Apr 6, 2013

Posted in Super Librareee | Comments Off on Wise writers rule the stars… stars rule the audience!!!

Wise writers rule the stars… stars rule the audience!!!

By Amrish Shah


Screenwriters creatively craft an illusion on pulp which tempts a filmmaker and his team to pool their expertise in order to create a surreal experience. As a result the audience willingly suspends their beliefs and gets sucked into the world of a cinematic chimera.  Screen-story is an artistic marvel that lays the foundation to a bundle of artistic rendition. The director at the helm of affairs carves a timeless vision from the imagination of a writer. The producer makes the whole exercise a fruitful proposition. At the pinnacle of this creative pyramid are the actors who light up the screen with their performance and persona. Actors are effectively medium of transporting emotions as they breathe life into the characters that bejewel the story and thus entertain the audience.

A screen-story has a central theme or an idea which acts as a guiding light and navigates its characters to a fulfilling climax. A rewarding climax is the one that the audience somewhat expected yet was dished out to them in the most unexpected fashion. Story provokes personal fantasies and hidden desires in its audiences. This further triggers sensations of transformation.  Likewise an eloquent storyline lays the foundation to both artistic and commercial enterprise in the making.

Story though largely fictional, is still inspired by life and reality.  Thus a fine story has to be credible yet fascinating.  Having said that, story does not have to literally mirror realism. Infact it has to be a dramatic imitation and poetic retelling of various relatable, universal elements of life.  A screen story typically is subjective therefore often a writer gets credit for stuff he didn’t even

‘The Story’ is crafted with various dynamics of content and communication. A Good story doesn’t shape up by accident but is created with a thoughtful design.  As a metaphor, a story can be compared to a gastronomic delicacy.  A recipe for a dish usually consists of many ingredients in different proportions. In spite of all the ingredients only the right proportion can make a delicacy either likeable or redundant. Likewise in a story it is the correct concoction of the tastefully selected values that determine the impact of the story and can propel a negative or a positive response with the discerning audience.

A Hollywood script written by an adept screenwriter usually takes a minimum of six months to a couple of years, with a lot of research and retrospection put into it. The same applies back home but only in a sporadic scenario. Notwithstanding, in India there are a few exceptional screenwriters and conscientious filmmakers who value the significance of a good script. It won’t require much thinking to list them since they are just a handful.

Aristotle once quoted ‘Plot comes first, and then comes Character’.  Albeit Actors often choose a script after they deeply appraise the character that they are proposed to enact. Popular actors enjoy stardom and have a hugely dedicated fan-following. This permutation enables a good opening for any film.  Therefore smart screenwriters write great characters. Distinctly novel characters uplift the plot and lend poetic justice to the story. As a matter of fact, people may forget stories but what they always remember are great characters that light up the screen.

…From Michael Corleone in Godfather… to Gabbar in Sholay… From Raj Kapoor in Shree 420 to Rick in Casablanca…From Guru Dutt in Pyaasa to Raj in Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, From Meena Kumari in Pakeezah to Nargis In Mother India…From Amitabh Bachchan in Agneepath to Aamir Khan in Rangeela…From Mehmood in Padosan to Sanjay Dutt in the Munnnabhai series…From Aamir, Sharman and Omi in 3 Idiots to Amitabh, Rishi and Vinod Khanna in Amar Akbar Anthony.  Well etched out Characters always make for great cinema…And great cinema is written by proficient screenwriters who play ball with characters and plot. Thus magic is created first on paper itself with the writer’s skill and sweat.

Screenwriting is one of the most difficult and demanding tasks. It perhaps takes a million thoughts and half a million choices to write one good story. Great screenwriting is the labor of passion, dedication and flair. Competent screenwriters understand that it is not just about writing, but more about rewriting. As they say in Hollywood, “If it ain’t on page then it ain’t on stage”. Effectively the Screen idols when approached with film project, would first ask “who is the writer”. A good script seldom makes for a bad movie but a bad script can never make for a good movie. No star…No amount of special effects…No marketing campaign can salvage a badly written script unless there is absolute divine intervention.

On a lighter vein: A movie buff walked into a room with a gun loaded albeit with two bullets. The room was occupied with three individuals- the Producer, the Director, the Writer; who were mutually responsible for a horribly made 100 crore movie that obviously went kaput…Who all did the gun wielding man shoot???

Well he shot the Screenwriter twice!!