I first came across this sometime in June. The exams were just over, and it was a bright sunny day. Little did I know what was in store for me. Poor me, I opened the newspaper (Pune Times, nothing less!) and decided to watch Parineeta at CityPride.
The next three hours were excruciating, to say the least, with the intensity rising every half-an-hour.
It reached its crescendo at the end, when the hero tries to demolish the wall between him and his lover’s house, a la Gujarat Ambuja style (“Bhaiyya, yeh deewar tootti kyun nahi??”).
I came out, feeling severely cheated. And this is the trademark of scam cinema. Films which masquerade as art-films, but follow each and every rule of the Bollywood rule-book are part of this genre of cinema. You walk in, expecting some intelligent stuff, only to find some really crappy rubbish on fare. Vidhu Vinod Chopra wouldn’t have managed to attract me, had he marketed Parineeta in the usual, conventional manner. He lured suckers like me by basing the story on a Bengali classic, and the aam junta by casting Sanjay Dutt and Saif Ali Khan (both being third-rate actors, but with great mass appeal). By the time, the public realizes that the movie is utterly hopeless, the producer has raked in enough moolah to produce another film, just as mindless, if not more.
A variant of the scam cinema category is the “Gimme the Oscar!” department. A perfect example is ‘BLACK’. Made for the Oscars and the Oscars alone. Complete with characters bearing Western names and staying in Victorian mansions. To the director’s credit, the film was excellent, but you can see through his motives. Anyway it is a refreshing change from the usual dowdy Bollywood masala-tearjerkers-action-romance-wet sari-rapist villain flicks.
Watch out for more of these in the days to come and protect yourself, your intellect and your money from being wasted on a scam movie.