomed but I was proud of my work.