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Movie magic

By Nickunj Malik - Jun 07,2018 - Last updated at Jun 07,2018

In the last decade or so, I was not able to watch movies with the frequency that I would have liked to. There were social engagements and other time consuming tasks that took precedence over this most wonderful activity. 

Like a true cinema buff, I could repeatedly see the same film again and again. It did not have to be a particularly spectacular motion picture but if it was a cult classic, then, I would exasperate even myself by the number of reruns that I subjected myself to. 

One of the positives of this addiction was that I had better recall than any other movie reviewer. And that was because when I missed a particular shot, scene, or drama at the first screening, I was able to correct the mistake at my subsequent viewings.

The business of movie making was a very tricky one indeed. There were no set formulas for what might catch the fancy of the audiences and set the cash registers ringing. Occasionally, most randomly, all the ingredients fitted like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle and blockbusters were created. But in other instances, despite every good intention, things did not crystallise, and the outcome was disastrous. The entire process was far more complicated than one could ever fathom and fortunes were made and lost with every success or failure. 

Not much of all this paranoia or heartbreak filtered down to the spectators, especially in India, my home country. Bollywood, which was the largest producer of celluloid films in the world, had all the glamour, money, fan-power and recognition for those who were successful in this field. However, sleaze, drugs and depression were the outcome for the ones who failed. As the saying goes, there was many a slip between the cup and the lip!

Whenever a big budget movie flopped, it shattered even the most established of actors for the next few years- at the very least. To re-establish credibility, trust and faith took long, and sometimes the blow was permanent and irrevocable. 

Therefore we had some film stars who were remembered as “one movie wonders”. These were the unfortunate people who were launched as young newcomers in their first picture that went on to become a super duper hit. People flocked to the theatres to watch the film constantly and the youngsters turned into heroes from zeroes, so to speak. But after the euphoria died down, their subsequent films could never quite match up. To the spectacular success of the initial one, that is. And they gradually disappeared into oblivion. 

 

Kumar Gaurav was one of them. His debut movie, “Love story” that was released in the year 1981, was so successful that he became a teenage sensation overnight. It broke all the records at the box office and remains one of the most popular romantic films in Bollywood history. But after that it was all downhill and today there are hardly any viewers who can even recall his name.

“What an interesting beverage that lady is having,” I remarked at a beachside restaurant in Mauritius recently.

“It is called Love story,” the waiter informed me.

“Like the Erich Segal book?” I asked.

“Or the Kumar Gaurav movie?” I quizzed.

“The Ryan O’Neil movie you mean” he corrected.

“That was the Hollywood one,” I agreed.

“There was a Bollywood version too?” he questioned.

“Yes, starring Kumar Gaurav,” I answered.

“Never heard of him,” he replied unblinkingly.

“Ok! Just get me the drink,” I mumbled.

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Comments

Sahaj pakey so meetha, translates to "that which ripens slow, ripens well". Many other similies come to mind, burning out being another.

Success as we know it, has many components, being relevant to the time being the most important. I feel that is the prime reason for failure of these one movie wonders. The film they happened to be in , happened to strike an ephemeral cord. Enduring talent transcends time.

Amitabh Bachchan says so.

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