Movie Reviews, Commentary & More

The Good, the Bad & the Okay

This is all about how bad a movie is, a post which comfortably ignores one end of the spectrum. Good bad movies make me get up from the theatre chair with a verve, and find my way at a comfortable pace towards the exit. It's usually the case where the people involved in the production itself don't take their movie seriously and are satisfied to produce a decent entertainer. Ice Age is a good bad movie. Gilli is another example. Mindless fun is the keyword here, and to enjoy some of the scenes you must have to suspend your mind. They aren't a waste of time or money but they definitely don't inspire a second viewing. Good-bad movies are one of the reasons most people go to cineplexes - a convenient diversion from the chores.

Okay bad is a real squirmer. It's a lousy movie and you just wish that somebody shoots everybody and the movie comes to a quick end. Sequels to 'The Matrix' and 'American Pie' are okay-bad. The sole reason for their existence is because the first installment made money and the audience loved the characters. 'Kadhalukku Mariyadhai' falls into the same trap - very commercial, very predictable. For an atheist, I thanked god that day for Vijay hadn't overacted in more than 10 scenes in the entire movie. These movies are tolerable, though your subconscious keeps pestering you to peek into the next screen, doesn't matter how much of that movie has elapsed and how convoluted that plot is - your gut feel is that the neighbour screen hosts a better one than this.

Bad bad movies are a cinephile's nightmare. The producer must have been insane to green light such a project, the director very obviously incompetent and the actors clueless in most if not all of the scenes. Steven Seagal has generously contributed to this category. 'Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion' is one of those bad bad movies that brought me tears thinking of K.S.Ravikumar's greatness. I very badly wanted to spit on the TV to get rid of the bad taste it left in me. Other than the fact that these guys don't have a cinematic sense, they make us wonder if they have any common sense at all. Pokkiri's writer-director can be an astonishing case study of a lunatic mind. That day, I walked out of the theatre with a suicidal clarity that there's more to life.

Ramble: Usually, it's the commercially motivated projects that fall on the bad side. They offer adrenaline, sex, blood, sentimental manipulation, emotional blackmail, etc in a combination that's just not right. How badly they mixed these ingredients determines how screwed up the movie is. Though projects that shun the commercial aspect are handled deftly by experts who know what they're doing, they too miss the mark. Abbas Kiorastami's Taste of Cherry, which won a top prize at Cannes is a bad bad movie - because it's devastatingly boring. Many people said that it maturely dealt with death; well, it was almost death for me and that's the only death connection between that movie & me. Andrei Tarkovski's 'Nostalgia' is another one that comes to my mind. Either I don't understand or don't have the refined taste to delve deep and enjoy what the director is trying to convey - visually and non-verbally in case of both the movies mentioned above. Except for these two art movies, most of the stuff I've seen were pretty interesting and kept me hooked until even after the end of the movie.

2 Responses to “The Good, the Bad & the Okay”

  1. # Anonymous prakash

    PV : probably u should come up with another list of 'good good', 'okay good' & 'bad good' movies  

  2. # Blogger Prasad Venkataramana

    Sure will, Prakash.  

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