February 1, 2006

When copies attack …

We started watching a Tamil movie yesterday, "Ghajini" and it turned out to be a copy of, of all things, "Memento". Now I loved "Memento" but wouldn’t have for a moment thought that it would have worked as a Tamil film. While flashback’s are common in Indian cinema, the constantly backward flowing storyline of "Momento" is something that would have been hard for the usual Tamil cinema audience to grasp. Tamil cinema, which I love, isn’t usually about innovation – it’s about mass appeal, just as Hindi cinema is, but then again, on a slightly different level. Hindi cinema seems to be more about the glamour factor as well as the sugar-sweet love stories. Tamil cinema on the other hand, has a much stronger family value thread running through it though the ever-present love story does rear its head even there.

But I digress – back to "Ghajini". Within the first couple of scenes, it was evident that this movie was totally "inspired" by "Memento". What I was curious about was whether they retained the original backward story telling. They didn’t. Instead, they opted for a standard forward moving storyline with many flashbacks to fill in the full story. And no, it isn’t the exact story of "Memento" – that again would not have worked with Indian viewers. This was simply the story of somebody suffering from short-term memory loss who appears to be on a rampage killing people for an unspecified reason. As the story unfolds, we learn why he’s on this killing spree bit by bit and also how he came to get short-term memory loss.

We only watched part of the movie last night – unlike Hollywood movies, the Indian ones tend to be close to 3 hours :p So I still don’t know how it all works out but I have a feeling that the flashbacks and the normal storyline will culminate in one event where the protagonist will have one last flashback which reveals what real happened to him and then he’ll end up killing the guy he is after – the guy responsible for the whole thing. Confusing? Yeah, probably :p Go watch the movie!

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Posted by Fahim at 7:30 am  |  No Comments