KB is a master at combining POETRY OF THE THEATRE (i.e. the use of vivid prose language to achieve heightned emotional expression that is often the domain of poetry) with THEATRE OF POST-MODERNISM (i.e. experimental or “new-theatre” forms in which nonverbal codes and images take precedence over spoken language requiring the audience to project their own interpretation of the scenes – the form is the content)…
The most important element of any poem is not its structure, rhyme, meter, line or language. Its the idea. As a layman, I’m trying to understand the meaning of the poem or what the poet is trying to tell me. Sometimes, I’m able come-up with multiple meaning for a single metaphor – forcing me to disregard traditional either/or logic that insists A cannot be A and not-A at the same time.
A Cinematic poem by a theatreman is bound to have multiple meanings for a single metaphor, so to understand the director’s point of view – the reviewer should be able to identify the links.
The theatre tantra once used to be:
To educate the illitrate, enlighten the literate and entertain the enlightened.
Has this changed?
Bingo The Clown-O
Irony in its crudest form becomes sarcasm because there is a delibrate pretence of ignorance – The Socratic Method… Did Socrates practice ignorance in order to trick a student (or an adversary) in dialogues?
Making movies with masters
There is absolutely no reason as to why a film like Poi should fail to break-even at the box-office in 2007… Only excuses and lies or as Arthur Black would say:
Lies, all lies. Well, not lies, exactly. Excuses. Little dabs of social lubricant that help to smooth the meshing gears of everyday life.
An awful lot of impressive human creativity goes into making excuses – sometimes we expend more mental sweat trying to avoid a job than we would if we just went ahead and did the damned thing – but that’s human nature, too. And sometimes the excuses themselves become somewhat twisted works of Art.
In a film where form is the content, the reviewer should be able to identify the key-frame… In Poi, this is the key frame:
This is the most striking or notable feature of Poi – treat it as the starting point of your imagination. A frame that could make or break a reviewer because from this point on-wards the screenplay is being written by the reviewer and not the film-maker.
A film like Poi works only if we have reviewers capable of enlightening the audience and sadly even after 75 years of Tamil Talkies, most of our reviewers are not even capable identifying the theme.
Here is KB trying to sell the film to an audience:
You didn’t take long to scale the peak and in a way you gave Tamil cinema a new definition. What keeps you going?
I still care for creative work. It is not money alone anymore, although that also matters. I do films more for my satisfaction. The urge to do something new is still alive.
What is “Poi” about?
It is a love story without the villain element. And the screenplay is not clichéd. I’m handling very young talent and it is a new experience.
Do you think you have achieved something here?
I wouldn’t be working if I thought I had achieved anything at all. I have always given films, which are ahead of our times. For me achievement is honest, sincere and hard work.
From The Hindu 24-02-2006
Most of our reviewers don’t know the difference between a story and a screenplay. A good director or craftsman will find ways to exploit the talents of his supporting staff.
A good reviewer should be able to identify how KB exploited Biju Viswanth’s skills:
KB’s role in Poi is to come up with a simple story for audience to follow, but a screenplay that would be multi-dimensional. Our reviewers have to understand the difference between a book and a film.
Getting back to four phases of Poi:
Phase 1: The School of Poems
Phase 2: The Face of Love
Phase 3: The Life Beat of the Souls
Phase 4: Translation of Literature
What Is This?
Who Is Going To Say It?
Phase 2 & 3 are easy for the audience to understand, they may not be able to articulate what they feel, but then again audience are not being paid to review films.
Phase 1 & 4 is where the critic has to prove they are worthy of the money being paid.
He wanted a bridge, but all he got was a slide. Once again proving: I wouldn’t be working if I thought I had achieved anything at all. I have always given films, which are ahead of our times. For me achievement is honest, sincere and hard work.