June 2, 2007

Hit Me Baby One More Time...

George Bernard Shaw famously pointed out; the two tragedies of life are not getting what you want and getting what you want. Most films when made are accompanied by hundreds of prayers; it should get the money back, it should recover the cost, hope it makes some profit, wish it became the biggest hit of the year, hope I get more work, etc. Once the film becomes a freak hit, sequels are planned for that means everyone would make money and load of it. Johnny Depp was paid 10 million for the first Pirates of the Caribbean and with the subsequent films his remuneration has doubled even though the quality of part 2 wasn’t a patch on part 1.

The first sequel churned out by Hollywood was 1916's Fall of a Nation, a follow-up to D.W. Griffith's wildly successful 1915 feature Birth of a Nation. Legend has it that Fall of a Nation was written by Thomas Dixon, whose book The Clansman was turned into Birth of a Nation. Dixon didn't get any money out of the film, so he threw together Fall of a Nation to cash in -- and started a Hollywood tradition.

I think the earliest sequel in India was Nigahen that was a follow up to Nagina. The second part didn’t do that good and it wasn’t till now that sequels have become like the staple diet. In the recent past the sequels have made so much money that people are threatening to start film franchisees like the West. Once in a while I think sequels are a good idea, a little more of the good thing won’t kill anyone. Also that in some cases like Munnabhai MBBS, the characters warrant their presence in different situations; the result Lage Raho Munnabhai’s innovative approach. But then when economics is the driving force I don’t think any reasoning could work. Phir Hera Pheri wasn’t a patch on the first one but I think it made enough money for a third one to hit us soon. Awara Paagal Deewana or Deewane Hue Paagal…same difference! Similar was the case with Vastav 2 (I don’t even recall the crazy title it had) and Darna Zaroori Hain was a freak case so let me not get into that.

Hindi films are standing at a crossroads; these crossroads are coming too often and too soon! The first lot of third installment of hit films has set the ball rolling for new times in Hindi cinema. The first film to have a third installment in India would be Krrish 2 that for the uninitiated would actually be Koi Mil Gaya 3. In the first film Hrithik Roshan played two variations of the same character, in the second part he was playing three versions and in the third one he’d end up playing four. Hmm by the time Koi Mil Gaya 10 comes out Mr. Rakesh Roshan wouldn’t really need any other actor in the film. Talk about cost cutting in something driven by the sheer desire of making money! Just Hrithik Thump Roshan in a film…wow that by itself would be a record. No wait there was that Sunil Dutt experimental film Yaadein in which there was just Mr. Dutt.

The sequel department of Bombay is really working overtime. There is Dhoom 3 in the pipeline and rumor has it that YashRaj might have already planned Dhoom –the 12th with Abhishek’s son. The son of the producer of the funny Andaz Apna Apna wants to make a sequel, Hanuman 2 should be ready by the end of this year, Munnabhai is all set to go to Amerika once the Special TADA court’s judge allows him to, Don 2.2 (that .2 for the new version of the older remake, my idea not SRK’s!) promises to evade the police of 11 nations to get the don back.

Everyone knows that the sequels rarely match up to the original. It’s an unwritten truth like the statement that the book was better than the film. If Hindi films are doing what the West is doing then this could just be the tip of iceberg. Can you imagine what’d happen if they start making prequels? Who the hell wants to know how Rohit’s (Koi Mil Gaya) father met his mother!?

0 Responses to “Hit Me Baby One More Time...”

Post a Comment