Superman Stats

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

HIndie Awards 2017: Best Screenplay [Comedy/Romantic/Musical]

Best Comedy/Romantical/Musical 


As I mentioned, Deadpool put it best; the screenwriters are the real heroes and that films star Ryan Reynolds can attest to that as he fought for the comic book character [conceptualized by and taken forward by writers] to make it to the silver screen because he witnessed how wonderful the script is that it deserved a chance when no one else would give it.

Now Deadpool is a big box office success, looking towards a slew of sequels. The films champion still remains its screenplay.

The same can be said for a lot of films this year; after all if the complete Studio System breakdown in the Hindi film industry taught us anything, it is this;

That films of a middling or a heavy budget dependent on mid-level stars have failed because these studios see stars and are struck unwilling to rely on strong screenplays instead.

Wherever even the Hindi mainstream goes, cinema will always turn back to the one thing that eventually it is the screenplay that is King and these ones nearly took the throne;

Happy Bhag Jayegi-Despite some hiccups, the screwball comedy of Happy harkens back to Anand L. Rai's own films [he is producer here] giving way to moments of both great levity and drama when need be and creating the quirkiest bunch of characters this side of cinema.

Jugni-It has its issues especially a drab second act but the maturity the writing presents in understanding romance is as well crafted as the films reverence for classical folk tunes. Its a musical piece well versed in milieu and character grounded to it.

Dear Dad-Though the comedy seems a tad bit overdone, the slice of life film places its characters in interesting situations building one of the nicest father-son dynamics in modern Hindi cinema. Despite some overwritten moments, the easy way the narrative unfolds makes for an enjoyable ride.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil-This one isn't a nomination as much as it is a need to discuss this conflicting film. It's execution lacks, there's absurd moments of characterization yet the thematic heart of the film is something that can move anyone. The idea of unrequited love is strong and while poorly mishandled, there are scenes and moments that work most importantly when this is taken into consideration. It's a poignant and personal point of the film, especially for me, hence why Ae Dil was an anticipated experience that sadly disappointed due to its superfluous and confused elements. I wish to find some time later to extensively discuss this film in all its glory and less so.

Let us end this discussion with a look at the past best screenplay winners and what they brought to the table;

HIndie Award for Best Dialogue: Vipul Vig for Fukrey, 2014
HIndie Award for Best Screenplay [Comedy/Musical]: Rajat Kapoor for Aankhon Dekhi, 2015
HIndie Award for Best Screenplay [Comedy/Romantic]: Juhi Chaturvedi for Piku, 2016

Of the three winners of the comedy/romantic/musical screenplay award two of them are slice of life films with a light dramatic but also humorous bent.  Four of the five nominees are practically such kind of comedies, where as the last one matches up a lot with the zany Fukrey.

So let's see who the winner shall be...

Shakun Batra and Ayesha Dhillon for Kapoor and Sons

I could speak at length about where Kapoor and Sons disappointed as a screenplay especially with it's last act convenient death that rapidly ate into the films rich conflicts that it had setup for so long.

Yet despite all this, Kapoor and Sons is such a strong screenplay that it cracks the nomination.

Centred around three major scenes of familial conflict, the film works wonders in building towards them wit richly details backstories filled with a slew of secrets and a cast of complex characters. The dynamics and dichotomies of relationships are well worked out specifically those between the two sons and their mother.

It's why such a screenplay becomes a disappointment, because it's so strong that a final mistake sticks out like a sore thumb. As I said, even then; this is still some of the finest writing last year.

Abhishek Sharma for Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive

Abhishek Sharma might fail in his eventual execution, however on paper this Tere Bin Laden sequel is absolutely sharp and superb just like the original film.

Featuring a slew of wonderfully crafted comedic set pieces patched together by some intuitively written satirical characters. The film features a collective of hilarious ideas and above all there is the meta infused plot of director Sharma [Manish Paul] seeking to make the sequel to his star making Tere Bin Laden, after the made star [a wonderfully written parody of Ali Zafar played by Ali Zafar] who moves onto bigger things.

