Saturday, December 31, 2005

anatomy of a scene

The film: Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena
The sequence: the scene in the red-walled room serving as a bar where our dudes are trying to reel in the hit, Mr Jay Patel, Vice President of Standard Bank with their business model.
The original source: a similar scene from Confidence that sports vastly superior writing, acting, ... the whole nine yards.

Prelude: Jay Patel has just said that there is no future in dotcoms. Writer Suparn Verma scripts a shoddy copy of the original sequence where Kaif (Kay Kay Menon here; the original had a character called Lupus played by Franky G) steps in to save the day.

Merits: Not only is this bizarre fodder for cut-up followers and Buñuel/Dali fans, but it's also a great example of what happens with both the continuity and editing departments have decided to do their jobs with their eyes wide shut.

What follows is an annotated version of the dialogue that Kay Kay (poor guy; this film sees him completely at sea and marks a big dark blotch for him as far as acting is concerned) spouts. There are also notes about cuts and scene details.

that's the whole point mr Patel (beat) future

[cut to XCU of Kaif at the desk] {cigar in right hand}

we don't have a vision for the future; IBM, Microsoft, Rediff, Yahoo, these were all the so-called "risky" companies weren't they?

[cut to medium shot] (1) (Kaif rises and walks from screen left to Patel)

analysts went (beat) about tom-tomming saying that oh computers?

[cut to medium CU ...] (2)

no way! we're a poor country; illiterate; we don't have the personnel for this

[cut to (1)]

we have no appetite for computers you see {cigar in right hand}
ten years later what happened? have you seen the sales figures of computers today?

[cut to tight CU: closer than (2)] (3) (cigar in left hand)

unfortunately you banks are sitting on crores of rupees ... doing what? (beat) hatching them!

[cut to (2)] (cigar in right hand)

it's all right; it's your money;

(takes a smoke)

use it the way you please

(drops cigar; stubs it with right shoe)

but never

[cut to (3)] (cigar in left hand)

ever say that india's a third-world country. never do that

(draws another smoke and walks to screen left)

After witnessing this fascinating display of words, actions and flying dhumraka.nDikaas a stupefied jay Patel looks on at Kaif, then takes a subtle look at Ramona's (aka nataashaa played by Koena "jiggle" Mitra) garbonzas, and then (perhaps a bit less worried after seeing something to refute the argument that india was a third-world country) looks to Fardeen Khan (and the scene proceeds).

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