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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

HIndie Awards: Best Screenplay [Indian Language]

Best Screenplay

[Indian Language]

First and foremost being a writer, this means that this specific post is far more important [except for the other two] then anything else I write.

Being a writer but also an objective viewer of cinema and the industries around film means that writing is far more important then anything else in the movie business.

Yet writers are probably never given the kind of respect that directors command nor the visibility that actors do. We're not as paid as much, we're not even sometimes liked as much; just see the myriad of dredge Hindi cinema churns out every year that disregards the one important thing;

The script.

So for those disrespected and those beloved, here are these superstar writing nominees...

Karthik Subharaj for Iraivi

A feminist film viewed from the lens of male gaze [not necessarily the bad kind], Iraivi's strength is in its character and Subharaj's is understanding in weaving a noir tale of morality and liberation with the added spice of a post-modern outlook.

After his meta infused genre bending Jigarthanda, Subharaj ups the ante in a film that lets its men be men and their consequences and action all pay dividends to the arcs of the women, something that is most occasionally the other way round.

With a film focused on the importance and passion of making cinema and the symbolism of woman as goddess and man not as demon but just plain old fallible man, makes for a great commentary on the importance of liberation through rains and why women first need to accept themselves and understand their own strengths before trying to even find the strength to accept a useless or useful mans responsibility.

On a bonus, with his third act twist villain, Subharaj leaves a great commentary on the 'nice guy' trope of Tamil cinema, finally signifying that he is a bonafide star writer and director with an ear to the ground.

Naman Ramachandran for Brahman Naman

Though the film may still retain the very distinct Q flavour, there is no denying Brahman Naman is the writer's baby; it's all in the name after all, sorry Shakespeare.

The film an out and out comedic train, riffs on the very sexual natures of teenagers and their oblivious especially Brahman ignorance to their own self inflated egos that don't even matter. The writing in this sense is sprinkled with intelligent sparks of comedy offset by a building of questionable antics that allow the slow puncture of the bubble of humour the film builds up to.

As soon as Ash's humiliation hits, the writing has your guts tied up and yet it hints that our heroes may gain a sense of redemption as is norm in the genre, yet the pay off is brilliant without ever being alluded to because as oblivious our protagonists as meandering the writing is in a damn good way, cause the fun never ceases to stop neither does the idiocy of these geniuses.

Eregowda and Raam Reddy for Thithi

The documentary style of Thithi may surprise folks that the film is wholly scripted though very much an astute observation of life in a small village. It's a testament to the writing that the film never feels as such, but rather is so natural and organic; the viewer settles into the belief that all that is happening is a part of life in this world.

Eregowda channels his experiences from his hometown along with the cinematic flourishes brought forth by Raam Reddy to immerse you in an experience that feels and is absolutely real, such world building is the mastery of the likes of the Coens and Tarantino's. That is a huge compliment.

Yet the fact still stands that the writing never feels inspired but wholly its own, that the writers especially Eregowda can leave his own stamp on his work is another testament to his fine skills.

Waryam Singh Sandhu and Gurvinder Singh for Chauthi Koot

Adapted from two short stories by Waryam Singh Sandhu, as a director Gurvinder Singh might as well have taken the profound tales of a restless Punjab post the Blue Star Operation and turned them into a meditative art house piece, as he does so.

However that doesn't entirely mean that he has stretched the film or for that matter flourished with cinematic techniques to dazzle. Rather Singh's writing becomes a manipulation of time, in order to create an intoxicating and simmering slow pace that just chokes the viewer with a fearsome atmosphere of tension and absolute maddening paranoia.

It's a poetic craft that he employs in not only building a world but thus letting characters breath in it to the point every ticking second is felt and every emotional attachment means a lot especially towards the innocent pet dog Tommy.

Nagraj Manjule and Avinash Ghadge for Sairat

In Sairat, the writers employ both a sense of convention and subversion as well as injecting a dose of reality beyond the happy ending, to craft a film that reveres the genre of romance and the application of mainstream appeal into a film with honest depth and examination.

Sairat becomes an indictment of the caste system long before we feel it but leaving us with its horror long after we leave the cinema hall and this is kudos to writing that is sharp, with wit, a genuine sense of time and place to ease the viewer in and finally wrench them out of their comfortable seats.

Mainstream cinema is a dreadful place for narrative, but such mainstream writing has never felt fresher or respective to genre as this enjoyable masterpiece, in such a long time.

And the Winner is...

Waryam Singh Sandhu and Gurvinder Singh for Chauthi Koot!!!

With Chauthi Koot securing a huge win and Visaranai nowhere in sight, is this the spoiler?

Up Next: The final push towards the big one, who will be the best director

'Nuff Said,

Aneesh Raikundalia

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