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An Open Letter To Vikas Bahl

October 28, 2015 1:29:15 PM IST
By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
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Dear Vikas

Kahaan QUEEN, kahaan SHANDAAR?

I hope you don't come under the bracket of those ‘one-film wonders'. A lot was expected from you after QUEEN, which not only received critical acclaim, but which is still a talked about film.

So how did you manage to have such a mighty fall with just your second directorial venture within a year? Was it overconfidence? Was it a chalta hai attitude or was it this ‘why should we respect the audience' attitude?

Rule number one in any field: Always respect your end users. In your case: the viewers. Tell me, how did you expect them (the viewers) to digest this no-brainer? In the first place, were you even sure you wanted to go ahead with the movie, which had no story, nor soul? I mean, look at QUEEN! So much was expected from you!

Very late in the movie you tried to get in the QUEEN element when Sanah Kapoor knocked off her wedding finery to display her oversized body and tell her to-be-husband where to get off. That's done and dusted. Kangana did a fab job of telling Rajkumar Rao where to get off.

I get a feeling it was a chalta hai attitude which did you in. I would not like to believe that you discredited your viewers. This chalta hai trait can be a killer for creativity if you don't guard against pride taking root in your being. Now don't get me wrong here. Pride in one's work is healthy, but pride when it goes to the head, pulls one down as quickly.

You don't have to go far to have examples of directors who have thrown their talent away frivolously. There is the much-talented Ram Gopal Varma who has gone downhill ever since his AAG. That was being full of oneself. Then you have Madhur Bhandarkar, another fine director, who now wants to come onto the screen and act. When you try to become bigger than the product, you get crushed beneath mediocrity. Because your focus is self! You lose the vision of the larger picture, which is of making a sensible movie.

Respect talent, respect a good storyline and always strive to raise the bar higher than before. And yes, be humble; that's the surefire way to stay rooted in who you are in God and understand what He is doing for you.

I do hope SHANDAAR is just a one-of-its kind, never-to-be-repeated aberration. You gave us QUEEN, you have it in you to be the king!

Martin D'Souza
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be…)

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