Reworking the Script

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
22 July 2010 12:40 IST

Some of the most successful Hollywood/ Bollywood producers and directors will tell you that there is only one salient magic mantra that carries a movie on to become a blockbuster: "IT'S THE SCRIPT HONEY" Actors, stars , music, special effects, publicity may play a trivial role, but if you have had a bad script chances are that the movie just won't click.

Stephen Spielberg, Rajkapoor or Satyajit Ray or Shyam Benegal  are the best protagonists of this theory. They are firm in the conviction that the script was the bedrock of their careers.  So watch a ‘Jurassic Park‘ or an E.T. a ‘Pather Panchali‘ a ‘Bobby‘ or ‘Prem Rog‘.

Of course the music and the FX was there but the stars at the time of release were no big names.  What made these movies legendary was their script and substance.

Then check our very own ‘Satya‘ or ‘Ardh Satya‘,‘Manthan‘ or ‘Mirch Masala‘ or ‘A Wednesday‘ or ‘Love Sex Dhoka‘. Small budget films, unknown actors, no special effects but the script was king.

There could be one valid argument against this theory, however. How was it that thrash scripts churned out by say Manmohan Desai or Prakash Mehra or often Karan Johar become such resounding hits? Take for example, a filmsy ‘Laawaris‘ or a falsetto ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai‘ or the sickly ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham‘ or the legendary lost and found rubbish from Manmohan Desai flicks like ‘Suhaag‘   or ‘Parvarish‘ or ‘Aa Gale Lag Ja‘ or ‘Mard‘.

These were bonafide hits despite shoddy scripts and the reason in many ways for their success was the presence of the larger than life superstars like Amitabh or Shah Rukh Khan, who could sell this gibberish to the gullible masses only on the power of their performances and their undeniable charishma

Therefore the movie going public in Goa will forever watch movies and convert them into hits for two reasons
1.    Because the script / screen play is awesome
2.    Because the superstars have strutted their stuff

And thereby lies another tale, perhaps another important strategy lesson for our political parties in Goa.
Let me elucidate further.

In Goa we have the ruling Cong -NCP-MGP combine who are playing out their script at a feverish pace.

Their script includes rampant mining , crazy as shark real estate development, a drug / casino/ sex based economy,  a pliable police force and of course the all pervasive stench of corruption.

Despite this shoddy script that most Goans abhor their movie features huge superstars in the eyes of the starry eyed voting public  

So with their humongous budgets, their  flashy cars and designer bandanas and glitzy ad spends, the Babushes, Vishwajeets, Churchills and Mickkys can sway the public easily, have them eating out of their hands and convert them into putty by signing autographs (sorry, cheques) left right and centre. The stars rule even if the script is a sham.

Which then brings me to our combined opposition in Goa, principally the BJP, the UGDP and the GSRP. They don't have the superstars from the other army and that is why they keep wooing them (G7 or whatever) to bolster their movie production otherwise they can never get their magnums opus to become a hit.

The catch however is that the G7 types would join hands with say the BJP only and only if the script were to remain the same. Imagine Shah Rukh Khan playing the lead role in Ardh Satya.

So the combined oppositions major dichotomy all these years has been that they have been searching for the maverick, untrustworthy self serving  superstars into their fold when what  they really needed to do was to go back to the drawing boards and REWORK A BRAND NEW SCRIPT.

That is what the people of Goa - whether Congress leaning or BJP leaning - are desperately looking for.

The brand new script must talk and pursue aggressively the issues of sustainable development and environment protection, address the issues of land grab and incarcerate illegal slumdog millionaires, tackle head on the Godzilla of corruption and defend human rights.

If you have a script like this even without the big budget superstars, there are good chances that you could be sitting on a jackpot  - areal big one this time.

There are two caveats to this however
1.    There can be no compromises on the script whatsoever!!! For example, if tomorrow we have a BJP Govt in power with some Congress superstar, we can't be fed garbage that the BJP has now discovered that all the tons of drugs they were fighting against was actually talcum powder or that privatization of Govt hospitals is actually the greatest idea since the internet and hence even the Dean and all the consultants in GMC can be now wrapped up in pink ribbons and handed over to some sleaze ball corporate sector backing the BJP.   


2.    For your movie to be a blockbuster hit even if your script is brilliant, you must get more and more people to see your movie. If you stand outside the theatres with black caps on your heads, in shorts, twirl your moustaches and wave a danda throwing all the Muslims, Christians, Communists, modern Hindu girls in skirts and boys in T-Shirts and other "repulsive"  folk in your imagination out of the theatres, the movie is a sure fire flop . Trust me!!!

To yank the crown from the heads of these deadly superstars, we will have to dream the alternate script "but then will anyone bite the bullet ????  

As they say in that biggest Hindi hit of all time: "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge"


After a couple of days in the lockup, the wretched mother of Nadia - Sonia Torrado- has finally got bail. One wonders whether this whole long drawn exercise is to get to the truth or it is to get Nadia's family.

A rumor floating is that the cops now plan to exhume the body of Nadia's long deceased father and arrest him as well.  They need all the "clues" they can gather to bolster their fast faltering case.

Also there is a new offence mooted in the CrPc . It is called "Culpable Rape". Tomorrow if you wink at a Girl you could be booked for culpable Rape. Culpable Rape is visual intercourse not amounting to penetration.

All of us with blinking problem had better get in line and file for anticipatory bail.

All this would have been morbidly funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Blogger's Profile

Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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