From mocking the institution of terrorism with some terrorist Olympics, to the zany subplot of a President Obama haunted by the ghost of Osama. Indeed if there's a third film let's hope the script is just as superb as the first two, after all imagine a Donald Trump as played by Sikander Kher.

Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, Neeraj Singh, Pranjal Choudhary and Nitesh Tiwari for Nil Battey Sanata

A story of a mother, struggling and breaking her back as a house-help so she can educate her naive yet aloof daughter until she finally decides to join her class to teach her a lesson in turn finding the demonic maths.

What could have easily turned into a dry dramatic take or even a far more forced lesson on education is a breezy slice of life script that examines the importance of it and more importantly and thankfully, the relationship between the mother and daughter.

In Chanda we find the perfect protagonist, the underdog worth rooting for. With Apeksha the mix of a great and relatable teen, free spirited yet also very harsh at times like a mirror held up to oneself. The explosives then built from their conversations are a highlight of great dialogue work, most importantly the plot turns around with easy comedic anecdotes and an understanding of milieu and situations of its characters.

More importantly with the lessons still taught.

Nagesh Kukunoor for Dhanak

Kukunoor's Dhanak is a return to form for the talented filmmaker and this begins with the script.

Equal parts mature as well as naive thanks to its well crafted child characters, no one finds the beauty in rustic detail and authentic India like Kukunoor does and that comes from a sweet outsiders perspective.

Despite how saccharine the screenplay could be, Pari and Chotu's journey being sweet as it is, is portrayed with intriguing plot points and conflicts that consistently keep one on the edge, he tackles some mature points as well; including ideas of false godmen, mental illness and even child labor all played with a hint of the genuine in many cases.

A children's film script with a lot to say, most importantly about finding hope in fairy tale; the modern fairy tale of celebrity. It's sweet and genuine and more importantly a touching tribute to the dreams and simple naive desires of children.

Indeed with a screenplay such as Dhanak, it's like Nagesh Kukunoor had never left.

Gauri Shinde for Dear Zindagi

Like Pink before it, Dear Zindagi opens up the conversation on another misunderstood subject that India and even a lot of the world is ignorant of.

Peddling back to last years most prominent cinematic theme in the Hindi language; the film finds a fine balance on the examination of not placing your parents on a pedestal and knowing that they can be wrong but also realizing they are just human and prone to mistakes, nobody learns parenting but grows into it.

The screenplays effectiveness is in how it lets us examine the lead protagonist while also never clearly being emphatic to her as well as allowing to judge her. In the lead we have someone who gets knocked down but rises back up, is above all else a professional great at her work and working around her own shit. A real complex human being, not just a character.

The narrative is such that it plays like a mystery box, engaging the viewer into figuring out what past traumas have truly eaten up Kaira. In the well constructed conversations between her and Jug [the quirky psychiatrist] we get some crisp dialogue that opens up layers with ease. The film settles you into the thematic core, teaching about depression and moving you with its ideas on romance.

Above all else, that chair symbolism is a touch of beauty.

An easy mix of plot based unravelling and character based examination, Shinde's latest might have faults but its another winner that signals her cinematic brilliance.

PS: Sometimes women just write better women, from an experiential standpoint. Considering her case against her husband R. Balki's; whom fails to understand feminism with his silly film Ki and Ka.

And the Winner is...

Shakun Batra and Ayesha Dhillon for Kapoor and Sons!!!

Yes I know, the complaints were many but even then despite its flaws; Kapoor and Sons was an absolutely stunning screenplay and just an entertaining read as it was to watch.

This shouldn't be a slight on any other of the scripts, yes one might think that even with such a massive flaw Kapoor and Sons won, then how bad must the other scripts be for this to be possible. Every script has its flaws, yet one should look at it as; Kapoor and Sons was this damn good despite a big fault in it, and just as nearly good are the other nominations.

With this win however, Kapoor and Sons has a massive leg up on its competitors towards best picture. Can the other big films especially Nil Battey Sanata prove to be spoilers? Before that though we need to see the other side of the coin...

Up next: The dramaturgy surges for Best Screenplay Drama

'Nuff Said,

Aneesh Raikundalia

No comments:

Post a Comment